Jamaican-American writer Fiona Zedde Lewis has authored best-selling novels and collections of short stories for adults. “Dreaming in Color” marks her debut writing for young adultsand a compelling debut it is.
Carlene (Cee-Cee) has come to the U.S. from Jamaica to join her mother, who has been working for two years to bring her daughter to join her. But excited as Carlene is to be reunited with her beloved mother, she finds life in her new country daunting. She misses her island home and the father she left behind.
High school is a difficult territory to navigate for many teensbullying, mean girls, jock/thug boys, and just the normal daily stresses of trying to succeed in classes can present awesome challenges. When a group of mean girls led by one of the most popular girls in the school targets Carlene, taunting her for her accent and her skin color, she turns to art as a refuge. Problems with her mother, who reveals a secret Cee-Cee is not prepared for, just adds to her feelings of isolation.
Then Carlene meets Greg, another teen from Jamaica. They bond over their shared feelings of dislocation and their inability to fit in. But a big party where the popular kids
|Publisher:||Tiny Satchel Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)|
|Age Range:||13 Years|
About the Author
Fiona Lewis is an award-winning novelist and author of “Bliss,” “Hungry For It,” “Every Dark Desire,” and “Dangerous Pleasures,” among other adult novels. Her stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including “From Where We Sit: Black Writers Write Black Youth.”
Fiona Zedde Lewis moved to the U.S. from Jamaica as a sweet, yet misunderstood, preteen. After spending a few years in Tampa and getting her undergraduate degree in Gender Studies and British and American Literature at New College of Florida, she moved to Atlanta, Georgia. She currently lives in Tampa.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a great, page-turner of a novel about a young girl's journey through the brutal and often sadistic world of American adolescence. At one point, the suspense got so high that I nearly missed a flight while reading it at an airline departure gate; I was so engrossed in the story. Poignant, funny, and disturbing, the book follows its protagonist's (Carlene's) battles with loneliness and social stigma in Tampa, Florida. The story is particularly enthralling by telling a tale of someone suffering from these maladies within the black community, a perspective that is rarely told in popular young adult novels, but one that will definitely move people of all backgrounds. The novel centers on Carlene. Carlene is not only unlike the popular, cliquish group of teenagers who seem to run her high school; she is also a recent immigrant, which makes her especially oddball and weird (by their standards) and an irresistible target for their cruelty. Readers can't help but be captivated by the consequent drama that Fiona weaves - Carlene's daily tightrope walk between despair and hope, and between tragedy and happiness. She keeps the drama taut and tense with surprises that twist and turn readers' expectations. In the midst of it, you sympathize with Carlene and root for a happy ending for her. But Fiona builds the story in a realism that makes tragedy seem inescapable and keeps you guessing to the end. Anyone who has experienced the pains of not fitting in or, conversely, the pressure to conform as a teenager will be moved by this book. Further descriptions might only be plot spoilers. I strongly urge you to go out and get it. You won't be disappointed.
In this book I saw a little of myself as a teenager. Being a military brat and moving from school to school quit frequently made it hard to fit in. Life can be intensely emotional and stressful as "the new student". Cee-Cee showed how you can always carry a piece of home with you at all times. Fiona has written a novel that will speak loudly and clearly of the angst felt among transplanted youth and adults. Great read!!!
Teenage angst is universal. This young adult novel highlights that angst and one young girl's journey through it. Dreaming In Color is written from the perspective of Cee-Cee (Carlene), a teenaged, Jamaican, ex-pat living in Florida. Her every day experiences remind us how complex growing up can be in contemporary America. Touching on such broad ranging themes as class consciousness, acceptance of self, acceptance of others, bullying, alienation, homophobia, what it means to be an artist and teenage suicide, Fiona Lewis' book covers a wide swath of coming of age and life issues. Although this is classified as a young adult novel, I think that it should be recommended reading for those who have young adults in their lives. We sometimes forget that the issues that they deal with are no less intricate and impactful than the issues that adults face. In most cases they are the same issues.
This book touches on a lot different things that young people experience in life. Bullying, arts lacking in schools, as well as bring to mind some other issues that our young people face. I truly enjoyed it and it brought back some memories from my high school years. Thanks Fiona for another great book.
"Dreaming in Color" is a wonderful story about a young lady who encounters unexpected and unpleasant changes while adjusting to a new environment. Some of the changes go hand in hand with life as a teenager and others, simply, comes with life. Each experience challenges her to grow and, ultimately, places her on the door steps of maturity. Cee (Carlene), a talented painter, is approaching her sweet 16 birthday. Yet, things around her seem to be less than pleasant months after she and her mom have moved to Florida from Jamaica. Cee is working through high school; battling bullies and guarding her peaceful spirit when Greggie, a transfer student with roots in Jamaica, comes along. With his help, the sharing of their Jamaican Culture and the art she loves, Cee is able to sort through some revelations, secrets and heartache. Through a mind stirring mix of characters and events, Cee learns to give freedom to love and freedom to her courage in ways that catapult her to young adulthood. "Dreaming in Color" is the first young adult book by Author Fiona Zedde. It is a successful venture into a new genre that holds much of the Author's skill as an attention grabbing writer. Expect the same great writing and to be thoroughly pleased with the book from beginning to end.