The Color of the Sun

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

This is a book that attempts to cover weighty topics of grief and mourning. Protagonist David goes on a journey in search of a murderer. The premise of the book is strong, but the execution did not resonate with me.
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The Color of the Sun is a different kind of story. It's kind of a coming of age story but it's not really because it's set in a single day. It's kind of hard to grow up in one day. But it is also a coming to terms with death story with a little bit of mystery and a little bit of the supernatural. 

Davie leaves the house one morning a few weeks after his father passed away. He's gathered some of his childhood things and heads out to just wander about and ends up on a search for a supposed murderer. 

He sees the dead boy in the morning with his mate, Gosh Todd, and travels from town out to the hills and back searching for the boy who everyone believes murderers him. 

Along the way he comes across several interesting people, a slobbery dog and a pickup game of futball.

Any one of these meetings through out the day individually seem a bit normal and mundane but putting them together in a single day's events makes it seem extraordinary. 

From a love struck priest to a tale of buzzard baby snatching, Davies day brings a changed feeling within himself. 

Is he the same boy that set out that morning with a satchel full of childish things and and his mother's fresh baked bara brith?

As a whole this story was fantastical and just a bit different than anything I'm used to and that was a bit refreshing. The writing was a little hard for me to follow at times but was able to use context to figure it out pretty quick. The story was clever and neat in it's messiness if that makes any sense. 

This was a quick and entertaining read. I give The Color of the Sun a solid 3 stars.

Thank you NetGalley for supplying a copy of this book for a fair and honest review.
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How much do we really know about our neighbors and the people around us? Why do family feuds continue for generations? Follow Davie as he wanders his community after witnessing the dead body of a kid in the rubble of a construction site. Davie spends the day leaning about himself and understanding others.
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I really wanted to like "The Color of the Sun." I have never read a book by this author but noted that he has a lot of popular books. This is quite an ambitious book- there really isn't a plot. The story follows Davie, a teenager who has recently lost his father. The whole book centers around one day in which he wanders around the town he lives in making observations about life and loss as he talks to the people in his town. It's an ambitious project and it takes a lot to write a book about... not really anything. As an audience, I imagine that the author wants us to consider what Davie learns from each conversation and take some wisdom from it before moving on. For example, Davie stops to talk to a priest that questions his faith. In another instance, Davie stops to talk with two young girls who are playing "fairies and monsters."

I don't know if this will appeal to someone in mourning. I'm sure that there are some people who will like he meandering pace. I did not enjoy it. At first, I would have rated it one star because I finished it and was frustrated with its lack of form or plot. I had some time to think about it though, and I bumped the rating up because A) it was a short (and easy!) read, B) there were a couple conversations that I enjoyed, and C) I liked the 'dreamy' setting of parts of the book.

I wish I could have enjoyed this more, but it is what it is.
Thank you to Netgalley and Candlewick Press for an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you Candlewick Press and Net Galley for this e-book to read, in exchange for my review.

I did not enjoy this book. I was unable to connect to characters, and following the story I felt very distant. More than the story itself, I think it was the writing. I hoped to enjoy this more, but I simply did not. That doesn't mean it's a bad book, but just that it was not for me. I appreciate the opportunity to read though.
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I...don't really know how to sum this up, but basically nothing happened and although I enjoyed the writing style that's about it for what I enjoyed. There wasn't really a plot, I didn't know what was happening most of the time, and I ended up not even caring what would happen to the characters and just wanting the book to be over. I didn't hate it, I just disliked it, and I enjoyed it enough to actually finish the book so that's something. 

I feel like this book very nearly grasped a good concept of him going on an emotional journey and understanding grief but in the end it just didn't get there unfortunately.
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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC. 

Davie's father had passed only weeks earlier. As someone who lost their father and remembers all to well how complicated and hard those first few weeks (months, years) are, I was interested to read this.
The book was trying to capture that different few that one has in those weeks.  Reality is different for you then, but the book comes up short.  
There is a lot going on in this book.  It is almost as if the author wasn't sure exactly what he wanted the book to be so to speak. 

