Review | Color Outside the Lines

This modern, groundbreaking YA anthology explores the complexity and beauty of interracial and LGBTQ+ relationships where differences are front and center.

When people ask me what this anthology is about, I’m often tempted to give them the complicated answer: it’s about race, and about how being different from the person you love can matter but how it can also not matter, and it’s about Chinese pirate ghosts, black girl vigilantes, colonial India, a flower festival, a garden of poisons, and so, so much else. Honestly, though? I think the answer’s much simpler than that. Color outside the Lines is a collection of stories about young, fierce, brilliantly hopeful people in love. —Sangu Mandanna, editor of Color outside the Lines

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was so excited when I saw this anthology because as someone in an interracial relationship it’s sometimes hard to find representations or normalizing of it. It was far more than I expected because so many of the stories contained important conversations not just about interracial or LGTBQ+ relationships, but also conversations about the issues that are current when discussing those relationships, race and culture in general. I certainly enjoyed some stories more than others, but there weren’t any stories that I disliked.

Turn the Sky to Petals by Anna-Marie McLemore – 4 stars
Prom by Danielle Paige – 3 stars
What We Love by Lauren Gibaldi – 4 stars
Giving Up the Ghost by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas – 4 stars
Your Life Matters by L.L. McKinney – 4 stars
Starlight and Moondust by Lori M. Lee – 5 stars
Five Times Shiva Met Harry by Sangu Mandanna – 3 stars
The Agony of a Heart’s Wish by Samira Ahmed – 3 stars
The Coward’s Guide to Falling in Love by Caroline Tung Richmond – 3 stars
Death & the Maiden by Tara Sim – 3 stars
Faithfull by Karuna Riazi – 3 stars
Gilman Street by Michelle Ruiz Keil – 3 stars
“The Boy Is” by Elsie Chapman – 4 stars
Sandwiched in Between by Eric Smith – 5 stars
Yuna & the Wall by Lydia Kang – 3 stars
Something Gay & Magical by Adam Silvera – 4 stars

Happy reading!

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