The Color of Grace
The Color of Grace is a finalist in the 2014 EPIC ebook contest. Winners will be announced in March 2014!
Young Adult Romance
Reading Age: Acceptable for 13 and up
Whiskey Creek Press
ISBN : 978-1-61160-307-1
Length : 81,000 words - 333 pages
Available : September 1, 2012
In Ebook and Print
When my mother remarried after thirteen years of being a widow, I had to move to a new town and enroll in a new school. Suddenly thrust into an entirely different kind of life, I just wanted to go home. I didn't want to meet new people, didn't want to leave my old friends, didn't want to become a third wheel to my mom and her husband...and I really didn't want to see Ryder Yates again. Ugh, I still don't know why I turned down that too-good-to-be-true boy who flirted with me when we were attending separate schools.
But honestly, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. It was worse.
Who knew becoming lost in a new life could help a girl find her true colors?
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Color of Grace Games
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"Don't look, but number forty-two from Southeast just..." Just what? I wasn't too sure what he'd just done. "He just...asked me for my name."
Want to read more? Okay, here you go!
Bridget gasped and looked.
"I said don't look!"
"Whoa," Bridget answered, her jaw coming loose and her mouth gaping open.
I elbowed her. "Stop looking."
She didn't. "Gracie, I don't think it matters. He wouldn't see me right now if I ran out into center court and did a line dance in my bathing suit. He's too busy ogling you."
"He...he what? Right now?" I spun and looked too.
Bridget wasn't lying. Number forty-two had returned to his team and stood in line behind three players, waiting for his turn to throw a figure eight with two other teammates. But he wasn't paying a lick of attention to his warm-up drill. He really was staring across the floor directly at, yep, me.
I gulped. Whoa.
He smiled. I'm not sure how I could tell he smiled from where I sat all the way on the other side of the court, but something about the change in the atmosphere around him told me everything in him brightened. He lifted his hand and gave a quick, little flick of the wrist, waving as if acknowledging he saw me watching him. The player behind him nudged him in the back, making him return his attention to his warm up just in time to catch a ball flying toward his face.
I spun away and sucked in a breath. "Oh, my...Oh, my..." I looked to Bridget for guidance. "What do I do?"
"Well, what happened? Details, woman, details." She snapped her fingers in front of my face like that would speed along my brain.
It didn't. As shaken and mixed up as I was, I didn't know up from down.
"I..." Feeling absolutely rattled, I could only stare at her. "I..."
"Well, I...And he...But then I turned him down and he...he..."
"You turned him down? Him?" Bridget spun to point at forty-two.
By the scandalized way I grabbed her hand and jerked it toward the floor, one would've thought she'd just aimed a gun instead of her finger. "I didn't...I didn't...I..."
Bridget thumped me on the back, right between my shoulder blades as if I were choking and needed air. And like some kind of old record player that had slipped back on track, I was able to stop sputtering. I spilled out the entire encounter in hyper speed, not even pausing to breathe.
"Technically, I couldn't really turn him down. He never asked me out. He just asked for my name, and I said, 'Not interested,' because, well really, what else could I say? Then he went totally weird on me, talking about the words 'not interested' as if they were my real name, asking if it was from German or Irish decent." I looked at Bridget and sucked in air since my head had gone a little light from lack of oxygen. "Then he said we should name our firstborn child 'Absolutely.'"
Bridget's eyes widened to the size of marshmallows--not the minis but the big marshmallows you put on s'mores. "He did not," she whispered.
I nodded. "He so did."
"Holy Hosanna, Grace. That's just awesome. Totally awesome. What's his name?"
"Ryder," I uttered in a hollow voice. "He said his name was Ryder. Not that I believe him. But that's what he said."
Chapter One (Provided by Whiskey Creek Press)
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The Romance Reviews (4 Stars)
Why do parents live to ruin your life? As a teenager, we have all been convinced as some point that this is their sole purpose for living.
A Tasty Read
Good girl Grace Indigo, a nerdy, sixteen-year-old, is suddenly uprooted from her life in the middle of her high school career when her mother remarries after being a single parent for thirteen years. Grace is not happy about leaving her friends to attend a rival school, but she is excited about the prospect of having a real live father for the first time in her life. Losing her father as a small child and never having a father figure, she is unclear about the role this new man will play. Aside from the typical trials and tribulations of being a teenager, she is also dealing with the normal anxiety of being the "new girl" at school. Compounding the situation, the relationship between Grace and her mother seems to be disintegrating on a daily basis as they each try to find their place in their new home and cope with the changing family dynamics.
