The Color of Lies
High school senior Ella Cleary has always been good at reading people. Her family has a rare medical condition called synesthesia that scrambles the senses—her Gram Helen sees every sound, and her uncle Joe can literally taste words. Ella’s own synesthesia manifests itself as the ability to see colors that reveal people’s true emotions…until she meets a guy she just can’t read.Alec is a mystery to Ella, a handsome, enigmatic young journalist who makes her feel normal for the first time in her life. That is, until he reveals the real reason why he sought her out—he wants to learn the truth behind her parents’ deaths, the parents that Ella had always been told died in a fire. Alec turns Ella’s world upside down when he tells her their deaths were definitely not an accident.After learning her entire life has been a lie, Ella doesn’t know who she can trust or even who she really is. With her adoptive family keeping secrets and the evidence mixing fact and fiction, the only way for Ella to learn the truth about her past is to find a killer.

The Color of Lies Details

TitleThe Color of Lies
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseNov 6th, 2018
PublisherBlink
ISBN-139780310765370
Rating
GenreMystery, Young Adult, Thriller, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Family, Teen

The Color of Lies Review

  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    January 1, 1970
    I love it when a YA thriller doesn't read TOO YA. There's some romance but it's so limited it doesn't prove to be a huge part which is nice. Thank the lord for no love triangles. (Ok, so there's a little bit of instalust but hey, it's a YA book after all....) What we get is a story about a girl who lost her parents at a young age to a fire. Her world gets turned upside down when Alec shows up on her 18th birthday with questions about her parents murder.... **screechy brakes** excuse me? MURDER?! I love it when a YA thriller doesn't read TOO YA. There's some romance but it's so limited it doesn't prove to be a huge part which is nice. Thank the lord for no love triangles. (Ok, so there's a little bit of instalust but hey, it's a YA book after all....) What we get is a story about a girl who lost her parents at a young age to a fire. Her world gets turned upside down when Alec shows up on her 18th birthday with questions about her parents murder.... **screechy brakes** excuse me? MURDER?!Ella and her family are gifted with synesthesia - Ella's particular "talent" are seeing people's auras - or the colors they emit as they emote. How interesting would THAT be? There's always good with the bad... but when you meet someone who has no color... how do you know if he can be trusted?YA thrillers are surprising me more and more these days. I'd say this reads more contemporary for me over thriller/suspense. A fast, enjoyable ride. Nothing convoluted.. but a great read in its simplicity as well. I found it a bit easily predictable and the ending seemed to out pace the first half. While the book did read fast, I was surprised to notice that halfway through, we're still only into day two of the entire timeline. Just something I noticed, not something that took away from the enjoyment. Those who like the lighter side of a thriller and the YA genre - will take a liking to this. 3.5 stars rounding to 4 for GR.
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  • Kelly Brigid
    January 1, 1970
    “The world is filled with magic. You just have to look and listen” The Color of Lies is a novel whose story is as alluring as its eye-catching cover and title. Although the mystery isn’t particularly original, I love the use of synesthesia in the plot, and how it shapes the way Ella perceives the world. She uses this rare medical condition as a crutch to decipher people’s true intentions, regardless of what lies they may conjure. Essentially, she can read the auras, and associates the colors “The world is filled with magic. You just have to look and listen” The Color of Lies is a novel whose story is as alluring as its eye-catching cover and title. Although the mystery isn’t particularly original, I love the use of synesthesia in the plot, and how it shapes the way Ella perceives the world. She uses this rare medical condition as a crutch to decipher people’s true intentions, regardless of what lies they may conjure. Essentially, she can read the auras, and associates the colors that arise, with vivid emotions and feelings. Romance between Ella and Alec is sprinkled throughout, but it refuses to overpower the mystery – to my delight! While the conclusion is fairly predictable, it’s enjoyable to witness unfolding, nevertheless!The writing is flowery, but certainly beautiful. Lyons’ poise is captivating and draws you in, without feeling too poetic and forced. I personally love writing styles that aren’t excessively metaphorical, and Lyons’ perfectly balances this line, especially when describing the auras Ella interprets. Reading from her first perspective is quite fascinating, and makes it simple for the reader to place themselves in her shoes. It displays her on a more humanized level. She’s a merely a young girl, who is susceptible to confusion and indignation – emotions not very challenging for us to relate to.Lovely side characters, who should’ve been present more. Oh, how I love Alec and Ella’s two closest friends, Max and Rory. On a completely unrelated matter, I’m quite fond of the name, Rory. I’m not necessarily sure why, but I’ve always found it to be lovely. This held true for Rory in The Color of Lies. She’s a remarkably loyal and compassionate friend, who is far stronger than most presume. Her devotion to Ella is wonderful, and the utter oblivion she has about Max’s feelings for her is amusing. Though Max is awfully stubborn, he’s also kind and willing to wound his pride if it means helping Ella. Alec is a precious little bean, whose thoughtful nature is adorable in every regard. Sure, he may have an issue with speaking more than he should at times, but I love him all the more for it.The mystery behind Ella’s mother’s murder is neat, but easily foreseen. Overall, I didn’t consider the novel to fall victim to many tropes prevalent in YA literature, but wish the mystery could’ve delved through more unpredictable paths. Perhaps, a few more characters or elements could’ve been introduced to create a wider pool of individuals to suspect. The Color of Lies is a fun thriller with enough tensity to have you biting your nails and scratching your scalp, and is perfect for those scouring for a light mystery!I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Bloglovin
