Complementary Colors // A Colorful Rendition of a Wounded Mind

complementary colors coverAuthor: Adrienne Wilder

Published: June 20th 2014 by Adrienne Wilder

Pages: 320

Genres: m/m romance // contemporary // mental health



This is gonna be a bit shorter of a review because I tend to not have as much to critique as all my fantasy/supernatural/paranormal/etc. books…*ahem* But this was a pretty average read for me. I’ll get to more details, but I had a phase of finding m/m books with good mental health representations. I’m still getting through them around other books, hah. But I was curious what they’d do. I enjoyed this for some reasons and was meh for others.




My sister Julia manipulated my life into a prison to keep me silent about our dirty family secret. Her greed made me a slave and circumstance left me with no way to escape.

Trapped, the only way I could silence the nightmares driving me to insanity was to wrap them in color, hold them with shadow, and stitch them to negative space with line.

But no matter how bright the pigments, no one could see my confession.

Except for Roy Callahan.

I thought he was just another nameless one-night stand in a long line of many.
But I was wrong. Roy could see past the façade of my life and through the veil color over the canvas. He could see what the world couldn’t.

And with him I’d find the courage to tell the truth about the boy.

The boy who kissed me.
The boy who loved me.
The boy whose name I couldn’t remember.



– The writing was good. It flowed well and I didn’t have any issues with it. This is the only book I’ve read by Wilder so far, so I’m not overly familiar with her works.

– The use of colors for the hallucinatory moments was actually really cool and unique. I’m sure people who experience hallucinations experience their own things and with Paris being an artist, it makes sense to me. Using it to describe emotions and his surroundings. It’s mentioned that Wilder is an artist, herself, so she utilizes this exceptionally well.

– The way those intense hallucinatory moments are written is even better due to feeling the dark emotions. Well done. You can feel the anguish and fear.

– I will say the romance was…like insta-love, but because of insta-sex… What I mean is, the romance was built from sex. I’m not averse to romances like this, especially if done well, but not my favorite. However, it also makes sense with Paris due to his issues and mainly just wanting sex. There were fast and dirty times, but also sensuality. I am a sucker for sensuality.

But so many sweet interactions between Roy and Paris. Because Roy is just a sweetheart. Sometimes you want to smack Paris, but he’s not exactly an optimistic person along with his wounded mind. But some lovely, quotable moments in there. Roy is strong himself just because he lives an unkind life, but is still so kind himself.

Because when I’m with you, the colors are so beautiful.

– Paris is very stubborn and doesn’t explain things. Like, I understand him being secretive – this is heavy stuff. AND I CAN’T SPEAK ABOUT HOW PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS WOULD ACT IN THESE SITUATIONS. Is this a good representation? I don’t know. Will people who don’t understand their situations, like Paris’, want to smack him throughout the book? Sometimes. I, of course, wanted him to talk to Roy because things could be cleared up, but we have to be forgiving. He’s been robbed of his self-worth and innocence…It’s hard to fight back after that.

– The later portion, like the last 1/3, maybe, was fantastic. I really enjoyed the struggles during his time with Dr. Carmichael. That sounds horrible when I put it into words. But watching Paris’ changing mind and transitions into stability and unstability is excellent.

I stared at all the broken fragments of color that where once me, lying scattered around my feet.

– And, damn, Paris’ life was rough, traumatic, and he’s got a terrible family. Julia is a bitch.

– Overall, I enjoyed this. I can’t pinpoint exact reasons for taking off 2 scales… I just felt that I didn’t find it amazing, but I liked it. I think one reason is the romance. Didn’t flow as well as I’d hoped. Still good.

‘No one hears me.’
‘I hear you.’
‘No one cares.’
‘I do.’
‘No one believes.’
‘I believe you. Every word.’


My rating:

my rating of 3/5




I kinda sucked with this review. School made me forget some of my thoughts about it… So it’s a bit short and not very detailed. I tried! I have another Wilder book lined up in the future.

Ta-ta for now, worms!


Did you read this book? Think it’s good mental health rep? How’s the romance? (Careful of spoilers, though)

~Cover photo from Goodreads~

~Review also posted on Goodreads~


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