As a former member of the "nerd herd," Grace is not delusional; she knows she will eventually team up with other fellow nerds. So, imagine her surprise when she finds herself smack-dab in the middle of the cool kids, but she's not complaining because some of these kids are a lot deeper than they appear and some are just as superficial as you might expect. In an effort to play it cool, she disses "Mr. Popular" and accidentally starts dating his best friend which lands her in a game of tug-of-war with the boys...SO NOT COOL!
THE COLOR OF GRACE deals with a lot of tough issues teens are faced withórumors, peer pressure, drinking and sex, just to name a few. Without giving anything away, there is another tough issue that is thrown into the mix of the new family dynamics that makes for a lot of drama in this great read. Pick up THE COLOR OF GRACE if you are looking for a heartfelt story with a strong heroine that you would like your teenaged daughter to idolize - a good story for you or your teenager.
I have to say, Linda Kage kinda blew me away with this one. Grace is every girl in your High School who goes home to the unknown, and feels as if she can't tell anyone about her hidden troubles. Linda writes such a true depiction of the loneliness one would feel if they walked in Grace's shoes, but with the one light at the end of the tunnel, named Ryder Yates.
Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf (A +)
I love a hero like Ryder, so true to who he is and battling with the feelings he has inside, oh...I loved Ryder Yates and those peridot green eyes.
The Color of Grace touches on some very serious subjects, along with the strains of being a teenager, wanting a boy you can't have, dating a boy you aren't really into, and the loss and gain of old and new friends and the hardships along the way. This book really took me back to my high school days.
I truly enjoyed The Color of Grace, and I would highly recommend to everyone, but especially a teen in your life who is dealing with these struggles and maybe needs to know that everyone goes through the same issues, even Grace Indigo!!
A couple of years ago, I read Linda Kage's debut YA novel The Stillburrow Crush. It was fun and romantic and I really, really enjoyed it. So when I heard Linda was releasing a new YA novel, I was beyond excited. I couldn't wait to read it, especially after reading the summary for it. Thankfully, The Color of Grace was a spectacular book! Well written, suspenseful, and romantic, The Color of Grace was everything I expected it to be as well as much, much more!
Chocolate Coated Reviews (4 stars)
The Color of Grace begins the story of Grace Indigo, a girl who is facing more than her share of changes lately. The biggest change, though, is the move she will be making, a move that means leaving behind her best friends as well as the home she's come to love. She's kind of made peace with it, though, since the move is because her mom has found love again, and that's something Grace has always hoped she would find. However, the move brings forward things she can't even begin to manage...her falling out with her friends, her meeting a boy that has her heart overpowering her common sense, and a frightening new predator in someone she thought she could trust. All Grace knows for sure is that this is going to be a life changing new sequence at school as well as at home...
From the first page, I instantly liked Grace. She was naive and funny as well as kind and strong. She was someone I could really relate to and find parts of myself in, and I feel that many other readers- teens AND adults- will feel the same! What I loved most about Grace, though, was how she didn't always make the right choice nor did everything always come easy to her. She did a lot of work so to say and I really feel like it made all the difference in making this book incredible. Another part of this book I enjoyed was the addition of Ryder. From the first time he was introduced, I knew I would come to love him, and that's exactly what occurred. He was such a nice guy, one who just like Grace made mistakes yet worked to fix them. I also loved the addition of the Nerd Herd- aka what Grace and her friends from home call themselves. Their scenes together always caused a laugh or two, and I would seriously love to see more of them in the future...maybe in other books.
One thing that really blew me away in this was the plot as well as the writing. Linda's first book was a feel-good romantic comedy kind of read, and that's what I expected from this one, but I ended up getting something much different. The Color of Grace is a much more serious read. It deals with assault as well as life changes- the good and the bad- as well as what growing up really means. Don't get me wrong, this book wasn't one huge sob fest, it had it's funny and sweet moments as well, but it's emotional points are what made this book so strong. To be honest, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. In addition, I have to add how much I loved Ryder and Grace's friendship. It really flew off the page and come to life. Plus I just loved all the romantic tension between them...time and time again I felt like shouting "JUST GET TOGETHER ALREADY!".