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  • Jazmen
    January 1, 1970
    The Color of Lies relies heavily on its interesting characters, not-so-original plot, and captivating writing to keep its reader--but as for the thrill, it just doesn't sizzle enough. YA novels don't tend to be too wowing in the thrill department and while this one is not so different--what works is how engaging and captivating the story is written.The writing is beautiful and really draws the reader in, it just took a bit of time to get there. The most action happens in the very latter half of The Color of Lies relies heavily on its interesting characters, not-so-original plot, and captivating writing to keep its reader--but as for the thrill, it just doesn't sizzle enough. YA novels don't tend to be too wowing in the thrill department and while this one is not so different--what works is how engaging and captivating the story is written.The writing is beautiful and really draws the reader in, it just took a bit of time to get there. The most action happens in the very latter half of the novel. If you are a patient reader, this won't be too much of a bother. Ella or Nora depending on what section of the novel you're in has synesthesia--which is a fancy way of saying she can read your auras--based on what you're feeling, which is interesting in and of itself, and not used too often--giving the novel a boost in the unique department. Ella's parents died in a fire and she's believed that her whole life, until the charismatic yet shy, Alec comes into town blowing up her entire world. And he does that indeed. He shakes up her world and readers get to come along for the journey of self-discovery and also to find out what really happened to her parents. What is a freak accident, or were they murdered?Lyons does a good job of dangling the mystery over our heads, but for the wait, though it was sort of shocking, it also was predictable in that it made the most sense to happen/end the way it did.This is a better selection of the YA mysteries available, but it just doesn't wow--but it gets major points for originality, interesting characters, and a decent ending.Recommended for readers who like a more realistic mystery with the cant-put-this-down factor.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This is a very ambitious book. Synesthesia, mental illness, identity theft, war refugees, teen angst, race, murder... It's a smattered smattering.This author has a talent for describing things. Lyons's descriptions of color and auras and eyes are done well. She clearly is a medical doctor that knows what she is talking about when it comes to procedure.But that's about it. The story and reactions seem inappropriate for coming-of-age young adults and teens. They act like their pasts are storied an This is a very ambitious book. Synesthesia, mental illness, identity theft, war refugees, teen angst, race, murder... It's a smattered smattering.This author has a talent for describing things. Lyons's descriptions of color and auras and eyes are done well. She clearly is a medical doctor that knows what she is talking about when it comes to procedure.But that's about it. The story and reactions seem inappropriate for coming-of-age young adults and teens. They act like their pasts are storied and experienced (the incredibly vivid memories they share are from age 3); they act like their present is high stakes in their careers and ambitions (they are high school seniors and one college freshman)... While storied pasts and high stakes are technically true by the time the plot is resolved, it is highly unbelievable that 18 year olds would actually take things this seriously with very little to go on. They've barely graduated high school. I expect this sort of bland, dramatic, and frankly paranoid behavior from someone much older with a lot more life established (and more at stake).This takes place over 3 days in the year 2011. I was suspicious of how little the teenage characters are using their phones - as well as the fact that at some point a character texts from their pocket without looking (I assume this is only possible because she still has a phone with actual buttons). Placing this in rural, central Pennsylvania just after the recession also helps to set the grey landscape that could excuse the tone of the characters' attitudes.The characters are flat. Just because the author gives them hobbies and established this very hard and very early on, doesn't mean they are well rounded. We are told that they like or feel things, instead of being shown, which is ironic given the main character's synesthesia as an opportunity to really paint people as they are. The synesthesia, the details of which are explained repeatedly, feels like it is forgotten by the author as a tool to set the tone for a lot of scenes. At some point, Ella can see the aura of words on paper and lines from a movie... What are the limits? I'm not even going to complain about the overused trope of that "special someone" immune from the main character's powers.I find it also pretty bold of this author to write from the perspective of a young man of color. While the effort is commendable to be inclusive, I'm just not sure Alec's thoughts or actions are realistic for a young black man of a presumably blended family from South Carolina. He wanted to wave to everyone on the street in a strange, predominantly white town in 2011? While I am no more inclined than the author to provide a genuine point of view, I highly doubt this. There are so many potentially unexplored layers to this character that it is a shame he was grossly oversimplified. At the very least, perhaps he shouldn't have been written in first person.The fact that some characters are briefly mentioned as adult war refugees with no discussion whatsoever on the impact of that heavy experience on their lives is a grievous oversight and distasteful as a plot point.* A Note on the Audiobook Narrator *Good grief. The way she makes each character pronounce "ident-tit-ty" is straight out of drama class and akin to a knife scraping a plate. Accents came and went. Every character sounded bored. Some sounded bratty. And the breathlessness she breathed into Rory made her a caricature of a teenage bimbo instead of the supportive, optimistic friend I have a feeling she was meant to be. (At one point, I wouldn't have been surprised if the voice chosen for Joe started chanting "Red Rum. Red Rum!")I'm just generally grumpy and annoyed about this book overall. Because I see so much potential in it, I am disappointed by the execution. I do not recommend this to young adult readers at all. I hesitate to recommend it to adults.