This book just came up short for me.
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I enjoyed this read, I thought it reminded me a lot of Patrick Ness’ “a monster calls”. I think it would be a helpful book for a child dealing with grief and loss.
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*Book received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

One hot summer morning, only weeks after his father's death, Davie steps out his front door into the familiar streets of the Tyneside town that has always been his home. But this seemingly ordinary day takes on an air of mystery and tragedy as the residents learn that a boy has been killed. Despite the threat of a murderer on the loose, Davie turns away from the gossip and sets off toward the sunlit hill above town, where the real and imaginary worlds begin to blur around him. As he winds his way up the hillside, Davie sees things that seem impossible but feel utterly right, that renew his wonder and instill him with hope. Full of the intense excitement of growing up, David Almond's tale leaves both the reader and Davie astonished at the world and eager to explore it.

Unfortunately, this book was a bit of a miss for me. There really wasn't a lot of plot to follow.
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Well, what do I say about this book? It was weird and meant well, but I couldn't enjoy it at all. 

Davie is searching for Zorro Craig who was suspected to have murdered a boy causing rift between two families who were already on opposite ends. His search takes him uphill and he encounters a lot many people, including his dead dad and many others, and Davie learns a thing or two from them.

Davie might have benefitted from his journey, but I didn't. The conversations seemed bland and boring and I was often lost on where the plot was headed. I understand what the author tried to do though, by letting us understand the grief Davie was going through after his dad died. But really, there was little characterization I could see. It might be more of a its-me-not-the-book kinda experience but I honestly couldn't stop thinking why I was forcing myself to complete it.
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I’m not sure how to feel about this. This is my first time reading form this author and it just didn’t hit me in the feels like I thought it would, but I liked how he was trying to get back into the things he used to like. Normally I can get into the characters POV and connect, but this was a miss for me. I not sure if it was the way they talked, the plot, or how he was feeling, but I don’t feel like we really got to experience his grief. I feel like depending on the person, they will love this or wont. Grief is different for everyone and I believe that everyone will have a different perspective with this book. The interactions he had with people seemed a little odd and that could be because he was trying to figure out how to feel and deal with everything, but I think I needed a little bit more of dialogue with his dad or a flash back I don’t know. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an arc.
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This book wasn't my favorite of David Almond. I found the plot a little disjointed and weak, but the characters lovely and fascinating, as always.
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This was a biiiiiiig miss for me. I didn’t like the writing style, the plot was barely existent, I didn’t connect with the characters, and I didn’t care about anything happening until literally 80% of the way through. There were a couple scenes I enjoyed, which is why i didn’t give this a 1 star.
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(3.5 stars) While this book starts off on a dark note and does continue to have some dark and deep undertones, it's really a sweet story that involves a colorful and carefully woven tale. It takes place in one day while Davie wanders the town. He is grieving, as he recently lost his dad. Along the way, he goes on many little adventures, comes into contact with a vast amount of unique characters and it ends with an unexpected resolution, as it comes full circle. I thought this was a very clever story and full of color. It's a big quirky and a bit loving. It's a story full of imagination and wonder and I enjoyed it very much.
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Many thanks to the publisher Candlewick Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

The Color of the Sun is the newest YA story by well-known author David Almond, about a boy trying to find his place in the world after the death of his father. We follow him throughout a single day in his life, as he makes his way through his hometown, talks to a variety of people and tries to find back the beauty in everyday life. 
If you know me, you know how deeply up my alley this type of book is, and you can imagine my excitement when I got approved for an ARC. For that reason, I genuinely feel bad for saying: this was a miss for me. 
Let me start off by saying: I can imagine (even remember) the feeling of those first weeks after the death of a parent, and all the ways that colors your view of the world around you. Even in ways you wouldn’t necessarily expect... I believed this book was trying to capture just that, and I was rooting the entire time that it would succeed at that. Unfortunately, I just didn’t feel it…. That distinct headspace and vibe was the only thing this book needed to capture for me to potentially love it, but for me personally, it just missed the mark.
The Color of the Sun is quite the ambitious book, that tries to do a lot of things in very little page time. It covers coming of age, captures a small town vibe, tackles the way grief plays with the mind, and encompasses a variety of very expansive topics such as faith, religion, hatred and the difference between truth and interpretation. Although I can appreciate the authors ideas behind all of this, I don’t feel like the topic got the depth they deserved in this barely over 200 page format. Just as we barely start scratching the surface of something interesting, the novel pulls us away and meanders in a different direction again. And for better or for worse, this book sure does like to meander… It meanders from thought to thought in Davie’s head, from person to person and place to place. In the context of the story, I actually liked that style of writing. It gives a feeling of fleetingness to every contact, which makes a lot of sense to be the experience of a boy who’s recently been confronted with death and mortality. It will also make it hard to relate to, or get to know the characters, which I feel might deter young readers from picking up this book.