Lastly, I really enjoyed the writing in this, as mentioned before. It was a big step up from Linda's first YA. She did a fantastic job of crafting the characters and plot. Plus I really enjoyed how she tied in the color part as well- it added an unique addition to the plot.
In all, The Color of Grace by Linda Kage is an AMAZING contemporary read, one that I can't suggest highly enough.With this one, you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll feel like shouting as well as rooting for the characters...really it's just the perfect read, in my book.
The Color of Grace by Linda Kage was a highly engaging and emotional read. I thought that it contained a wide variety of feelings and was a perfect contender as a young adult contemporary novel. It was sweet, thoughtful, exciting, and beautifully written. I actually started reading this one at 12:00 AM on a Saturday night, and ended up finishing it one sitting, and that rarely ever happens! I even fought through my sleep-deprived state to finish that one last sentence because I couldn't stand to sleep not knowing the end. When the author has the ability to hook you in like that, they definitely deserve a round of applause, no, correction, a standing ovation. This book dealt with real life problems, and truly grasped the essence of a young high school teenager with problems as well as experiences that many young readers can relate with. We're introduced to high school students that are going through many hardships are are discovering new ways to conquer them. Of course, this book isn't completely serious. We can't have a book about high schooler's without the occasional bursts of humor! Overall, this book captured the reality of true love and friendship to the perfect pitch.
The characters that we are introduced to in Linda's book are highly entertaining and 'real'. When I say real, I mean you can see yourself talking to someone like them at school, or crossing in the hallway. I really enjoyed Grace's character because she goes through a lot of emotional ordeals that break her apart but she's a tough character who faces through them because she knows she has no choice but to. She grows as a lot as a character and develops a tough exterior. I also loved the character, Ryder, who is, in a way, Grace's knight in shining armor. They're the perfect match for each other, but they don't realize that for a while. All throughout the book, you'll be hoping for them to kiss or just get together and will eventually come to a point of utter frustration, when something really sweet or really emotional would happen that completely washes away all your anger and will have you going AWWWW. So their relationship is a plus side to an already perfect story.
I, personally, really liked The Color of Grace because it contained a lot of relatable problems and emotional scenes that got to me, feeling-wise. Whether it be love problems, friendship problems, or even family problems, Kage tackled it all, full on, with perfection. I like it when an author can produce more than one emotion out of you, and when you're finished with a book, there's a sense of full-ness that makes you happy you picked it up. I'd definitely recommend this to a teen who loves an engaging yet simple contemporary read they can relate to and read with rapture.
In the midst of vampires, werewolves, witches, angels, and dystopians, it's sometimes really amazing to find a story where the characters are real, living, and dealing with situations that occur every day in real life, and then watching them work their way through those challenges. Linda Kage's The Color of Grace gave me exactly that. This story wasn't high concept, gimmicky, or following a current trend, and that's exactly what I loved about it.
Stuck in Books (5 Stars)
Grace is a regular girl, kinda nerdy, even a little shy and mousy to begin with. When her mother remarries and they must move her to a new school district, you expect her to get swallowed by the popular crowd and to fade into the background as she's always done at her old school, with only her closest "nerd herd" friends around her. But her chance encounter with one of the most popular boys at her new school throws her directly into a new set of friends, ones she never used to fit in with. Don't get me wrong... this isn't exactly the cliched story of a popular girl wannabe where the nerdy girl gets elevated in a cutesy way and ends up getting the boy. It may seem to start out that way, but in her unique way, Linda Kage manages to make this story about oh, so much more.
For the first time, Grace's personality evolves and she finds new strength, new awareness, and new courage within herself to stand up for herself among this new popular crowd. Not all of her choices are the best ones, but she doesn't stand on the sidelines anymore and let herself melt into the background. She doesn't spend all her time trying to conform or compromise herself in order to fit in with this crowd. She keeps being herself, whether they like it or not, because she just doesn't care about impressing people. She doesn't always make the best judgments about people, with Ryder included, but that's part of what makes her character so true and real.
Ryder.... This was just an all around great guy. He's drop-dead gorgeous, the most popular guy at his school, but he's strangely grounded. He doesn't care what others think about him, which probably is what makes him so alluring to this crowd. The great thing about him though is that he's strong at just the right moment, exactly when and how he needs to be. But this is just a great guy that any girl would be lucky to have. The scene in the bathroom... that's all I'm going to say. It says it all for anyone who has read the book.