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  • Vicky Who Reads
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI've had a great year reading mysteries so far, and The Color of Lies did not disappoint with how it built up the backstory of Ella and her parents' death.I adored reading about Ella and her family and their synesthesia, and it was really cool to read about the colors Ella saw and how she interpreted them, as well as her grandmother's feeling sounds and her uncle's reaction to certain words that became tastes (like, apparently 'sugar' had a bad taste for him!). I don't know that much ab 3.5 starsI've had a great year reading mysteries so far, and The Color of Lies did not disappoint with how it built up the backstory of Ella and her parents' death.I adored reading about Ella and her family and their synesthesia, and it was really cool to read about the colors Ella saw and how she interpreted them, as well as her grandmother's feeling sounds and her uncle's reaction to certain words that became tastes (like, apparently 'sugar' had a bad taste for him!). I don't know that much about synesthesia and thought it was only limited to colors, but now that I know I definitely want to research more about it because it sounds really cool.Plus, the twistiness of the story was top notch, and I think Lyons plotted some of the confusion and the mystery out well, especially as Ella begins to doubt who she should trust and if the people in her life--the people who have been raising her--were lying.This was probably the highlight of the book, and the part I would recommend the most to anyone who's interested in this book--read it for the twists and mystery!I did find the romance to be somewhat cumbersome--although I thought they were cute, I didn't really feel like Ella should be in a relationship when she's going through so much emotionally and it felt a little instalove-like. But Ella and Alec were cute together and I loved reading their different point of views.This story is told in two points of view, Ella and Alec's, although Ella's is much more dominant and we see a lot of the story from her side. It felt pretty traditional in its male/female POV structure, and I kind of wish Lyons had switched it up a little to something less structured.I do feel like I just won't remember this story much outside of the synesthesia. I just didn't feel connected enough with the story outside of the time I was reading to really grasp the long-term effects of this. But not every book is meant to be a stick-with-you-forever book, and I think The Color of Lies is great for just a relaxing read.Overall, The Color of Lies was an interesting mystery read that was well-written and something I ended up having a positive experience with, even if it didn't turn out to be that memorable for me. I'd recommend to fans of mystery and thriller based on twists more than action, and anyone who likes a little dash of romance in their books too.Thank you so much to The FFBC and Blink for sending me an advance reader's copy in exchange for an honest review!Blog | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Lisa Mandina
    January 1, 1970
    I am a big fan of this author's YA books: Broken and Watched. And I am also very intrigued by the whole synesthesia thing. I even have a really good friend who has the condition. I remember first reading about synesthesia when I was in college. Studying to be a science teacher, I had a subscription to Discover magazine, which I would read cover to cover. That story on people who always thought of certain numbers having a specific color, or sometimes words had a taste to them, that story stuck w I am a big fan of this author's YA books: Broken and Watched. And I am also very intrigued by the whole synesthesia thing. I even have a really good friend who has the condition. I remember first reading about synesthesia when I was in college. Studying to be a science teacher, I had a subscription to Discover magazine, which I would read cover to cover. That story on people who always thought of certain numbers having a specific color, or sometimes words had a taste to them, that story stuck with me. This story was a really good one that used a few different types of synesthesia symptoms for characters in a family, since it is considered to be genetic. I feel like this author with her medical background is able to be very realistic about things like this disorder, the same as she was with the genetic heart defect in Broken. But we also had at the heart of this story a very good mystery. To me, this book is right up there with many adult mystery titles that have a medical aspect to them. It reminds me in a way of the good old fashioned Robin Cook novels. Less complicated and conspiracy theory-ish, but definitely as good of a mystery with things you know are coming, but don't always see completely until the bad guys begin giving their plots away. I guess that makes sense since the author does write those same books for adults. In this case I guess my point is that she does this well within the YA genre as well. Now I had a few questions about how it all wrapped up, and if there was more faking going on than just identities. And maybe those things were actually touched upon, but I was at the exciting action point of the book and probably reading faster to get to find out how we could keep both Ella and her friends and family safe. Other questions I pondered when I had to put the book down to go back to work included wondering if schools have synesthesia as something they might use to put a student on an IEP, or Individualized Education Plan, so that they could get help from the special education teachers. Because it seems to me that it could cause some learning environments to not be the best suited in some cases. At some point I mean to reach out to those types of teachers in my school just to find out for myself about this very topic.Highly recommended book, one I will be ordering for my school library with future budget money.This review originally posted on my blog, Lisa Loves Literature.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    I received a complimentary NetGalley copy of The Color of Lies from JustRead Tours and a positive review is not required.Oh. My. God. I was not prepared for the whirlwind that was The Color of Lies. I don’t think I’ve read a thriller quite like this one. There a tad bit of YA-ness in some of the language and character building, but the storyline is completely out of the ordinary. So buckle your seatbelt for this one.The Color of Lies follows Ella, a girl with synesthesia, who lost her parents in I received a complimentary NetGalley copy of The Color of Lies from JustRead Tours and a positive review is not required.Oh. My. God. I was not prepared for the whirlwind that was The Color of Lies. I don’t think I’ve read a thriller quite like this one. There a tad bit of YA-ness in some of the language and character building, but the storyline is completely out of the ordinary. So buckle your seatbelt for this one.The Color of Lies follows Ella, a girl with synesthesia, who lost her parents in a fire when she was a toddler. So Ella basically sees people’s emotions through the color of their aura. Pretty cool, huh?Ella’s world is turned upside down when she meets a guy named Alex who tells her that her parents’ deaths may not have been an accident at all. I won’t lie, the book starts off a bit slow. A lot of the characters annoyed me at first and Ella’s best friends, Max and Rory, were pretty one dimensional. But then the mystery slowly starts to unravel and all of a sudden tryout caught up in a story you can’t put down. Seriously, I didn’t even want to take a sip out of my water glass. My brain was like “I gotta know what happens next”. I was completely caught off guard with the resolution. Pretty shocked. I had to reread a couple of passages because I couldn’t believe it. C.J. Lyons does an amazing job at building the suspense in this novel, which makes up for some of the one-dimensional characters. She weaves a story that is both fascinating and horrific. If you’re looking for an awesome thriller that’s out of the ordinary, pick up a copy of The Color of Lies!
