Where Honesty Never Ends.
Genre: Fiction, Women’s Contemporary
Note: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Hello! The Review Board here with our thoughts on The Colors of Friendship, Book One of The Colors Trilogy. Without delay, we bring you Harmony Kent.
This is a story of three college friends with a strong bond, who look out for one another. Melody is a naïve romantic who is looking for love. Imani is more interested in good grades. Lance loves his football, and the only thing as important is protecting his girls. He’s also not a stranger to “playing the field”. Melody meets Kevin, and falls head-over-heels in love, and soon spends all her time with him. Imani, with her sixth sense, gets a bad feeling about him from the start.
The book begins at a slow pace, with not a lot happening. It picks up at about halfway through, and has a tense ending that is somewhat pre-empted by the prologue. This is the first book of a trilogy, but works well as a standalone read. I would say this is a novel best suited to the older YA reader, as well as adults. Due to the strong language, and sex scenes, it didn’t work for the younger YA market.
Some of the descriptive elements felt lacking; for example, most of the boys in an early party scene were all “cute”, and this was repeated enough times to really stand out. The point of view switches from one of the three friends to another, and this has been written well. The spelling is good, with only a couple of hiccups. The punctuation is problematic, especially with comma use. The prose tends toward a passive style. In some scenes, the writing came through strong and engaging.
All in all I found this an okay read, which addresses issues of abusive relationships and also coming of age. I rate this at 6 out of 10 stars using the TRB rating scale, which equates to 3 stars on the usual 5 star scales.
Now let’s take a look at what Mr. Controversy has to say.
Melody Wilkins, Imani Jordan, and Lance Dunn are the three college attending, sibling-like protagonists of K.R. Raye’s story “The Colors of Friendship.”
Melody, the focus of the story, is a young, vibrant, positive, daffodil swaying, butterfly fluttering, canary and bluebird soothing ball of sunshine that is reminiscent of Snow White, Ariel, and Belle from Disney Fame.
Allow me to inject Yoshi into her description because this young lady is TOO God Damned Happy.
Yes: I painted a “Happy Picture” of someone with Disney and Nintendo Characters and Colors: NEVER DID THAT IN MY REVIEWS!!
*DAMN: I AM SLIPPING…*
Imani is the Big Sister to Melody: complimenting Melody’s upbeat positivity about all things squishy and lovey-dovey with her seriousness, sick sense of humor (which I LOVE), sixth sense, and Sonic the Hedgehog’s no nonsense attitude.
Lance “get-it” Dunn is the star wide receiver of the college’s football squad. He is a handsome, perverted, lady slaying in the sack, goatee stroking jock with a heart filled with horniness and penis full of humping for his conquests. This is the same heart that is Golden towards his “Little Sisters” as he is their big brother AKA “Big Daddy” protector for his Melody and Imani (BioShock reference).
Lance’s condom policy is huge and admirable, for he places not only his safety, but the safety of his one nighters are high on the priority list. Imani’s “Don’t Give a Fuck” personality is that of great humor, genuine concern, and knocking the block off of anyone who crosses her or her friends. Melody’s sweetness will cause a toothache and cavities, yet restores a genuine feeling of Hope and Love into anyone who becomes infected by her smiles, cheeriness, and views on the Matters of the Heart.
Domestic Violence and Abuse is a VERY serious topic and is a topic which should not be taken lightly:
If you or someone you know is in a position of Domestic Violence or Abuse, DO NOT hesitate to contact your Local Authorities, Seek Shelter, and/or TELL SOMEONE.
Here are some links for you all:
Sexual Safety, in this day and age, is very important. Protecting yourself is also protecting the one down with whom you lay. If they decide not to protect themselves, take the initiative and Protect the both of you (REAL TALK).
Here is a link that’ll assist you if you are in a bind:
Back to the story, Melody attends an Alpha Party at the start of our read. Looking ever so adorable and wonderful in her dress, her friends (READ: big brother and sister, for they DAMN SURE feel like that) are with her as they discuss Love and lifelong happiness. Melody wore high heels (Hee Hee: INSIDER) that made her uncomfortable to the point where she made a break for her dormitory to rest from the festivities.
She runs into (quite literally) a young, spiky blonde haired, peppermint breathed, blue eyed studsicle named Kevin in her haste on that cold January night (YES, I said S-T-U-D-S-I-C-L-E: Deal with it!). After helping him gather his books from their run-in, they go to a nearby building and talk for hours. After getting better acquainted with the young charmer, Melody plants a wet one on him for she was compelled to engage in the gentle and intimate act.
