Libby Carmichael has just met her Soulmate. It’s just too bad he’s behind bars.
When you only see the world in black and white until you meet yours, it's pretty easy to figure out when you’ve found your Soulmate. What Libby can't figure out is why fate,destiny, or the powers that be have decided that Andrew McCormack is her one, true match. Libby is smart, organized, and always has a plan for what's coming next. So when she sees Andrew for the first time and her world is instantly filled with color, she's thrown for a loop.
Namely because he's in a dingy grey jumpsuit.
And being booked into a juvenile detention facility.
Surely a boy who's been convicted of a headline-making, violent crime isn't who she’s meant to be with. There's no way she belongs with someone like that...right?
14+ due to adult situations
The officer monitoring visitation told everyone before we sat down our fifteen minutes would begin as soon as the prisoners entered. I told myself I wouldn’t waste any of them. I would jump in, start asking my questions and saying my piece, whatever that even is at this point, and be done with it. I would get my answers and then move on the best I could.
Of course every word I had planned, every word in the English language, vanishes into thin air now that we’re face to face.
And I can’t help but think just what a face it is.
He’s all hard lines and high cheekbones, with a strong jawline that’s both intimidating and somehow inviting at the same time. His cheeks and chin are covered in slight stubble, and the hair on his face isn’t quite as dark as what’s on his head. The dark brown, almost black curls fall over his ears and forehead, skimming a set of thick eyebrows pulled straight.
I follow all of the lines of him with my eyes, from the haphazard waves of his hair, down to the slight cleft in his chin, and I try to suppress the urge to shiver. Somehow, even wearing the awful, gray jumpsuit and sitting in this awful, gray room, he still manages to be brighter than anything else I’ve seen so far. It almost hurts to look at him.
My eyes start to water, and his, with their color I still haven’t managed to find a name for, narrow at me. In confusion? In irritation? I can’t tell. I swear there’s almost a glint to them, and I cock my head to the side to see if I can still see it from a different angle. The lines around his mouth tighten and I can tell from the tremor in his jaw he’s biting down hard on his back teeth.
And then I understand.
He’s looking at me like I’m an idiot. Because I’ve been staring at him like one. Like he’s some kind of an animal at the zoo. In a cage.
I drop my gaze to my lap and let out a breath that’s as shaky and unsure as the rest of me. It’s not a manipulation, but I still hope he sees it for what it is. That he understands I don’t think he’s some amusement or oddity to be observed and learn from.
Even though I do want to observe him and I do want to learn from him. I still don’t want him to look at me and think I’d be so … so rude. I don’t want him to … I don’t even know. Sitting here now, facing the reality of it, I can hardly keep my thoughts straight about anything. But mostly about him.
When I look back up, his gaze doesn’t waver from mine. I can feel my face heating, and now since I know exactly what color a blush is on my pale skin, I can picture the splash of pink spreading over my cheeks and down my neck. When he blinks, it almost feels like a reprieve. A very short reprieve.
I can’t decide if it’s anger or strength or something else entirely filling the air around him like something solid. But it’s there. It’s coming from his eyes, still and intense, and from the set of his broad shoulders, and it makes me feel … small.
And that actually makes me feel kind of pissed.
I straighten my shoulders and sit up taller. Anger is apparently a decent motivator, I think, and file the little tidbit away for future use.
I reach for the telephone on the counter and the borrowed bracelet slips out from underneath my sleeve. It hits the counter with a thwack that is probably louder to my ears than anyone else’s, and the muscles in my arm stiffen. I can’t help throwing a hurried glance over my shoulder. I exhale slowly when I see the guard has better things to do than inspect my jewelry. Thank God.
The receiver is cold when I bring it to my ear. Good grief, is everything in here always this chilly?
Our eyes meet through the glass. And nothing. No response. He doesn’t even make the slightest move toward the phone on his side. I never thought about this possibility. That he wouldn’t want to see me. Wouldn’t want to talk to me.
Oh God… What if he doesn’t even know why I’m here? What if he doesn’t see it?
I know when he couldn’t stop staring at me or my hair the other day, I took it as a sign he could see the colors, too, but what if I was wrong, wrong, wrong?
Would it be a bad thing? Would it be better?
Why didn’t I think of this?
The look on my face must be pretty pitiful because there’s a flash of something very akin to sympathy in his eyes as he sighs heavily and finally reaches for the phone. He holds it away from his ear for a second, rubbing the back of his neck with his free hand. I watch as his chest expands with another deep inhale, and he brushes his fingers harshly through his hair. Combing through the strands from back to front, it stands on end, but the finger-in-a-light-socket look doesn’t detract at all from the air of intensity he projects.
He puts the receiver up to his ear and there’s a beat of silence between us before I speak.
Nice, Libby. Real nice. Of course he’s Andrew. He knows this. You know this.