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  • Victoria Bunce
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of THE COLOR OF LIES on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the publisher and author.Five stars and here's why: This book is riveting. I simply couldn’t put it down. The pacing is fantastic, the concept is unique, and the suspense nearly killed me. I had to drop everything to finish this story in one night!Ella has a special gift called synesthesia. I had no concept this was a real thing until I Googled it! She can read people and this ability is both a ben I received a copy of THE COLOR OF LIES on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the publisher and author.Five stars and here's why: This book is riveting. I simply couldn’t put it down. The pacing is fantastic, the concept is unique, and the suspense nearly killed me. I had to drop everything to finish this story in one night!Ella has a special gift called synesthesia. I had no concept this was a real thing until I Googled it! She can read people and this ability is both a benefit and detriment to any relationship she encounters because of her gift. Ella sees right through people and their intentions; either bad or good. Ella is not the only one gifted in her family as her uncle can taste every word and her grandmother can see every sound. Until one day, Ella meets Alec. He’s an enigma to Ella because she can’t read him for some reason. This makes Alec intriguing and for the first time ever, Ella wants to get to know him better. After all, he’s a hella-hot, young journalist who wants to learn everything about Ella. Soon after meeting Alec, Ella discovers that her whole life has been a big whopper of a lie. She doesn’t know whom she can trust. Ella doesn’t even know who she really is as her life has been upended after her discovery. What happens next had my head spinning and I dropped everything until I read the very last word.C.J. Lyons does not disappoint. If you love fantastic writing, a plot splattered with color and infused with mystery, then this book is for you. Highly recommend.
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  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    Fast and addictive while keeping me on my toes...just how I like my mysteries!
  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    YA mysteries and thrillers are still relatively new territory for me, mainly because I still always seem to gravitate towards my safe fantasy territory. Which is why, when the opportunity to review a book like The Color of Lies presents itself, I'll happily oblige. This story in particular caught my attention because our protagonist had synesthesia. How CJ Lyons planned to incorporate that into Ella's story intrigued me, because it seemed to me that the ability to read auras would really come in YA mysteries and thrillers are still relatively new territory for me, mainly because I still always seem to gravitate towards my safe fantasy territory. Which is why, when the opportunity to review a book like The Color of Lies presents itself, I'll happily oblige. This story in particular caught my attention because our protagonist had synesthesia. How CJ Lyons planned to incorporate that into Ella's story intrigued me, because it seemed to me that the ability to read auras would really come in handy in the event of a thriller. Ah, how right I was.It should be noted that I don't have a lot of background knowledge of synesthesia, and I always assumed that it revolved around colors. So it was so fascinating to me to meet Ella's family members, each with their own unique way of experiencing the world. In particular, Ella's uncle Joe had the ability to taste words. How cool is that? I just kept imagining what that would be like, to be able to taste the things that you say. Absolutely fascinating, if I do say so myself.I also really enjoyed Ella as a main character. She was enough of an adult to keep the teen angst to a minimum, but enough of sheltered child to make this whole mystery really flow. Her love for her family and friends made me fall for her pretty quickly, but her love of art really sealed the deal. Had this book only been from Ella's point of view, I think I would have been completely smitten.Unfortunately, this is a dual POV book. I normally am not a fan of dual POV anyway, but I really felt Alec's portion took away from some of the growth that we could have seen from Ella. I'll admit, Ella does get a fair bit more time in the limelight than Alec does. However since Alec starts out the story holding all the cards, and Ella has to play catch up, it makes her seem a little weak. I knew she wasn't. CJ Lyons has written a strong character who, despite her whole life being turned upside down multiple times, pushes through. I just wanted more of that, and more of her.As for the plot line, I'm of the opinion that it was actually pretty easy to unravel. My inkling about how the book was going to end started around the 1/3 mark, and the further the read the more I knew that I was absolutely right. I know that Lyons was trying to lay a trail of breadcrumbs. In fact, I think that some of that actually was done well. However there is a lot in the first half of the book that all but lights a neon sign pointing to what will happen at the end. As I said, I don't read a ton of mystery and I was able to unravel it. I'm not sure how die hard readers of this genre will feel.All in all, this was a pretty solid read. The Color of Lies drew me in with its premise, and kept me reading because I fell in love with the characters. Although the plot wasn't quite as twisty as I hoped for, that didn't stop this from being a book I all but flew through. I know this will be a satisfying read for a lot of you out there, and so I'll happily recommend you adding it to your reading list.
