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Rainbow Rowell
Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World
Lev Grossman, Tiffany Reisz, Rachel Caine, Jen Zern, Heidi Tandy, Rukmini Pande, Samira Nadkarni, Wendy C. Fries, Jolie Fontenot, Randi Flanagan, Tish Beaty, Cyndy Aleo, Christina Lauren, V. Arrow, Brad Bell, Andrew Shaffer, Darren Wershler, Anne Jamison, Jules Wilkinson, R
True Colors - Kristin Hannah I enjoy stories about family relationships, and those among the Grey sisters are pretty complicated. Losing their mother when they were young both bonded them together and pulled them apart, and their father, a rancher and descendant of the founders of their town, never really bonds with anyone. But what really made things messy between them were the men; the one who chose one sister over the other, and especially the other one who came between the first man and the chosen sister. Youngest sister Vivi Ann forms a bond with Dallas Raintree that her family and neighbors don't quite understand, and when he is accused of a shocking crime, they really don't understand her belief in his innocence. It takes years, literally, before the questions of Vivi Ann and Dallas' son, Noah, prompt eldest sister Winona to even consider the possibility that Dallas might have been wrongfully convicted, let alone take on his case in her professional capacity as a lawyer.

True Colors has an engrossing plot and characters that I could relate to, but I would have liked to see them developed a bit more all around. The depiction of Vivi Ann's aimlessness and depression after Dallas is sent to jail rang true to me (different circumstances, but a similar feeling of being lost in your own life when you're abandoned by your spouse), but in other aspects she seemed a little shallow. Likewise, Winona's overconfidence in her own certainty and lack of self-awareness frustrated me for most of the novel, when she finally questioned the first and developed some of the second. In addition, there is a third Grey sister, but unfortunately, I felt that Aurora got the classic middle-child treatment - mostly overlooked - and I wanted a bigger role for her. I liked the evolution of Vivi Ann's son into another narrative voice in the last quarter of the novel.

I also wanted the sisters to be able to communicate more directly with each other - but then again, if they had, it would have changed the story, and I'm not sure I would have wanted that. The fact that I had strong reactions to the characters tells me that, flaws and all, Kristin Hannah created people I connected with and a story I wanted to know.