Title: True Colors
Author: Melissa Pearl
Series: The Mask Series (book #1)
Genre: YA, Ability, Romance
Rating: 2.5 stars
Blurb: (via Goodreads)
Caitlyn Davis always cruised through life, not being the type to ruffle feathers or involve herself in high school drama. That is, until a chance encounter with a strange, homeless man changes everything.
Suddenly, Caitlyn has the ability to see behind people's masks. She discovers that her life isn’t as simple as she imagined and high school is filled with secrets...some very sinister ones.
Unable to ignore her new gift, Caitlyn embarks on a mission to learn why one of her friends suddenly appears terrified, but masks her fear with a bright, smiling veneer. Will Caitlyn's new ability lead her into hot water? Or is her newfound vision a blessing that will expose her friends' true colors?
Her quest will lead Caitlyn to lose friends, stand up for those in need, and even find love.
At Palisades High School every face tells a story...
I have been on a reading hiatus, and I am SO happy to be reading again! Not so happy that this was the first book I read of my Summer Reading List. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t BAD per se, but it wasn’t particularly good either. It was very much caught in the middle of the two.
The first thing the novel had against it was how generic it was. It’s about a friendly girl who is apart of the ‘in crowd’, only to find out that her group of friends aren’t that great. She discovers this via her new superpower to read people true emotions through their eyes and was granted this gift through a homeless man whom she showed a bit of kindness too. She falls for the boy next door, he falls for her, OH, and the conflict! There is a cheating scam at school and only she can figure it out with the help of some new friends and her new boyfriend. It doesn’t sound that bad overall, it has just been done so many times it’s ridiculous. However, I didn’t really take off points for generity (is that a word?... I am making it a word.)
The first thing I took point off for was how easy it was to guess what was going to happen with the conflict. Unfortunately, the author lacked the ability to make subtle clues to give to the reader and basically just put a neon sign reading “CHEATING SCAM!” I did almost think it was drugs, because of the level of violence involved with the ringleaders seemed a bit too extreme for a cheating scam, but drugs didn’t make any sense.
The second thing I took points off for was the romantic aspect. The relationship between Eric and Caity happened really fast, in my opinion, and had no real conflict. A great potential conflict was presented, but was never used. I also would have liked to see Stella (Caity’s [ex] best friend) find out about the relationship. Considering she had major hots for Eric, the blow out would have created some much needed tension. On that note, I also didn’t like how Stella and Caity’s friendship just ceased to be. It also wasn’t given the drama it deserved and had no real fallout.
The last thing I want to address in the con side of things was how easily her superpower was controlled. After gaining this new power the reader is given maybe half a chapter of the main character freaking out and trying to control it before she suddenly learns how to master it. It was yet another area the author could have taken liberties to create sub conflicts or some tension, but it wasn’t really utilized that effectively.
Ok, just so you know, I didn’t hate this book. I mean, when I post this review on Goodreads and Amazon, I’ll round it up to 3 stars. It did have some great points!
First, the character development was a major savior. Caity doesn’t just save the day in this book; she discovers who she is and who she wants to be. She realizes that she doesn’t want to continue to be this naïve follower that she starts off as at the beginning of the book, and as she develops her power, she finds a new group of friends (and a boyfriend) that she can be herself around and who she enjoys to be around. I felt the author did an AMAZING job developing her and it was something that happened fairly gradually and realistically.
Minor bonus points were given for not making the conflict about drugs; the overdone factor would have made me stop reading half way through it. Minor points were also given for the GORGEOUS book cover. I am a huge “judge a book by its cover” kind of reader, it’s what draws me into a book and makes me read the blurb on the back, and True Colors had that going for it in spades! Probably one of the main reasons I bought it actually. *Yoda voice* Good sales technique it was!
Although it was definitely a book that has been done before, it reminded me a lot of The Body Finder series by Kimberly Derting and the Clarity series by Kim Harrington. It wasn’t executed nearly as well as either series, but it definitely was in the right direction. I think the biggest difference between the two above and this series is that the main characters of both Derting’s and Harrington’s novels knew when the police needed to be contacted. In True Colors, contacting the police was an obvious step that was taken way too late and probably would have helped the book more if it were added earlier.
Overall, this was a simple read. It wasn’t anything extraordinary in my opinion, but I didn’t hate it. It wasn’t something that memorable, and I probably won’t read the sequels, but I’ll have to keep an eye out for the author. I think she has a lot of potential that has yet to be utilized!