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  • Nicole Hewitt
    January 1, 1970
    This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction AddictionThe Color of Lies is a mystery/thriller with a synesthesia twist! Ella has spent her whole life being able to “read” the people around her. When she talks to people, she doesn’t only hear their words, she sees them. She experiences the world as a rainbow—and the colors tell her much more than mere words ever could: she can sense emotions, suss out lies and understand hidden meaning much better than the average person c This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction AddictionThe Color of Lies is a mystery/thriller with a synesthesia twist! Ella has spent her whole life being able to “read” the people around her. When she talks to people, she doesn’t only hear their words, she sees them. She experiences the world as a rainbow—and the colors tell her much more than mere words ever could: she can sense emotions, suss out lies and understand hidden meaning much better than the average person can. But when she realizes that her whole life might have been built on a lie, she’s shaken to her core. She discovers that her parents’ deaths when she was three may not have been accidental. That revelation alone could be enough to break her, but as the truth unravels, she finds that the reality might be far more painful than she imagined.This thriller kept me guessing. I had some ideas about what might be happening, but I was never quite sure, and there were quite a few surprises. I did have to suspend disbelief on a few details in the end, but I definitely enjoyed the journey!! I recommend this one if you’re a fan of YA mystery/thrillers or want to read a book through the eyes of someone who experiences the world differently than the average person.***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (but then ended up listening to the audiobook from the library). No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
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  • Alex (Briennai)
    January 1, 1970
    I've always been interested in books where a character has synesthesia, and this book was a thriller that had multiple synesthetes! I just knew I had to pick it up. Ella is the only one in her family who seems to have a form of synesthesia that allows her to still live a normal life. Her grandmother and several others live their lives as recluses, avoiding sounds and words that might make them physically ill. Ella knows that her parents died in a fire when she was three, but then a boy named Ale I've always been interested in books where a character has synesthesia, and this book was a thriller that had multiple synesthetes! I just knew I had to pick it up. Ella is the only one in her family who seems to have a form of synesthesia that allows her to still live a normal life. Her grandmother and several others live their lives as recluses, avoiding sounds and words that might make them physically ill. Ella knows that her parents died in a fire when she was three, but then a boy named Alec comes along and turns her whole life upside down. He claims that her parents did not die in an accidental fire, that they were murdered. He says that he met Ella when she was younger, but Ella says that she was never at the scene of the fire. She must decide whether to trust Alec or to go back to believing her version of her parents' death. Alec was trying to work with Ella to figure out the truth. It was definitely awesome to have a diverse group of characters in this story. I found that I didn't quite connect with him at certain parts of the story, but I was with him by the time that I reached the end. The way that I would describe this story would be with the letter A. There are a lot of things going up the slope to build to the climax, and it seems a little bit slow climbing up the steep slope. Then, there is the top. The climax is abrupt, and almost out of nowhere. Lastly, there is a huge downward fall, where everything seems to happen all at once. And then we have a time skip at the end, and an almost "where are they now" with the characters, which I really enjoyed. The story was good and had a lot of suspenseful details leading up to the climax, but because the ending felt so rushed, I still lost track of things. But I really enjoyed the book up until that point!Ella in particular also went through a lot of character development as she started to remember things that she had forgotten over the years. I really loved her character, and how much she cared about her family. She was never a spoiled teenage brat, even if she didn't have the best circumstances. Overall, this was an addictive thriller, and I enjoyed my time reading it! I hope you enjoy this novel as much as I did!I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new YA mystery-suspense novel. I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review. 
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  • Stephanie Ward
    January 1, 1970
    'The Color of Lies' is an intriguing young adult thriller that will have readers on the edge of their seat to the very end. There were several things I really enjoyed about this book and instead of trying to explain them in an order to make sense, I'm just going to list them.Characters: I really liked both of the main characters - Ella and Alec. They were both complex and rounded with unique qualities and traits. They had their strengths and weaknesses, which made them feel realistic for me. I l 'The Color of Lies' is an intriguing young adult thriller that will have readers on the edge of their seat to the very end. There were several things I really enjoyed about this book and instead of trying to explain them in an order to make sense, I'm just going to list them.Characters: I really liked both of the main characters - Ella and Alec. They were both complex and rounded with unique qualities and traits. They had their strengths and weaknesses, which made them feel realistic for me. I loved learning about Ella's amazing gift (her synesthesia) and was amazed that things like this actual exist. It was fascinating and made me want to learn more about it after I finished reading. Alec was a great character too and I really liked watching Ella meet him and then seeing their friendship begin and then grow into something more.Writing Style: The story is told from both Ella and Alec's perspective, in alternating chapters. What I especially loved about this book was the author used the first person for each of the main characters. If you've read any of my other reviews, you know how important point of view is to me and can make or break a book in my opinion. This was fantastic and I loved that the author chose to do both characters in the first person in alternating chapters so we really got to know each of them. Normally with the first person you have one narrator who you get to know on a deeply personal level, but the author managed to make that happen with two characters with this story - which can't be an easy thing to do. I really enjoyed getting to know Ella and Alec both on a personal level - their hopes, fears, dreams, memories, and everything else in between were there. The reader has the chance to really get to know them both and connect with them early on in the story.Plot: I'm a huge fan of mysteries and thrillers, so this was an easy choice for me to read. Like I mentioned, I loved the way the author made the story her own with Ella's synesthesia and the alternating narrators. I can't say much about the plot because I don't want to accidentally give anything away, but I will say that it kept me guessing most of the way through the book and the ending had me on the edge of my seat reading as fast as I could to see what was going to happen. I highly recommend this book to fans of YA, mystery, thrillers, contemporary fiction, and even romance.Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    January 1, 1970
    2 STARSElla, whose parents died when she was three, meets college freshman Alec, who was present when her parents died and is now investigating the deaths. Soon they realize Ella’s life is based on lies.Ella has synesthesia, a real neurological condition, which allows her to see people’s auras. The hereditary condition is a central theme throughout this mystery/thriller.The plot kept me interested in the story, but I was so turned off by one of Ella’s friends, Max, I almost stopped reading. Max 2 STARSElla, whose parents died when she was three, meets college freshman Alec, who was present when her parents died and is now investigating the deaths. Soon they realize Ella’s life is based on lies.Ella has synesthesia, a real neurological condition, which allows her to see people’s auras. The hereditary condition is a central theme throughout this mystery/thriller.The plot kept me interested in the story, but I was so turned off by one of Ella’s friends, Max, I almost stopped reading. Max was a bossy guy, but written as Ella’s protector and a good guy, despite his the way overprotected her and tried to control whom she saw by bullying Alec and telling him not to contact her. None of this was romance related, but if it was, they’d be red flags for potentially abusive boyfriends. I hate that C.J. Lyons chose to write this as “normal” behavior. I rated down for this.I loved Alec’s character and tolerated, empathized with Ella and enjoyed Ella’s friend Rory. The resolution of THE COLOR OF LIES was preposterous, yet satisfying to readers like me who don’t necessarily need happy endings.Despite its many flaws, THE COLOR OF LIES was a pleasant reading experience.
