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Colour Me In

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  28 reviews

Nineteen-year-old actor Arlo likes nothing more than howling across the skyline with best friend Luke from the roof of their apartment.

But when something irreparable happens and familiar black weeds start to crawl inside him, Arlo flees to the other side of the world
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 8th 2018 by Hodder Children's Books
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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 ·  91 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Emer (A Little Haze)
This was ambling towards a positive three star read (which was actually disappointing me a little because I have read and adored Lydia Ruffles' debut novel The Taste of Blue Light)
But then BAM!
That last third just sucker punched me right in the feels and I suddenly could see this beautiful novel come to life. It was almost like looking at an oil painting from too close; you can see all these component parts, the colours, the light, the dark... But then when you stand at the perfect distance it a
Liz Barnsley
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Melancholy and beautiful. review to follow.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really loved Colour Me In, so much so I read the whole thing in a day. The imagery, and the writing style, were just beautiful. The portrayal of grief is so carefully handled throughout the book, it was very honest, and relatable. Mental health in young men is also an important theme here, and one that is generally not addressed enough.

Arlo's journey is slow paced, incredibly slow at times, and normally that would have bothered me. But in this case it felt perfect, because it was a clear refl
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The main theme of this novel is grief. Grief is a very personal experience, it effects everyone differently and everyone copes with it in their own way. I could not connect with Arlo as he dealt with his grief, his journey was spontaneous and constantly changing, and so I found it hard to follow. I found myself wondering if I'd missed an important detail.
The writing was utterly beautiful, I couldn't fault it at all. I'm definitely interested in reading another novel by Lydia Ruffles. She dealt w
Originally published on Once Upon a Bookcase.

After absolutely loving Lydia Ruffles' debut novel, The Taste of Blue Light, there was no way I wasn't going to read her next novel, Colour Me In. And what an incredible, heartbreaking story it is.

Arlo has a history of mental illness. Two and a half years ago, he had a period of depression that lasted four months, where he could barely get out of bed. Now he's determined to not go back to that place. He's started to notice a change again, but is tryin
Karen Barber
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Arlo, a teen actor, seems to be successful but he has kept hidden some of the things that trouble him. His mental health is up and down, but like so many young men it is not something he talks about. Arlo worries about letting people down so he keeps up a pretence.
The only person he is honest with is his friend, Luke. They’ve known each other from childhood and have an easy-going friendship that really struck me as unusual in its depiction.
When something awful happens, Arlo can’t deal with his f
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
"You’ve got to go to sea if you want to get really lost; find somewhere deep and watery, somewhere that doesn’t even have a name."

Arlo is going off the grid. Instead of taking his scheduled flight to a screen test that will land him his next big acting job, he's flying to the other side of the world to escape his grief before it takes him over. When he meets Mizuki, an avid photographer trying to capture an image no one has ever seen before, he keeps running. But misery loves company and Arl
Alyssa Grace
4.5 stars

'No such thing as just friends,' says Mizuki. 'Friends are more important than anything else.'

One of the many beautiful messages that Colour Me In both states and shows. By the time I was finished, I'd filled my Kindle up with highlights--this is an unfailingly quotable book.

Quotability is just one of numerous admirable qualities I expected from Colour Me In after I read and loved The Taste of Blue Light, Lydia Ruffles's standalone debut. Her follow-up delivered on every count. As befor
Jon Margetts
Jul 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, teen-books
For most young people in Britain, nineteen is a perilous age. Having gone through compulsory education, you’ve likely built up a solid friendship circle, secured balanced relations with your family (understanding your parents aren’t totally flawed people), and likely been financially secure the whole time, too. Excitingly, university or full time employment beckons, as do freedom and responsibility. But, those emotional, social and material anchors which helped you to nineteen suddenly start to ...more
Apr 02, 2020 rated it liked it
The thing I like so much about this tragic, young adult novel is the lyrical, descriptive, flowing writing used. The imagery is so vivid and memorable. The actual story itself is quite a heartfelt one, filled with special meanings and symbolism. It tells the story of Arlo, a troubled 19 year old actor, going on twenty. Another thing I really like about the book is that the author never really states where the characters actually are. Except you know exactly where they are. Her excellent writing ...more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Even in 2018, there is a stigma around discussing mental health issues and this is especially true for men and boys. Lydia Ruffles deals with this issue oh so perfectly in Colour Me In.

Arlo has been dealing with mental health issues for a few years when he experiences an excruciating loss that threatens to send him spiralling back to the dark place he never wishes to inhabit again.

