Review: Complementary Colors by Adrienne Wilder

My sister Julia manipulated my life into a prison to keep me silent about our dirty family secret. Her greed made me a slave and circumstance left me with no way to escape.

Trapped, the only way I could silence the nightmares driving me to insanity was to wrap them in color, hold them with shadow, and stitch them to negative space with line.

But no matter how bright the pigments, no one could see my confession.

Except for Roy Callahan.

I thought he was just another nameless one-night stand in a long line of many.
But I was wrong. Roy could see past the fa├žade of my life and through the veil color over the canvas. He could see what the world couldn’t.

And with him I’d find the courage to tell the truth about the boy.

The boy who kissed me.
The boy who loved me.
The boy whose name I couldn’t remember.

"What would life be like filled with simple moments like this? For time to be measured in heartbeats and exhales rather than seconds and minutes?"
This book. Oh my god, this book. I loved it. Hurt and angst and pain are books I read sparingly. Sometimes I can find books featuring disabilities or PTSD or mental health or abuse issues very manipulative. Manipulative in that parts of the story seem to there just for the sake of being there, to add trauma and not a natural part of the story - formulaic maybe. This book though was not at all like that, not one little bit. It was written with beauty, a beauty that shone through even the ugliest parts of the tale.

Paris is the MC and it is through his eyes that we see this story unfold. It's his emotions, actions and broken memories that we are witness to and I have to say I was so drawn into his story that when I fell asleep reading it at stupid o'clock, I found myself waking up an hour later and carrying on into the middle of the night. I felt every single bit of Paris - the parts he exposed and those he tried to hide.

Paris is an artist and I ADORED the way Adrienne Wilder used colours to explain his feelings, his emotions...or I should say, how Paris used the colours. His brain was so full of his half remembered childhood that there weren't always sufficient words to say how he felt...oft times he didn't know how he felt, it was all colour to him. The good times and the bad. Adrienne has a beautiful, descriptive way of writing - poetic really.

"Morning turned the kitchen into gold, and dust motes dance and twirled in the sunbeams. A door slammed somewhere, and a woman yelled. An infant cried for his mother. Then someone turned up their radio drowning out the sounds of urban poverty under a steady bass thump."

Along with the wonderfully broken MC, the author managed to create some vivid characters. Part of me felt almost shocked at how nasty and manipulative Julia was, not I think because she was female, but because she was his sister. Malignant from the inside out, she terrified me and I truly did not know how this story would end. Roy. The saviour really, I will always have a soft spot for Roy from now on. I Love characters that protect, characters whose love means more than their own life.

I think that really this story is a love story. It is the love between Roy and Paris but it is also Paris learning to love himself. It is not an easy book to read, you will be dragged down and up again and then back down. It will get you in its grasp and you won't be able to stop reading. You'll need to know just s little bit more, just a little bit more. I would totally recommend this book to everyone, though those who find abusive stories a trigger will want to avoid it. A fantastic book written with depth, feeling and understanding.
An arc of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

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