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  • Mar
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5 stars *NO SPOILERS*"She wasn't afraid of drowning- she was afraid of when she had to come up for air."I don't think I have the words to justify how compelling this novel truly is. I am SHOOK to the core. The Color of Lies is told from two points of view: Ella, a girl without parents, trying to find a way to explain to her grandmother, uncle, and godfather, that she doesn't want to take over the family business that was left to her by her parents, and instead wants to study art. And Alec, 4.5/5 stars *NO SPOILERS*"She wasn't afraid of drowning- she was afraid of when she had to come up for air."I don't think I have the words to justify how compelling this novel truly is. I am SHOOK to the core. The Color of Lies is told from two points of view: Ella, a girl without parents, trying to find a way to explain to her grandmother, uncle, and godfather, that she doesn't want to take over the family business that was left to her by her parents, and instead wants to study art. And Alec, a journalist student from South Carolina, trying to solve the mystery of a lifetime that surrounds the deaths of Ella's parents. But when Alec arrives in this small Pennsylvania town, it turns Ella's world, and everything Alec knows, completely upside-down.When I first came across this novel, it was the cover that captured my eye. But when I took a closer look into the novel itself, I knew I just had to read it. I am not a big mystery/thriller reader myself, but I COULD NOT put this book down. There was a constant push and pull between characters, with a classic who-dun-it, and made this book all the more intriguing and always kept me guessing.I adore the style of writing, and applaud Lyons for writing such a dynamic, complex novel. I HIGHLY recommend to anyone looking for a new mystery to read, as it has utterly captured me.- Mar
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  • DJ
    January 1, 1970
    Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Ella thinks she knows how her parents died, she's accepted it and tried to move on. Then someone from her past pops up on her birthday to change the way she see everything. Her life becomes chaos and confusion. She realizes she doesn't know as much about her family or her friends as she thought she did. The Color of Lies was a fast paced thrill ride, full of twist and turns! I wasn't expect that ending at all!
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  • Kathi Rauscher
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fast moving story. Told by both Ella and Alec. A mystery to be solved after Ella learns the truth of her parents death when she was a toddler. Seeing people the way Ella does with her synesthesia is a unique perspective. And to have friends as loyal as Max and Rory is a blessing.
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  • CLM
    January 1, 1970
    A little disappointing in terms of a cliched yet at the same time improbable plot but I did like the characters
  • David
    January 1, 1970
    4 1/2 stars. Thriller, Middle Grade.This came to me through Book Expo. Of all the books that I acquired, this had the most intriguing synopsis. Never heard of synesthesia, but a terrific idea to build a story around.Starts strong, finished strong. Couple extra chapters in the middle that don't move the story, where the leads seem a little redundant in their conversation, but solid writing otherwise.I particularly liked how information about the characters and environment are slowly parsed in the 4 1/2 stars. Thriller, Middle Grade.This came to me through Book Expo. Of all the books that I acquired, this had the most intriguing synopsis. Never heard of synesthesia, but a terrific idea to build a story around.Starts strong, finished strong. Couple extra chapters in the middle that don't move the story, where the leads seem a little redundant in their conversation, but solid writing otherwise.I particularly liked how information about the characters and environment are slowly parsed in the beginning rather than through a specific back story.Well done.
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  • Jo Ann Reinhold
    January 1, 1970
    Ella Cleary has lived her life trusting in her instincts about people and her ability to read their emotions. Ella has synesthesia, a medical condition that scrambles the senses and for Ella, allows her to see the emotions of others in colors that swirl and surround everyone she comes in contact with, that is everyone except for Alec. Alec is a complete mystery to Ella, a stranger that comes into her life with secrets that will change Ella's world.As usual, this author will take you on a trip of Ella Cleary has lived her life trusting in her instincts about people and her ability to read their emotions. Ella has synesthesia, a medical condition that scrambles the senses and for Ella, allows her to see the emotions of others in colors that swirl and surround everyone she comes in contact with, that is everyone except for Alec. Alec is a complete mystery to Ella, a stranger that comes into her life with secrets that will change Ella's world.As usual, this author will take you on a trip of words into a world of mystery and suspense and one totally transformed by a condition most of us probably have never heard of. The characters she writes about will tug at your heart and the ending will totally be a surprise!A big Thumbs up CJ! Loved It!
