Sunday, December 8, 2013

ARC Review: Drawn by Cecilia Gray

325 pages
Expected publication: December 15th, 2013 
Published by: Gray Life, LLC

Take a journey into the gritty world of political espionage through the eyes – and lies – of one extraordinary girl. A wholly original tale of friendship and betrayal from the author of The Jane Austen Academy series.... 
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.
This was such a pleasant surprise! I was drawn to the premise of this novel but I wasn't sure what to expect. One of the most unique aspects of Drawn is that there are comic strips at the beginning of each chapter. This adds a quirky and interesting aspect to the rest of the novel. They depict Sasha's early life, which is not really discussed in detail in the story itself.  If you are confused about the presence of the comic strips, don't worry! They are tied to the story in a deeper level.  Our main character is chosen to infiltrate a group of graffiti "terrorists" because of her artistic ability and her love for comic books. I like how her love for art is depicted throughout the novel.  I think it adds a cool layer to her otherwise cold personality. The other interesting aspect of the novel is the premise. Sasha's voice alone makes people tell their deepest secret. She has grown isolated from the world because no one is comfortable around her.  She is bitter, confused by the concept of love, and not entirely sure if she wants to be normal. She travels to Brussels, Belgium to carry out an undercover assignment. Now, I'm a sucker for novels set in different places around the world so this was a huge plus for me. I love the descriptions of the scenery and the cultural aspects that made an appearance at random times throughout the story. 

As far as the plot, it was fast-paced and interesting. It retained my attention and it allowed me to finish it rather quickly. I feel like this was a solid four stars until I got to the end.  Apparently, this is a standalone and that confused the hell out of me once I finished the novel.  I don't think the end wrapped anything up. I have a lot more questions than answers and that does not make me happy. Also, I anticipated a monumental climax but that didn't really happen. The key scene at the very end felt short and slightly out of character. However, I enjoyed the story so I hope a sequel pops up at some point in the future. 

Note: I received access to the eARC of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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