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What I Want You to See

by Catherine Linka

Pub Date: 04 Feb 2020

read courtesy of Netgalley.com 

As a YA School Librarian, I try to read books from the perspective of my students. Although I've given this story a 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ for its story, I can only see it being a 3 ⭐⭐⭐ for my high school students. I loved the story and the style of writing, but I'm just not sure it's the type of story my students would enjoy. It's hard to say what about it does this: perhaps part writing style, part narrow character/plot appeal. The ability of a reader to relate to the world of an artist might affect how receptive the reader will be to this story. If it weren't for an art teacher in my current school who works with encaustics (hot wax painting), I might have been more lost in the story. 

Personally, I liked the writing style; although, it did take a bit of getting used to; but once I did, I flew through the rest of the story. It isn't a "great literature" style, more like both sophisticated and terse at the same time. The juxtaposition of style matches the main character's, Sabine's, duality, a teenager who has to grow into adulthood alone.

Linka fleshed out believable characters with realistic dialogue. Her characters don't feel cookie cutter or stereotypical. She didn't have to exaggerate or embellish and thereby kept her characters true to themselves. Linka also accomplished something I find that quite a few of the authors I read have a problem doing: she provided a satisfying and not forced ending to the story.

I appreciated the internal dialogues Sabine has with herself regarding morality. She ended up doing something that was morally correct and personally difficult. I found myself questioning myself as to what I might have done and when I might have done it. I can ask no more from an author than this: I was engaged in the story!



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