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  • Jessica Higgins
    January 1, 1970
    A great YA thriller with heart!Ella Cleary has never been like everyone else. She has grown up with a special medical condition called synesthesia, a scrambling of the senses that gives Ella the ability to see colors that show people’s true emotions. Others have it affect other senses. This ability has always helped her when judging and reacting to others until she meets a guy she can’t read. Alec comes into her life unexpectedly and drops a bombshell in her lap telling her the truth about her p A great YA thriller with heart!Ella Cleary has never been like everyone else. She has grown up with a special medical condition called synesthesia, a scrambling of the senses that gives Ella the ability to see colors that show people’s true emotions. Others have it affect other senses. This ability has always helped her when judging and reacting to others until she meets a guy she can’t read. Alec comes into her life unexpectedly and drops a bombshell in her lap telling her the truth about her parents’ deaths. She had always thought they died in an accidental fire, but it turns out it was no accident at all and the real truth of what happened has never been discovered. Finding out this truth makes Ella wonder whom she can trust and if everything she has believed has been a lie. The only way that Ella can discover the truth about her past and what really happened to her parents is to find a killer.The Color of Lies is such a new and unique book to me that I couldn’t put it down. I loved the characters and the story arc. Ella and Alec have a great chemistry that leads the story down just the right path. There is a little bit of back and forth in the story between the present time and what happened over a decade ago to Ella’s parents. Also, readers need to be aware of the flipping of point of views between Ella and Alec, they are at the top of each chapter to distinguish who’s point of view it is in so that greatly helps. For readers who have trouble following the switch, they may want to pay extra attention to follow along. For me this was a great way to move the story along and give the readers the most information to be fully involved in the story. One thing that surprised me was the fact that this book has much more prose than dialogue, something that usually slows a story down for me, not here, I was too intrigued with what was going to happen and didn’t really need the dialogue to speed things along. All of the supporting characters were significant to the story and added to it without taking away from the main characters and what they were trying to accomplish. Overall I would say this was a very enjoyable read and will recommend to both YA and adult readers who love a good mystery.I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.
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  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    This author was trying so much to make the sentences sound eloquent, but it ended up just looking just she was trying too hard.It was very repetitive, the same sentences over and over again. I also found that the author kept expressing the character's thoughts in sentences, instead of showing what the character was doing or feeling without actually saying it. After finishing this book, I realized everything that happened in this book took place in only three days, but the book was over 300 pages This author was trying so much to make the sentences sound eloquent, but it ended up just looking just she was trying too hard.It was very repetitive, the same sentences over and over again. I also found that the author kept expressing the character's thoughts in sentences, instead of showing what the character was doing or feeling without actually saying it. After finishing this book, I realized everything that happened in this book took place in only three days, but the book was over 300 pages. You would think that since this book was only supposed to take place over three days that everything in the book would be exciting and thrilling, but it wasn't, it was just boring and the same sentences.The aura part of this book just seemed like a gimmick that was supposed to make this book stand out against all the other thriller mystery books, but it ended up just frustrating me. I figured out the twist way before it was even hinted at, which makes me not as interested in the story once I know what's going to happening.I received an Advanced Readers Copy in exchange for my honest review
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  • Erhi Divina
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ebook as part of a takeover tour and in exchange of an honest review. (Yes the picture was edited 😅). Blurb in the comment 😊..From the very start of this book, I was blown away. It felt like I was glued to each pages because I could not just stop reading the story. CJ Lyon had done a wonderful job in creating the mysteries, suspense, but at the same time; lightness and an easy flow of storytelling. The characterization of the book was splendid and diverse. And most importantly, t I received this ebook as part of a takeover tour and in exchange of an honest review. (Yes the picture was edited 😅). Blurb in the comment 😊..From the very start of this book, I was blown away. It felt like I was glued to each pages because I could not just stop reading the story. CJ Lyon had done a wonderful job in creating the mysteries, suspense, but at the same time; lightness and an easy flow of storytelling. The characterization of the book was splendid and diverse. And most importantly, the story was unique and original, the author used synthesia (a disorder characterized with scrambled senses) as the theme of the story. Isn't that interesting?? I loved the story, the characters, and the way the author (through the main character) described synthesia. The author somehow managed to make readers realize how a disorder could instead make the world seem more magical. And that was amazing. So I rate this book 🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5. Read this if you like thriller, mysteries, and young adult contemporary.
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  • Mrs. Kenyon
    January 1, 1970
    It is Ella’s eighteenth birthday and she is getting a little time away from her home when she meets Alec. Ella can’t read his emotions like she can everyone else, and this intrigues her and scares her at the same time. Ella has synesthesia and sees colors that represent a person’s emotions. The fact that Alec is a mystery to her makes her feel like everyone else. Alec is a journalism student and quickly reveals that he wants to learn more about her parent’s death. He was there after the fire and It is Ella’s eighteenth birthday and she is getting a little time away from her home when she meets Alec. Ella can’t read his emotions like she can everyone else, and this intrigues her and scares her at the same time. Ella has synesthesia and sees colors that represent a person’s emotions. The fact that Alec is a mystery to her makes her feel like everyone else. Alec is a journalism student and quickly reveals that he wants to learn more about her parent’s death. He was there after the fire and has not been able to get the aftermath out of his mind. What truths will Ella discover about her past and her family? What will she need to do in order to uncover the facts about her parent’s deaths?The Color of Lies is a stand-alone novel that defies one genre. Lyons has created a story with a mystery, a possible romance, and a hint of the paranormal. Readers will enjoy uncovering the secrets alongside the characters and will also relish the chance to try and discover the answers before they are revealed. The book itself is not very long, the events all transpire within a few days and would be a perfect read to finish in a sitting or two. The Color of Lies will be enjoyed by all mystery fans, of all ages and of all genders.
