I found Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde in the bargain bin at Walmart for $5.97. I picked it up because of the title. I thought it was a newer book and I didn’t understand why someone would use a title similar to Fifty Shades of Grey. Then I realized that this book was written before that one. So E.L. James essentially ruined any chances this book had in normal society. Everyone will assume it’s related to that awkward, poorly written, BDSM fanfiction.
I was hooked after I read the teaser on the inside cover. It talked about colors and posed a lot of questions that I then desperately wanted answered.
It’s based in a dystopian world and I was really confused at first trying to understand the color based society. It’s basically a caste system based on the colors people can see. People who can see no color are at the bottom and those who can see nearly equal amounts of red and blue (purple) are the highest.
It starts as a love story and ends as a love story. It fits in the categories of murder mystery, general mystery, coming of age story. Both teenagers and twenty-somethings can relate to it (the main character is 20 years old).
This is the first book in a while that I’ve actually enjoyed reading, that I’ve felt I had to finish. I spent hours at a time reading because I just had to know what was going to happen.
I see this novel as similar to The Hunger Games and Uglies. It’s about young people trying to change their societies.
Now if only Fforde would get around to writing the next two books in this series. I’m so upset that they don’t exist yet.