Caught between the sweltering fall landscape of Wilmington, NC beaches and southern illusions and expectations, all sixteen year-old Cameron Shade thinks about is art. That, and for Farrah Spangled to view him as more than just a friend. Cameron longs to win her heart through art.
After several warm interactions with Farrah, including painting together at the beach, Cameron discovers just how complex Farrah’s life is with her boyfriend and her family. Following a tense run-in with Farrah’s father, she forbids Cameron to ever speak to her again, but Cameron’s convinced there’s more behind the request.
To impress Farrah with a last-ditch effort, Cameron sketches her portrait. But the sketchbook he uses hides a dark secret. Farrah’s now in grave danger because the sketch he drew of her siphons her real-life’s soul into the sketchbook. Cameron now has twenty days to extract Farrah. To save her, he must draw himself into the book.
If he fails… they both die.
Now, let me introduce you to the amazing array of characters.....enjoy!
Sigh...Cameron and Farrah...what a beautiful YA read! The chemistry and desire was intense making me cheer for this couple from start to finish!
Let me talk about our main character in DRAWN: Cameron... I adored him! Are you getting the sense that DRAWN might have something to do with art yet? Wait 'til I get to the review part. I love this kid!
Farrah....the object of Cameron's desire. What I love is that Farrah isn't your cliche gorgeous teenage girl, she is pretty, but she is also intellectual...and Cameron is DRAWN (sorry about the pun!) to her....
Okay, okay! On with the review!
5 BRIGHT STARS!!!!!!!!!!
DRAWN by Chris Ledbetter is easily one of the best YA reads I've had the pleasure of reading this year! I'm not going to go on and on about what the story is about ...you can read the blurb. What I want to go on and on about are the characters, the world, and intense relationships created by Mr. Ledbetter. It's been a long time since I've read anything that has captivated me like DRAWN did.
Most of the time when I peruse for a book to read, I try to pick put something that I think will have great characters. I've given up on originality a long time ago. Not in a defeatist kind of way, but everything that could've been done, has. Or has it? Well, well, well...Once I started reading DRAWN, the realization that everything that could've been done, has, was shot down in the flip of a page. I found myself ... mistaken. For once there was a prophecy that once in every thousand years, a reluctant reader would rise from the piles of books and emerge with the destiny to find something original, something that's never been done before. The readers task is one filled with great peril, immense loss at all the hours spent reading to have not ever found the "one." But, wait... after searching far and wide, fighting trolls and battling to save planet earth...the reader emerges a victor. For in her hand is a book, the book, the one. And it's name is DRAWN!
Mr. Ledbetter creates such a unique world brimming with vivid characters that jump right off the page. One of the main things that I loved about DRAWN are the voices of the characters. I could hear them. They were so real. Cameron, to me, is the first teenage voice that I've read that actually sounded like a teenager. Him playing video games, him talking with his friends, him agonizing over Farrah, the loss of his mother and art mentor... Oh, swoon, swoon, swoon. He was so real. Something authors get away from in this genre is the voice of a teenager. Mr. Ledbetter nailed it. I could easily picture my nephew (he's approaching 16) go from being completely captivated and immersed in his video game, to being reminded of the girl he's agonizing over. I loved that Cameron voiced confusion concerning some female characteristics and traits. Some of the things that Farrah did, didn't make sense to him and I loved that Cameron was honest about that instead of falling all over her and loving everything about her which equates to just loving a girl for what they look like. It added depth to the relationship. Made it so much more believable and interesting.
DRAWN is filled with art. Something I love. Something Cameron loves. I love that it's a huge theme in this book.
Farrah...I loved her equally. Mr. Ledbetter did justice to her character. I could easily empathize with her dilemma. She's torn between family and obligation and what the reader can see is a desire to let it all go and be with Cameron. I appreciated her struggles. The obstacles laying between her and Cameron only made for a read that was that much more intense.
The secondary characters were just as important. It is easy to see that Mr. Ledbetter is skilled at his craft. The world building was amazing (wait until you read about Terra Sempre).
These characters stole my heart! I loved everything about DRAWN. Oh, and I need to mention that the cover...oh the cover! You'll totally drool that much more for it after you've completed DRAWN. I don't think I've seen a cover better suited to a book than DRAWN. I did read somewhere that the cover artist (talented Jay Aheer) used 12 different photos as well as an actual painting drawn specifically for this title to create the cover. And it is stunning!
To sum DRAWN up... it was amazing, stunning, fresh, original, swoon-worthy, unique, with a story and plot that will keep you flipping the pages. If you're looking for that book that will pull you out of the reading slump... look no further. DRAWN has arrived to save you!
Author of DRAWN (Evernight Teen). Represented by Ella Kennen, Corvisiero Literary Agency.
Chris Ledbetter grew up in Durham, NC before moving to Charlottesville, VA in 11th grade. After high school, he attended Hampton University where he promptly "walked-on" to the best drum line in the CIAA. And, without any prior percussion experience. He carried the bass drum for four years, something his back is not very happy about now. After a change of heart and major, he enrolled in Old Dominion University and earned his degree in Business Administration. He's worked in various managerial and marketing capacities throughout his life. While teaching high school for six years in Culpeper, VA, he taught business management, business law, marketing, and sports marketing, and also coached football. He has walked the streets of Los Angeles and New York City, waded in the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and climbed Diamond Head crater on Hawaii and rang in the New Year in Tokyo, Japan. But he dreams of one day visiting Greece and Italy. He's a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. As a self-described, young reluctant reader, he writes young adult stories specifically to reach other reluctant readers. As a participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program, he was blessed to be mentored by Suzanne Morgan Williams, 2012 SCBWI member of the year. He now lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.