Review: True Colors by Anyta Sunday
But that was before. Before Marco stopped being a hot jock. Before he learned to live with scars and pain. And before Oskar tore their friendship apart.
Now the boy next door has returned home, determined to rekindle his friendship with Marco, and Marco’s more afraid than ever. Afraid of getting hurt. Afraid of being humiliated.
Afraid of falling in love.
Can Oskar find a way through Marco’s fear, back into his heart?
True Colors is a friends to enemies to lovers story that's sure to pull on the heartstrings of even the most cynical reader. Marco and Oskar grew up together, were the best of friends who spent countless hours together doing nothing and everything. One fateful day tragedy strikes Marco's family which forever alters the landscape of his life.
Thankfully he still has the support of his best friend until an event in a boys locker room turned his best friend into his enemy and shattered a piece of his soul along the way.
This is a slow burn told in Sunday's unique style with some flashbacks to explain the hurt. The comfort is delivered in spades but requires patience.
Told from both of their perspectives which gave each of these characters depth and gave the story poignancy. I appreciated Oskar's perspective to truly understand his actions and to invest in them as a couple because what Oskar did was awful. I'm glad it wasn't glossed over and that Marco doesn't capitulate at the first apology. Oskar needed to prove himself worthy of Marco more than once, for me.
What resonated the most was how much of an impact hurtful words can have on someone's psyche. The foundation of Marco's self-image was damaged in that locker room and that's not something he can recover from easily, nor can he ignore that Oskar is still under his skin. It's clear Marco's still has strong feelings for his first love and erstwhile best friend. More than just animosity too.
When he returns to Berlin with a boyfriend all those feelings become harder to ignore. He does try though. As you know, I have a thing for the possessive ones and Oskar is not happy about all of Marco's "trying". I liked that Sunday went this direction with his characterization because it makes it abundantly clear that the shadow of Marco casts a long shadow.
The secondary characters and family dynamics added tension and pushed the narrative forward. Zoe and how protective they are of her was entertaining. Grandpa a.k.a. Grandmaster Scrabbler cracked me up with his grunting. I feel like he's an oracle, but a non-verbal one. And I really REALLY loved when Marco finally comes out and everyone being like, 'yeah, we know'.
There isn't an excessive amount of sex, as you might expect with this trope. But in its place is oodles of longing, desire and romance to satisfy most readers.
This may sound hokey but I have to mention how much I LOVED all the fonts and the colors, how Marco uses those colors and how colors are integral to his character. It's uncommon and maybe a little quirky but I really enjoyed it.
A review copy was provided by NetGalley.
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