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  • J Aislynn d'Merricksson
    January 1, 1970
    The Color of Lies by CJ Lyons is an intriguing exploration of the world of a family of synesthetes, and one young woman in particular. Ella Cleary, like most of her family on her mother's side, has a form of synesthesia. This is a unique condition where two or more of the senses become cross-wired. It manifests differently for each of them. Ella picks up emotion as colour. When Alec Ravanell approaches Ella for help with a project, she encounters a person not affected by her particular gift. Wit The Color of Lies by CJ Lyons is an intriguing exploration of the world of a family of synesthetes, and one young woman in particular. Ella Cleary, like most of her family on her mother's side, has a form of synesthesia. This is a unique condition where two or more of the senses become cross-wired. It manifests differently for each of them. Ella picks up emotion as colour. When Alec Ravanell approaches Ella for help with a project, she encounters a person not affected by her particular gift. Without seeing his colours, she feels like she's trying to parse a foreign language. Alec does need Ella's help, but not in the way she thinks. He doesn't need a graphic designer, but an interview with Ella herself regarding her parents’ deaths. But what she's been told was an accident, he's calling murder. It throws her world into turmoil. Which story is correct? And why can't she sense Alec? Adding to her inner conflict is worry over being unable to sense him, and wanting to be around him because it's what she imagines being normal is like. I really enjoyed this read! The mystery part was exciting, but what fascinated me most was the exploration of synesthesia, and how people would function differently given their unique manifestation of it. Like, I don't think I'd mind Ella's, but Gram Helen's? Nope. I could sympathise with her need to shutter herself away with safe sounds. I'm sound sensitive, and have misophonia. For me certain sounds are instantly maddening. At its worst, all sounds trigger stress, so I often need to hide away with safe sounds myself. Can't say I'd want Joe's version either! I feel the author researched this in-depth, or she knows several synesthetes. The writing drew me in and kept me reading. Chapters sometimes switched perspectives, but each chapter is prefaced with the name of the person it follows, so no confusion there! I loved the two main characters. I so grokked Ella being torn between family expectations for college, and following her dream. I remember going through that… I loved how awkward Ella and Alec are around one another at first. Too adorable. Not only did I enjoy reading about Ella's interactions with her world, but I wanted to know all about the mystery as well. A highly recommended read!***Many thanks to the author and publisher for providing an egalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. This book was reviewed for the the Fantastic Flying Book Club.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    I just had a lot of issues and questions with this book from the very beginning to the very end. I also highly question the author’s research when it comes to synesthesia and how she portrayed its symptoms in the main character. I have a hard time believing that if you have this then you will be able to “see” that someone has dyslexia just by their aura alone. I also felt this book was extremely predictable and not in a good way. There were so many instances where I questioned people’s actions, I just had a lot of issues and questions with this book from the very beginning to the very end. I also highly question the author’s research when it comes to synesthesia and how she portrayed its symptoms in the main character. I have a hard time believing that if you have this then you will be able to “see” that someone has dyslexia just by their aura alone. I also felt this book was extremely predictable and not in a good way. There were so many instances where I questioned people’s actions, thoughts, and words to lead me to realize that in my opinion the writing was just not good. I listened to this book which lead to a whole bunch of issues in itself, the main one being why would a character speak in a southern accent, but not think in one?
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  • Laurie's 3rd Fire
    January 1, 1970
    Very interestingCJ is a wonderful writer. I love all her books. This one, I didn't realize was a YA, until I got into it. I do read YA. Synesthesia is an interesting phenomenon. I've heard about it, so I wanted to read about it. Ella is being raised by her gram and uncle. When a boy from her childhood comes along to ask her questions about her parents death, chaos ensues.All of CJ's books I read in one night, I didn't with this one. However it was compelling. I recommend it highly.
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  • Celeste
    January 1, 1970
    Truth be told it was an audible library book and my time was up before I finished it. But then if it had held my attention I would have finished prior to the two weeks ending. It wasn't a bad book but VERY YA. I enjoy many YA books but this writing felt to be aimed at the younger end of the target audience. DNF.
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  • Jennifer Guyor Jowett
    January 1, 1970
    A book is best when it explores an unfamiliar world. Both Ella's synesthesia and her background are new worlds. While the main characters and the readers all think they know what took place in Ella's life, surprises (and even outright shocks0 abound. This story is filled with twists and suspense. It's a page turner that will keep readers intensely engrossed the further in they get.
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  • Charlie
    January 1, 1970
    I had a lot of problems with this book. I thought the writing was, at best, overly poetic in a hamhanded way, at worst, incredibly unskilled. I found the characters to be empty vessels who acted in ways the narrative required to produce the most amount of faux drama in every scene, the dialogue arch and affected, like everyone was living in an after-school special. The "twist" was one I saw coming before I'd gotten a quarter of the way through the book. And beyond that, the thing with the synest I had a lot of problems with this book. I thought the writing was, at best, overly poetic in a hamhanded way, at worst, incredibly unskilled. I found the characters to be empty vessels who acted in ways the narrative required to produce the most amount of faux drama in every scene, the dialogue arch and affected, like everyone was living in an after-school special. The "twist" was one I saw coming before I'd gotten a quarter of the way through the book. And beyond that, the thing with the synesthesia and the auras?? The main character literally had a super power in her ability to tell whether someone was lying or not, and yet everyone in the book accepted it as fact and no big deal. Also, this gift turned out to not be true in the end and again, it was never examined or explained. It felt like a gimmick to give the book flavor, but instead it was just a weird element to an otherwise forgettable teen mystery. All in all, a really mediocre book, one that felt like it had been written in the early 00's, without the kind of complexity and polish YA books these days need to stand out.
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