He doesn’t say anything. Probably because he’s too busy thinking the girl sitting across from him is some kind of socially inept moron.
He nods, the movement slight and succinct. There’s no hint of amusement on his face though, and the gesture makes me feel the slightest bit better.
I try again.
My voice sounds determined now. Strong.
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Posted by Unknown on 25th Nov 2016
In Libby Carmichael's world, everything is in shades of gray--literally. People, cars, trees, the sun, all are in black, white, or somewhere in between. That is, until a person meets their Soulmate, and their life floods with color. They have to learn the shades of colors, how to mix and match them, how others see them or the things they wear.
But Libby can't focus on any of that for long, because it just so happens her Soulmate has been incarcerated, and she is desperate to find out how someone like Drew McCormack could be her Soulmate.
"What's a Soulmate" is a poignant contemporary YA romance with a small smattering of fantasy. At first, it was a little hard to get into, even when Libby sees her Soulmate for the first time. The plot moves at a very steady, almost slow pace from beginning to end, with the majority of the focus on Libby and how she feels about Drew and her situations, all while trying to uncover the mystery behind why he was locked up. There were times the prose reminded me I was reading because Libby would occasionally address the reader in a way that made it VERY obvious they were, in fact, reading and not just seeing the world through her eyes.
That said, by the time I finished the book, I was completely enthralled. For such a steady pace, Ms. Ouimet never lets up on the intrigue of Libby's bizarre and unnerving situation. Not to mention that every scene between her and Drew was intense, even in the moments Drew refused to speak. The tension between these two, even when separated between an inch and a half thick window, was palpable in every scene they spent together.
I love that Libby doesn't have an ENEMY, per se. The conflict is largely that Drew IS her Soulmate, and that the circumstances of his being locked up are not necessarily what they seem. Ms. Ouimet manages to convey it all through stellar prose, and though the pace remains steady and I initially had a hard time getting into it, I was completely immersed by the time I was 1/3 of the way through the novel. The little reminders of how most people only saw shades of gray were consistent, which was fantastic and kept me deeply ingrained into the world.
And, of course, I love that she did a stellar job with the Soulmate concept. Only one other author has attempted it without me rolling my eyes, and that is L.J. Smith in her Night World series. Ms. Ouimet takes a somewhat similar tact--that Soulmates only mean the person is connected to another--but also veers in a very different direction, ie, one person could be YOUR Soulmate, but that doesn't mean you are THEIRS. She also tackles the concept by showing us a world where many people do, in fact, find their Soulmates, but it's not all a happy ending. Ms. Ouimet manages to keep the Soulmate theory fresh, real, and heartbreaking all at the same time.
Libby is fantastic, a typical teenager, but also very level-headed even when she's making rash decisions. I love that she acknowledges her less-than-stellar choices but also doesn't make excuses for them for very long. She's that girl everyone would have wanted for a friend in high school--and that's a character type that is pretty much a prerequisite for me to give ANY author a solid 5 stars.
This is one novel I highly recommend to readers of all ages. It's poignant, has subtle intensity, and such rich, vibrant characters that, once done meeting them, you'd kick yourself for ever dreaming of passing up the opportunity to know them.
Posted by Amazon Customer on 9th Nov 2016
This book is absolutely colorful. The cover did an amazing job of capturing the overall theme of the story. And thank god it did because otherwise I wouldn't have found this gem of a book. The way the author describes the color through our protagonist is hilarious. The whole "when-you-meet-your-soulmate-you-see-color" is absolutely the most unique concept of a story I have ever come across. And I wish for more books in order to see the concept expand more because it left me for more! Highly recommend this book for those who like cheesy, fluff, romance book.
Posted by Amazon Customer on 9th Nov 2016
3.5 stars out of 5. I just want to start with that. 4 if I have to use a whole number, and here is why:
I enjoyed this story. I was SO excited for the concept: a world where you see in black and white until you find your soulmate. And a soulmate isn't necessarily romantic. However, the story didn't quite live up to the premise.
Lindsey Ouimet, the writer, decided not to change anything from how we live to how life would be slightly different if only 60% of the adult population can see in color. And, there would be a number of difference. I was looking forward to seeing that. I was looking forward to seeing how everyone matches their clothes, if those who can see adjust for those who can't or if the majority rules. How, once you can see, it is so hard not to mention it in passing or how it suddenly is hard to comprehend not only the colors but if they actually affect your life. This story, though, revolves around Libby and Drew, and how Libby is trying to understand why her Match is in juvie. And if she can help him.
What saved this book is how Ouimet handled the relationship. It was subtle, and wary. Different in how it approached and created the relationship, but still, follows the current trend of teen novels, though the romance isn't as mushing - excluding one scene. But, the idea is what drew me to the book - had me requesting to read it - and left me disappointed. The characters are strong, they have some depth, and it isn't a long book. A good quick read if you are looking for something lighthearted with a touch of sweet.