With stories like this, I always try to take into consideration the intended audience, as well as my personal opinion. In this case, I don’t think this is a book what’ll have a mass appeal: it’s going to be for a specific kind of reader, looking for a very specific thing. If you’re looking for a slow built, slice of life story, that focusses on life after loss and is more about emotional ambience than actual plot points: this might be for you. That being said, I feel that I, in this case, was the target audience, and still personally didn’t find quite what I was looking for. 
In the end, I feel there is a lot of good at the heart of this book, but you might need to dig a little deeper to find it. Grief, and the experience after a loss is a very personal one, and this book feels like it matches that. The fact that I didn’t connect with it personally, should not deter you from picking up this book, especially if it feels like something that you’re looking for. Sometimes the most polarizing books on topics like this are the best ones for you as an individual. The Color of the Sun might just be that kind of book, even though it wasn’t the right fit for me.
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I feel as though this may be an unpopular opinion, and though this review will probably seem mostly negative, I will be sure to include some aspects I did enjoy, and please remember that this is all subjective. I may not have enjoyed it so much but I have no doubt that others will love it.

The writing was very nicely done, and whimsical, almost stream of conscious style. On that alone, I couldn't fault it. It would be a perfect summer read, especially if you're able to lay out on the grass under the sun and feel like you're there with the characters.

The issues I had with the plot itself were that... well, overall, it just felt like the author didn't fully commit to their story. There was a major plot point which I had expected, or hoped, to play more of a role in shaping the main characters actions and thoughts but it had next to no affect. The ending basically negated the presence of that particular plot point as well. I'm trying to hard to not spoil this.

The characters were a little washed out for my liking, though they had SO much potential. Wilf and Gosh could have been much stronger, as well as Davie. It's as though they let the plot lead them instead of leading themselves which took away a lot of the presence.

Overall it felt quite disconnected. I feel as though something like this may have worked better as a picture story book, a little more condensed and precise with imagery to complement it.

All in all, not a bad read, but not one of my favourites. I understand this is for young readers, but I feel like they could handle a bit more... strength.
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I'll start by saying that as I'm not really the target audience for this middle grade/YA book, I didn't connect with Davie or the other residents of the small Tyneside town as much as I wanted to.
The writing style is lyrical and dreamlike, interspersed with grounding dialogue in the locals' dialect, which I enjoyed. As Davie is trying to grapple with grief and growing up, this style of storytelling seems fitting. The story is essentially a coming of age summer walk through the countryside and the small town that Davie has grown up in, and interactions with townspeople, both pleasant and not, along the way.
I believe for the right reader this will be a very special book.
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This is definitely a YA book so I feel it is difficult to give an unbiased opinion. I could not relate to the young boy as an adolescent might.
The author is British and very well regarded.  I respect his writing skills but the book did not hold my interest.  There is a market for this novel but a limited one. Death is difficult to write about at best and young children might empathize with his protagonist  better than myself.
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An unusual style of writing fit well this unique short read. We follow the day of a boy coming to grips with the death of his father, a death in his town and his own coming of age. Vivid imagery. An interesting and worthwhile read that you can finish in an afternoon.
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I love Almond’s novels, but this one doesn’t quite hit the mark. In some ways, however, it’s remarkable. It follows Davies, a boy who has just lost his father, through one day of wandering through his small town after a murder. He talks to priests, little kids, sworn enemies, and even the ghost of his father. There’s a dreamlike, ruminative quality that reminds me of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Davies learns about war, human nature, love, religion, all kinds of great stuff. 

The only flaw is ... not much happens. And because this is a YA book, I think something should, a least a bit more. I could see myself getting very frustrated at this book as a teen reader. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an arc.
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