Author Olivia Samms
Bea’s life has been a mess ever since she got kicked out of private school and sent to rehab. Now clean, Bea is starting over at Packard High School, in a city shaken from two assaults on young women. The latest victim, Willa Pressman—the one who survived—doesn’t remember a thing. But Bea has a disturbing new “skill”: she can see—and then draw—images from other people’s minds. And when she looks at Willa, Bea is shocked by what she sketches. Bea might be the only one who knows Willa’s secrets—and who can take down the killer before he strikes again.
Review: Sketchy by Olivia Samms is a winner! Finally, in a sea of awkward teen heroines, Bea stands out! Samms got it right when she imagined lead character, Bea, creating a truly unique girl. Bea is not your typical cookie cutter misfit. She is unapologetic but not glorified, flawed and saddled with a distinct voice, which maintains a consistent dialogue. Her reaction and actions clearly fit with the set up situations and behaviors. She's smart, chaotic, and a mess of sorts, but nothing is so over the top to make it unbelievable and by doing so, I believe a wide audience will be able to easily connect with the character. The support characters are also individually depicted and provide just enough for the mind to create a sharp image.
Sketchy is a prefect example of how character development enriches plot. It simply adds a dimension that elevates a good story to a great story. This one stuck with me because of the care obviously taken to maintain the honest tone, stay true to character development and the attention to detail. If a writer was to ask my advice on how to construct a misfit teen character that doesn't fall into the cliche culture we are being buried beneath, I would refer them to this particular book. The delineations are not huge, but just enough to separate it from the masses and own the originality.
Thematically and relevancy, the plot is multi-layered and takes on several topics/concerns without being overwhelming. Issues of drug abuse, recovery, and even rape are important elements, but they are delivered in a way that is neither too graphic or shocking. Using this approach does not diminish the seriousness, but rather approaches the subjects through a different form. I felt the heart of the issues, while at the same time being able to digest without shredding my sensitivities to abuse and rape.
Sketchy gets my big stamp of approval!
*ARC provided by Amazon Children Publishing courtesy of Amazon Vine