“Color Outside the Lines” for Once

Hey y’all!

I come to you with another book review. Are y’all enjoying these by the way? I just love talking about about books and I’m happy that you’re here for the ride. So thank you. Now to the goods! I have had this book (Color Outside the Lines: Stories about love) for a while now. It was on my book shelf for and on my tbr (to be read) list and I just havn’t felt the need to read it, until recently. If you’ve never heard of this book, it’s a YA anthology filled with love stories from interracial or lgbtq+ couples. I saw it on someone’s Instagram account and I was like, I need this!

Want to know what I thought of this book? Read on to find out!


This modern, groundbreaking YA anthology explores the complexity and beauty of interracial and LGBTQ+ relationships where differences are front and center. When people ask me what this anthology is about, I’m often tempted to give them the complicated answer: it’s about race, and about how being different from the person you love can matter but how it can also not matter, and it’s about Chinese pirate ghosts, black girl vigilantes, colonial India, a flower festival, a garden of poisons, and so, so much else. Honestly, though? I think the answer’s much simpler than that. Color outside the Lines is a collection of stories about young, fierce, brilliantly hopeful people in love.
—Sangu Mandanna, editor of Color outside the Lines


It took me a little bit longer than what I would’ve liked to finish this but some stories I low key identified with but others? I don’t know…it’s legit a blend of gay couples and interracial couples so that was pretty cool. I’m glad I finished it! All of the stories weren’t bad I mean there were some I just didn’t enjoy and just wanted to end but for the most part not bad. I mean it’s not a omg you have to read this. It was nice.

Like I said, there were some stories that tug at my heart. Some of my favorites includes: Prom by Danielle Paige, Five Times Shiva Met Harry by Sangu Mandanna, Sandwiched in Between by Eric Smith, Yuna and the Wall by Lydia Kang, and The Agony of a Heart’s Wish by Samira Ahmed. The story that made me sad and scared to ever tell my crush how I feel is The Coward’s Guide to Falling in Love by Caroline Tung Richmand. Honestly, that one rocked me to my core because well I like someone and want to be with him but what if he doesn’t want to be with me?

One of the quotes that I enjoyed from the book was from the story “Faithfull” by Karuna Riazi and it said in part: “I don’t think any of us feel full or content or satisfied all the time…But what matters is being around people who try hard to remind you that you’re a person who deserves to feel full, to be cared about when you’re hungry. And, whether you believe it or not, to us, you’re that type of person..”. I love that quote because it reminds me of the people in my life who help to make me feel full. It reminds me that I’m loved.

One particular story, “The Boy Is” by Elsie Chapman made me a bit sad in that it is something that I see often. When parents want their kids to marry white or they equate the white experience in America as ideal. The story dealt with an Asian family in which the mother wanted her daughter to have white friends, date white guys, and try to emulate the white America she saw on TV. That’s so sad to me. I mean does the Spanish phrase “mejorar la raza” or “fix the race” mean anything to you? Also, check out this article on this subject if you’re interested.

The story about the prom was my favorite. Just because it went over her and her friend/crush friendship over the years and how they got to the point of where they were. It made me smile my goofy smile. I’m trying not to spoil it in case you want to read it but…ugh it was short and sweet.

I gave this book 3/5 stars. It was okay. It would be a nice addition to your classroom library, if you’re a teacher like me. It wasn’t a bad book it just wasn’t like “Oh my God! You have to read this”. If you like reading a collection of short stories, this will be the book for you!

What book should I read next?


Nessa D.

sidenote: speaking of books, I am now working with bookshop.org to bring you books that are affordable plus you’ll be helping an independent bookstore, The Lit Bar! Check out my link and get yourself some great books!

One response to ““Color Outside the Lines” for Once”

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