I was able to read this book digitally thanks to the publisher in exchange for an honest review, Evernight Teen via NetGalley.com
Posted by Kathy B on 9th Nov 2016
I've read this author before and the heat in her writing is tangible. "What's A Soul Mate" is no exception-- magical realism, a world where people are able to find their soulmates by their sudden ability to see color. Throw in gorgeous Andrew, bad boy extraordinaire, rightly or wrongly serving time in juvie; Libby, strong and fearless enough to face the inherent danger in pursuing the boy who brings color into her life. And did I mention that Libby's dad works in the juvie detention center? So you get the point that a lot can go wrong. The romance is hot and the story is highly entertaining. Recommend.
Posted by Amazon Customer on 31st Oct 2016
Libby is such a vibrant heroine-- you feel everything she feels, and Drew is such a swoonworthy hero! The universe Ouimet has created is intriguing and complex while still seeming somehow grounded despite the only-seeing-in-color-once-you-meet-your-soulmate twist.
This is one of the best books I've read this year so far, and I truly hope Ouimet has more in store for us!
Posted by Sophie Eloy on 31st Oct 2016
4 solid stars.
A copy of this book has been kindly provided by Evernight Teen via NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
I had never read this author’s work but I must confess I was drawn by the cover first (it’s so pretty right?) and then the blurb. I love soulmate stories and YA/teen reads so this seemed like an ideal choice. And I did enjoy myself so much that I ended reading it in one day, being all grumpy when someone wanted to interrupt.
Two things I loved above all else in this story: the fresh soulmates viewpoint and the detective work Libby did to uncover the truth.
In this imaginary world, only sixty percent of the population meets their match. A match can stay platonic or the soulmate connection can be only one sided. Or someone falls deeply in love with someone that’s not her/his match and can’t stand the thought of meeting her/his soulmate. Many possibilities…
As long as you’ve not met your soulmate, you see life in black, white and grey. Seeing colors is the telltale sign that you’ve met your match.
The main female character Libby made me think of Merida from the “Brave” Disney/Pixar movie. She has red hair, blue eyes, is stubborn and very brave. She describes herself as the ” most pragmatic, least romantic people I know, that doesn’t stop me from dressing like I’m the lead in a quirky, rom-com.” Did the girl love her skirts and dresses! She could have been a seamstress.
Being the pragmatic one and conscious of the statistics, she knows the odds to belong to the forty percent minority without a mate is a reality. The shock was even greater when she met her mate unexpectedly while bringing diner to her father at the Juvenile Detention Center where he works as a correctional officer.
She can’t believe the mate fate destined her is in juvie. She hates violence, is always the good girl so there must be a mistake surely!
She needed time to process it and decided to keep quiet, not telling her family or friends. From that moment on I was put in Libby’s head and shoes. She was shocked, then angry and then determined to unearth the truth and see if Andrew was really a bad guy or if something happened to explain and maybe excuse what he’s done. Alone in her quest for a long time I could feel her burden and despair.
I found the way Libby and Andrew’s relationship evolved a very astute choice. It was not the classic “I fall in love at first sight” the main characters usually experience in that kind of story. No, their encounters were tense, awkward and sometime confrontational. Andrew was closed off and Libby had to plow through and try to gather some tidbits of information to get to know him and what happened that night. She had to be courageous to go on under his scrutiny, not knowing what he thought of her and taking some necessary steps to help him, even behind his back.
”If I think there’s something that can be done to help prove myself right or get me the result I want, then I don’t give up. Or think or the negative consequences, apparently. Especially if I think they’re outweighed by the positive ones.”
This bumpy relationship with ups and downs was much more believable than the instant love we usually get and it was refreshing.
As much as I could picture Libby quite clearly Andrew remained a mystery for a long time. I could only have a general picture of the person he was right and had to wait for Libby’s detective work to know him better. I realized he must be a great guy but did not know what pushed him to such extreme action for a long time. And even if I liked him he made some really dumb moves with Libby! I wanted to slap him when he was acting so dense!
It has been a really enjoyable story with a little bit of paranormal, a zest of mystery and a very great heroine.
Posted by Kristie Russum on 29th Oct 2016
Lindsey Ouimet has created a fascinating universe in which everyone sees the world in black and white until they meet their soulmate. This unique premise is the basis for her first novel "What's A Soulmate?" Ouimet weaves a tale of two young people who have never met before, but must come to terms with the idea that fate has destined them for each other. In addition, they also discover the dazzling world of color, learning how things come to life in more than monochromatic tones. This book is very satisfying, has characters you are bound to fall in love with, and makes you look at your own world in a different way. Read it!
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