“What are you supposed to do when the person who has taught you everything you know, suddenly doesn’t even believe what they’ve taught you?”
Fourteen-year old Jadyn has never been thought of as normal, and she’s never thought of herself as normal either. Her strange but brilliant mind works like a kaleidoscope, landing her trips to the psychiatrist as well as praise for her beautiful artwork. Jadyn has been content with her life, her brother Trenton, and her parents--but all that changes the day her mother dies. Her Great-Aunt Nadine soons joins the household, and discontent soon grows among Jadyn and Trenton--leading up to a day when dementia-troubled Great-Aunt Nadine and Trenton disappear from the house. Jadyn soon realizes that she, with her kaleidoscopic mind, may be the only person who can find them and reunite her shattered family again.
The main story of Kaleidoscope Me takes place over an hour and 33 minutes, but in a burst of narratorial brilliance, Jadyn takes us on a journey through her entire life, flashing back to different points in time, creating a nonlinear narrative. She doesn’t shy away from the emotional events either, and I loved her growth and determination throughout the book. Jadyn is a character that readers can love as well as learn from. Meanwhile, Great-Aunt Nadine is a fantastic foil to Jadyn, and possesses her own strange kind of charm. Her chemistry with Jadyn (or lack thereof!) takes up much of the book, and I relished every moment of it. Strangely, the character I sympathized most with was Jadyn’s father, and I appreciated what felt like his constant presence throughout the novel, creating a feeling of realisticness. Grigonis does a great job of keeping the plot moving and story exciting while developing the characters fully. Kaleidoscope Me is a well-written read that simultaneously explores the courageous theme of growing up and offers inspiration in the form of Jadyn. I highly recommend it to readers looking for a heartwarming and charming book!