Review: True Colors by Kristin Hannah

09 Jun

I read this book because I saw a review of another book by the same author which really intrigued me. Because I have a huge backlog of books on paper, but am actively looking for audiobooks, I checked for the recommended book on NetLibrary and Overdrive. It wasn’t available either place, but this book was, and so I decided to give it a try without any further research.

True Colors True Colors by Kristin Hannah

rating: 3 of 5 stars

I found this book really uneven. There were parts that I enjoyed quite a bit, and parts that really pushed my buttons. If your buttons are in different places than mine, you may like it quite a bit better.

The summary (The short version)
From the author’s web site:

True Colors is about three sisters whose lives were shaped by the loss of their mother. Raised by a cold, distant, disapproving father, they banded together and became close. There’s Winona, who has spent a lifetime struggling with her weight and seeking her father’s approval, and Aurora, the middle sister, who just wants everyone to be happy, and Vivi Ann, the beautiful, romantic dreamer, for whom everything seems to come easily…her father’s love most of all. But when Vivi Ann makes a fateful decision to follow her heart, events are set in motion that will test the bonds of their sisterhood. It’s a story about how easily a family can be shattered, and how hard it can sometimes be to put the pieces back together, and how deceiving looks can be.

The good:

I found the characters of Vivi Ann, Winona and particularly Noah quite interesting. I particularly liked Noah’s journal entries, which did a fantastic job of making the character real to me.

I think the general writing quality was good, in that I wasn’t really aware of it. I like writing that doesn’t get in the way of the story.

The book really hooked into my emotions. I really felt pain, joy, and annoyance on the characters’ behalf.

I liked how everything was interrelated. Things that happened to one person affected others. Events continued to cause ripples over the course of years.

My biggest problems with the book:

First, I really don’t like the view that the only worthwhile love is one so full of passion that you forget everything else. This attitude fit in very well with Vivi Ann’s personality, but when the characters decided they wouldn’t settle for anything less, and the view seemed to be a central theme to the book, it really bugged me.

Second, I was annoyed by the relationship between the sisters. Again, this may be personal viewpoint speaking, but it seemed to me that everything was always about Vivi Ann. If the others disappointed her, they owed her an apology, but when she let others down, it was just a personal growth thing, not worth a reaction from her. The dad was an annoying and unpleasant character, but he was meant to be that way.

Third, I didn’t like the way the character of Aurora was handled. To have two of three sisters really drawn out and one remain so flat didn’t work well for me. I would have liked the book to be about one sister or all three.

In many ways, my problem with the book was that I didn’t know what kind of book it was supposed to be. The blurbs I read talking about the big plot twists, so I’ve tried to do the same, but I have to wonder if I would have liked it more if I knew what to expect.

In the end:

I didn’t have any real question about what my rating should be. For me, it wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t great. There were enough aspects that I liked that I’m willing to try another book by this author, but I’ll need a strong recommendation for a particular title first.


Posted by on June 9, 2009 in books, reviews


Tags: , , ,

5 responses to “Review: True Colors by Kristin Hannah

  1. Belle

    June 9, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    It doesn’t sound like a book for me, but great review. Very thorough – I enjoyed seeing what you liked and didn’t like about it.

  2. G

    October 18, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I needed to read a novel for my language arts class, and I chose this one. I don’t think it was as approprate for my age, but I thought it was a really great book. Except, I didn’t know in the end how Noah and Cissy ended up. Or how Luke ended up. Also, I wanted to know more about Aurura. The only thing really said (in detail) about her was about how her marriage no longer has passion. I would like there to be another book, continuing this one, and to answer my questions. I am really curious to find out ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. pixie

    April 29, 2010 at 8:59 am

    i am in the middle of the book right now and i think that its great but for me its a little hard sometimes whose having a conversation. also i think that you should right a sequal to the book i would read it and i think i would have a better understanding of what is going on in the end ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Marcella

    August 23, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I actually am reading this book right now. I am almost done with it and I can say that I can’t wait to get home and read it. I love it. As for the sisters relationships, Winona really bothered me. She was selfish and played the part of thinking she knows everthing. I especially loathed the part where is waiting for Vivi to come back crawling and she had speech all planned out. this is my 3rd book from this author and I love it.


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