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Posted September 8, 2014
I began Drawn with several preconceptions, having previously read Cecilia Gray's The Jane Austen Academy series, but though there are a few points of comparison, the author has proved herself capable of crossing genres with huge success.
Sasha is a strong heroine, like Emma, Fanny, Lizzie, Anne, Eleanor and Kat, but unlike them she lives in a dark world where she is unsure of her identity, defined instead by her 'talent'.
Sasha is fifteen when we meet her, soon to have her sixteenth birthday. Even st her young age she is taken from her position in the FBI to work for the CIA. It is Sasha's passion for drawing cartoons that finds her given the assignment of tracking down political graffiti artists and using them as a weapon against the enemies of the US. The CIA is particularly interested in Kid Aert, whose identity is unknown, but his art is infamous.
Sasha finds herself whisked into the social circle of Vivianne, her handler's daughter, and this leads to her meeting Sebastien.
Vivianne is an outrageous character, determined and opinionated, but I love the way she accepts Sasha and encourages her to use her own voice, socially and emotionally.
Sasha learns that she is valuable beyond just her "lie detector" ability and Cecilia Gray concentrates on her characterization and its development.
There is a romantic theme within the plot, but this is secondary to the mystery and tension in the plot. Beyond a few innuendos, Drawn is sex-free, reminding us of Sasha's limited experiences and forcing us to question the way she is 'used' by the US government.
Before each chapter of the story there are cartoons, which I questioned the relevance of when I began Drawn, but Cecilia Gray cleverly links these to Sasha's story and the importance of art to the plot.
I have never read a story like Drawn before and I hope that Cecilia Gray considers writing a sequel. I definitely recommend this original book to readers, both young and old-er!!!
Posted January 16, 2014
Intriguing YA Novel
Drawn is definitely an intriguing book. It is so different, that it falls into many different genres: YA, paranormal, mystery, action/suspense with a little bit of romance. Gray draws the reader in immediately and I found myself reading through the book quickly. Sasha has so many facets to her character; while I felt like I couldn't relate to her because of her lie detecting ability, at the same time I felt connected to her desire to fit in and have friends, while at the same time trying not to care what other people thought. I enjoyed going on this amazing journey with Sasha and the unlikely friends she made along the way. My one tiny complaint is that the author left me wondering at the end....so does that mean there is another book or will I never know the answer? Hopefully that means there is a book two in the future! I think many types of readers will enjoy this book because it crosses so many different genres. I received a copy of this book via Netgalley.