In order to protect himself, he travels to an unnamed place to get away from it all for a while. There he meets Mizu
Jul 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: a2, august, hodder, 2018
I'm never quite sure what to make of Lydia Ruffles. Her books are well written, engaging, and touch on serious topics. But something about the language always puts me off. I don't know what it is, exactly.

This is an interesting story about a semi-famous teen actor who flees after a tragedy to try and stave off the depression he can feel looming. I liked all the descriptions of Japan; Lydia has a good eye for descriptive language. The story itself was fairly predicatable, which isn't always a bad
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen-fiction
I wasn't a fan of this book. I loved Lydia Ruffles last book, A Taste of Blue Light, but just couldn't get into this one. It is, again, beautifully written but I thought Arlo, the main character, was just the worst kind of guy out there. He is struggling with a lot (mental illness, peer pressure, grief) but he acts so entitled and treats people (women) as belongings. The one scene where (view spoiler) ...more
Michele Brack
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
#44 A book set in Japan, host of the 2020 Olympics

There's a little blurb on the back of this book that says Lydia Ruffles is like an "artsy, British John Green" and after reading this I am inclined to agree with that assessment. I thought this book was fantastic and had unique and powerful ways to describe heartbreak and depression that really stuck with me. I'm glad that I went out of my way to buy a copy of this book (because it's British and not available in most places around here).
Aug 29, 2019 rated it liked it
The book felt a bit slow, and some moments were a little gross and unnecessary. The ending was also pretty unsatisfactory.

There were moments where the imagery was really good, and some great character conflict, though some of Arlo’s actions in the book annoyed me and I couldn’t really relate to him very easily as a guy around Arlo’s age. I feel like maybe this was because the book was authored by an older female writer? Not really sure, it just didn’t feel convincing to me.

May 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
I found this book very tedious and such a hard read. The main character wasn’t someone who I could engage with, and the storyline never seemed to really go anywhere. There isn’t really any kind of resolution to the story which honestly, I didn’t feel all the let down by given that I wasn’t really enjoying the read.
The Book Grocer
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Purchase Colour Me In here for just $10!

Colour Me In is a beautifully written YA book that tackles the mental health issues favouring young people. This book is a slow burn but a wonderful story that I’d highly recommend.

Alicia - The Book Grocer
Jul 07, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miss Jith
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I know this is about depression but it is one heck of a depressing book, didn't really help that I was in a bad mental health patch myself when reading it.

Also it's not a good sign that I kept putting it down and not bothering to pick it up again. Took me way longer to read than normal.
Cally Evans
Asthetic romance .
Emily Nagle
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written and powerful story about grief and discovery. Some of the most beautiful and descriptive writing I’ve read in a long time; often felt like one long poem :) definitely recommend!
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book got my heart since in the first page. Must read 😍
Rebecca Travers
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
This confused me a little. The characters were a little cold, the plot didn't move quite fast enough for me either. Something just didn't click.
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This review originally appeared on Addicted to Media

In my search for a book that would truly move me, I encountered Lydia Ruffles's lucid dream of a novel Colour Me In. Ruffles is a relative newcomer to the New Adult market - her debut novel The Taste of Blue Light was only released in September 2017 - yet she is quickly gaining a reputation for her lyrical writing and focus on issues such as grief, depression and mental health.

Nineteen-year-old Arlo is adrift. He's catching a plane to the other

Charlotte Burns
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lydia has a knack for writing beautifully about mental health difficulties. I found this in The Taste of Blue Light, and I found a lot to identify with in Colour Me In. When his friend Luke dies, Arlo is distraught. He finds his old difficulties creeping back in, the "sinking" , "shadows and black weeds". He doesn't know how to deal with these things, so he runs away. On his impromptu adventure, he meets Mizuki, who is on a mission of her own: to find the perfect photograph. Arlo is trying to es ...more
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lydia’s second book was packed full of so much raw emotion, just like her first but tells a very different story. Lydia has written about men’s mental health impeccably & the story she’s told was so immersive that I felt all of Arlo’s emotions with him. Lydia’s writing is some of the most powerful I’ve ever encountered & her books are classics in the making.

I received this book from Hodder & Stoughton in return for an honest review.

⚠️ This book contains discussions of mental health issues such
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Lydia Ruffles is the author of The Taste of Blue Light and Colour Me In. She also writes and speaks on creativity, mental health, synaesthesia, and migraine for media ranging from Buzzfeed to the Guardian and Wellcome Collection to BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @lydiaruffles

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