[Book Review] Drawn by Cecilia Gray

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A wholly original tale of friendship and betrayal through the eyes – and lies – of one extraordinary girl. 

Sasha has a secret – that she can make you spill your secret with nothing more than a question. Her strange gift makes her a burden to her foster family and a total freak of nature. Not that Sasha cares. Why should she when no one cares about her?

Then the CIA knocks on her door. They want to give Sasha a new identity and drop her into a foreign country to infiltrate a ring of zealous graffiti terrorists. They want to give Sasha something to care about.

To survive a world where no one is who they seem, Sasha needs to make people trust her. But when that trust blossoms into love, Sasha is forced to decide between duty and friendship, between her mind and her heart, and whether to tell the truth or keep her secrets.

★☆☆☆☆

1/5 stars

Drawn by Cecilia Gray was not what I was expecting at all — and not in a good way. The good thing about this novel was that it was short, and even though it pains me to say something like that, that was the first thought that popped into my head when I finished the last page. I wish this could have been the amazing read I wanted from it, but it fell far from my expectations, which isn’t good because I didn’t have many expectations from the start. Let’s recap the storyline: Sasha, a teenage girl who works for the CIA has a gift to make people tell the truth. A light paranormal element layered upon a fast paced thriller with even lighter romantic elements. That sounds great, doesn’t it? Hmm, well, it didn’t work for me. Her ability felt out of place under the circumstances, and, well, kind of annoying. I could have done without it.

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This didn’t read like a professional novel. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was polished . . . but it wasn’t particularly well written. There was nothing that stood out from the pack of young adult novels I read. The characters weren’t strong and kick-ass like I’d expected; the novel didn’t have the depth I wanted. If a novel doesn’t have depth, then there needs to be another redeeming factor — something like good writing, charismatic characters, fun storyline. For me this didn’t have any redeeming qualities, which was why I couldn’t give this any more than one star. (Also, the ending was very very predictable. So much in fact that I rolled my eyes.)

Here’s another thing that bothered me: the characters. The novel was only 157 pages long (including title pages and whatnot), and sometimes, if a novel is that short, the writer needs to characterize their characters very well so that the readers can connect with them. I couldn’t. I tried to — I really did — but none of them stood out enough for me to care much about them. The ending was also abrupt and by the end of it I still had a plethora of questions.

Interesting premises, failed execution.

Thanks to Netgalley for this e-book.

That’s all for today. Let me know what you thought of the novel in the comments below! Come back tomorrow for my Top Ten Tuesday.

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