This story took a surprising turn for me, and I was a little surprised by the events that unfold. I wasn't expecting this to occur in this story. It seemed to be a very clear-cut cute romance. So, needless to say, I was a little floored when I discovered where things were headed. Wow, what a surprise punch. There are some really awesome life lessons in this story, and it was great watching Grace working to overcome this obstacle. The only thing that really got me though was that she had to do it almost entirely on her own. There were times I really wished her mother could have been there for her, but I larged wished I could give her mom a good bonk in the head more than once.
The writing in this story was just about perfect, even down to the title. I loved how the book's title tied so well into what was going on in the story. The pacing, too, was pefect, as I literally flew through the pages. There were times of simple, straightforward directness, and then times of beauty, a poetic rawness that really touched my heart and made the story stick with me. I fell in love with Linda Kage's prior books for the same reason, and she's done it again here. This is a story that exceeds expectations and will stick with you long after the last page.
So, I've read Linda Kage before. She wrote The Stillburrow Crush, a book I really enjoyed. One thing I've noticed after reading two of her books is that her books always have a lot of depth. She's not afraid to confront difficult topics and to show the incredible that strength her characters have.
Tumbling in Books (4 Stars)
Grace is shy, a member of the nerd herd, but she's also comfortable in her own skin. When she runs into Ryder at the basketball game, she knows from one look that he is out of her league. So, despite the obvious attraction, she resists his advances. But Ryder is not what he appears. So when Grace ends up attending the same high school as him, she may be in for a few surprises.
While I was so happy to see that Grace is already a strong, confident young women, I was so happy to see that she grew and even discovered who she really was as she went through some of the hardest struggles of her life. You see, Ryder is not the only guy interested in her and that's really an understatement. I don't mean there's a line of guys after her, no, but I can't really tell you more without spoiling things. AND from these interests, Grace is forced to find the strength to make the right choices for herself and the ones she cares about.
Of course, I loved Ryder the best. He is the most perfect teenage boy I have ever read about. He's popular but doesn't really care if he is. He's talented but doesn't throw it in your face. He's competitive and hates to lose but does so with grace. (Hmmm....pun may be intended there). He's willing to risk to do what's right. He thinks and cares deeply. He's super protective and backs that up with force if necessary. AND he has the most amazing GREEN eyes! His only flaw is that sandy blond hair of his. But I'm gonna forgive him for it. He goes through some struggles too and I was surprised how his weakness make him even more male in my eyes. I would have loved to read from his point of view. I can just imagine it. I think the reason I can hear him so well is that he didn't hold back when he talked to Grace. We knew how he felt for a long time. He was bold with her. I just loved that.
I saw the big issue coming in this book but not how Grace would react to it. I loved that she surprised me there. I did want to smack her a couple times when she pushed Ryder away but ya know she had to learn something, right?
SO, this one got me in some trouble. Started reading it and thought, oh yeah I can stop and go to bed in a couple of hours. WRONG! Stayed up way to late on a night I had to work bright and early the next day. Yeah, let's just say I slept through the motions that day.
Grace's mother remarried and she had to move to the school next to her town. Things weren't so bad at first. She got a new dad. The kids at her new school accepted her quickly. She got the schoolís heartthrobís eyes on her. And she got invited to a party when she was just one week in her new school. Nothing can go wrong right? Think again.
1. Ryder Yates is definitely a fictional character. I mean, letís list up what Grace and I know about him.
2. He has GORGEOUS green eyes.
3. Heís filthy rich.He has a TWO LEVEL bedroom that consists of EVERYTHING.
4. He is spoiled with wealth. Period.
5. Yet. Heís the nicest, most humble guy in the A-List clique and probably, in the whole school.
So, heís definitely a fictional character, which, he unfortunately is. :P But itís nice to see Ryder in the book. ItísÖ refreshing somehow. Kage didnít go and made him into Iím-hot-and-I-know-it type of guyówhich is everywhere now in YA.
Anyway, Grace belongs in the nerd herd. So, when she was in the A-Listers, it was new to her. I love Grace. She was really likeable in the book. One of her teachers(I canít remember if itís Art or Lit) assigned her students into determining what is their color. Grace took the assignment seriously and I love how she describes her colors.
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