As the story progresses, the character development is truly amazing and vivid:
The minor characters such a Trevor, John, Joe, Big Tony, Krystal, Erycah, and Shanita are developed VERY nicely to where their presence certainly adds depth to the main characters and fill out the story nicely. With these minor characters, the story flowed even more and rounded it out perfectly to where it became a truly compelling page turner.
To tell a story of this nature as it is geared towards the young adult audience to where it can be read by people that are college age and beyond is incredible!
Even more, to touch on the three points that are College Life, Interracial Relationships, and Domestic Violence/Abuse all at the same time possesses the air and feel of real life scenarios and parameters that are all too familiar to many in this day, age, and era.
Also, to tell this story without coming off as overdone, bullshit, boring, corny, cheesy, and/or convoluted is a true feat and recognized by me as Ms. Raye being someone who is a legitimate writer and author. Not only have my personal standards have been met in “The Colors of Friendship”, they have been exceeded.
From a personal standpoint, I have seen domestic abuse up close, and have lost family because of this action. I have also seen my family and friends stand up tall and walk away, despite prevalent and obvious physical and emotional scars. Sadly, there are some who feel that they are “unworthy” and remain in the relationship.
One Catch: there are comma misplacements in several spots; one stands out immediately early in the story. Otherwise, no other discrepancies can be found.
PERFECT SCORE: 10 out of 10
Discovering that this is a trilogy, “The Colors of Friendship” is a GREAT starting point for Ms. Raye’s book. I have PERSONALLY requested to be placed on the other two books, to see how our protagonists fared after the events that have unfolded.
If the other two are as great as this first book, K.R. Raye will earn the NEWLY Created “Mr. Controversy’s Absolutely Flawless” Award for earning 30 Stars with me.
Ms. K.R. Raye, take a bow: GREAT START!!!
Now, we bring you the Unleashed One.
Before I get to the bulk of my review, let me present some things that were slight deterrents in The Colors of Friendship.
With that being said, there was so much to enjoy about this first book in the Colors trilogy. The main pleasure point was that it was relatable.
I could identify so much with the character of Melody. She didn’t have a lot of relationship experience. She gave her virginity to her high school sweetheart (#guilty) and being at college was her first true adventure away from her family and what was familiar (#raisinghand). Yet, she wanted to hold on to the dream of finding that one right guy—the true love that would sweep her off her feet (#guiltyagain). In her zest to connect with someone, Melody gravitates to the first man that mirrors the very traits that she desires.
Kevin was designed a bit over the top gorgeous, but I think the author had to do that to make the attraction and the relationship between the two of them very believable. A guy that looks the part and says and does the right things in the beginning doesn’t act like the type of man that can ever cause any harm to a woman. The person that causes the most harm isn’t the stranger in the night but the warm body next to you by day. Yet the very thing that causes a lot of women not to report any type of abuse is the fact that the guy looks like the boy next door, very well known in the community, or incredibly smart or athletic.
I went through Melody’s hell to some extent. A lot of the scenarios are very real things that continue to happen on college campuses, even in high school relationships.
I do like the character of Imani as well. She is very strong and has a great intuitive sense, as well as a strong mothering nurture to protect.
Although Lance is painted out as the playboy, he has quite a few layers to him. Reading between the lines as it pertains to Lance and Imani, along with the dynamic between him and Trevor, had me feeling like I was when reading the Twilight series and deciding between #TeamEdward and #Team Jacob. (Despite my love for vampires, I confessed to being #TeamJacob.) Now I’m stuck between #TeamLance and #TeamTrevor.
It was also great how the supporting characters also played a role in some of the action, as opposed to just being thrown in for the purpose of more background or filler. There was never a dull moment, and each chapter served to provide more layers to a character or add a bit more leeway into potential conflict.
The resolution was a breathtaking one, the impact lingering long after finishing the last word. I give the author enormous credit with providing an ending that was not cookie cutter and continued with the realistic edge.
Unleashed Verdict: 9 out of 10 Stars
The Colors of Friendship is a lot more than a stirring work of contemporary fiction. It opens up an honest conversation about the atmosphere of college as well as the blueprint of relationships. Although it is lengthy, the engaging narrative style, the conflict, and the healthy balance of telling the stories of all three characters, make this easy to get through. I look forward to picking up the other books in the trilogy to see how everyone fares.
Now let’s add the scores and divide by 3:
8 out of 10 Stars
Overall, The Colors of Friendship receives 8 out of 10 stars from The Review Board.
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