Color Me In

by Natasha Diaz

Book, 2020



Call number



Ember (2020), Edition: Reprint, 384 pages


A powerful coming-of-age novel pulled from personal experience about the meaning of friendship, the joyful beginnings of romance, and the racism and religious intolerance that can both strain a family to the breaking point and strengthen its bonds. Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, sixteen-year-old Nevaeh Levitz never thought much about her biracial roots. When her Black mom and Jewish dad split up, she relocates to her mom's family home in Harlem and is forced to confront her identity for the first time. Nevaeh wants to get to know her extended family, but because she inadvertently passes as white, her cousin thinks she's too privileged, pampered, and selfish to relate to the injustices African Americans face on a daily basis. In the meantime, Nevaeh's dad decides that she should have a belated bat mitzvah instead of a sweet sixteen, which guarantees social humiliation at her posh private school. But rather than take a stand, Nevaeh does what she's always done when life gets complicated: she stays silent. Only when Nevaeh stumbles upon a secret from her mom's past, finds herself falling in love, and sees firsthand the prejudice her family faces that she begins to realize she has her own voice. And choices. Will she continue to let circumstances dictate her path? Or will she decide once for all who and where she is meant to be? "Absolutely outstanding!" --Nic Stone, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member lilibrarian
Nevaeh Levitz is mixed race. Her father is white and Jewish; her mother is African-American. White enough to pass, and attending a suburban private school, her background makes her stand out, but not too much. When her parents' marriage falls apart, and she goes to live with her mother's family in
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Harlem, she begins to discover that side of herself. Her father's family is determined that she learn their heritage as well. Although they were never religious, Nevaeh is about to have a bat mitzvah instead of a sweet sixteen.
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LibraryThing member Slevyr26
Ugh, 2.5 but rounding up. I wanted so much to like this more than I did, especially because it’s semi-autobiographical, which makes it doubly hard to rate poorly. Neveah’s story was just too melodramatic and nutty for me as the story continued on. The drama just kept one-upping itself and
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piling one whacky scenario on top of the other. Hard to keep up with it all and equally hard to suspend disbelief.

Also, there were just too many caricatures that felt to me like sitcom tropes. The bonkers rabbi, the gossip girl-esque high school bully and her ‘squad’, the homewrecking blonde idiot secretary who loves chakras and being evil. All tropey and done too many times to seem original and therefore made unenjoyable to read.

Ugh. I’m having the weirdest in and out reading slump in quarantine. So inconsistent.
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Original publication date


Physical description

384 p.; 8.25 inches


0525578250 / 9780525578253

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