Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Review: Sketchy by Oliva Samms

Title:  Sketchy
Scheduled Release Date:  April 30, 2013
Author: Olivia Samms
Genre:  YA Mystery Suspense Paranormal Thriller (yes, all of those!)
Spoilers:  No way!  Y’all get your own copy.  : D
Note:  This book contains mentions of drug use, rape, and foul language.  I do not place an age limit on readers, but if you are offended by any of these things Sketchy may not be suitable for you.  


Kicked out of her all-girls high school and fresh out of a three-month stint in rehab, Bea is thrust into a new school with no friends, a pissed off demeanor, and a reputation any badass would be proud to have.  Life is hard enough trying to adjust to a sober lifestyle, but her reputation as a druggie, enviable fashion sense, and wild hair that has made her known as “Chia Pet” and “Beaver Head" to her tormentors are not the worst of Bea’s problems.

Bea is an artist.  While getting clean in rehab she discovers a new talent:  Bea is able to sketch images that come directly from the mind of people around her.  When she comes in contact with Willa, a popular cheerleader who was raped, beaten, and left for dead, Bea sketches someone she recognizes from her previous life as an addict.  The most recent attack is not the first in the area, but Willa is the first survivor.  For reasons all her own, Bea wants to help stop the attacker from hurting anyone again . . . even at the risk of her own life.  But Willa has secrets of her own that keep her from telling the truth about the attack, and those secrets may have gotten another girl killed.   

My Opinion:

Bea is quite a bit different from most other YA female protagonists, and for that reason I absolutely adored Sketchy.  Her behavior is all over the place (which is to be expected of a recovering addict), but her intentions are always well-placed.

I will be honest and say I did not care for her character at first.  I just wanted to yell, "Get your crap together, Sweet Pea!"  But I said to myself, "Self . . . you . . . hey!  That's the point of the book.  Goober."  Anyway.  Bea is feisty, emotional, confused, and not afraid to do what she thinks is right . . . even taking a chance of looking like a crazed junkie when she goes into the police station for the first time in an attempt to help Willa, however ungrateful she may appear. Bea has ultimately become one of my favorite YA female protagonists.  I stress female because all to often, girls and women in literature are seen as weak or needy, and that is something Bea is not.  

I also like that Miss Samms did not circle this book around Bea having or finding a relationship with a certain someone, although I am pretty excited to see where that goes in future books.  Chris, her best and only friend, brings out a playful side to Bea that is a refreshing break in the middle of all the serious situations this book offers.  I will go as far as saying he is my favorite character overall.

Now.  Onto my least favorite part of these reviews:  the cons. 

The cons are more personal preference than a gripe about what the author did or did not do or say, but I’m putting them out there anyway.  

Sketchy seemed a bit too rushed, especially the ending.  The mystery is pretty easy to solve, but Miss Samms builds this up throughout the book and not all at once.  I like that, but I wish the mystery would have been more of a mystery.  Does that make sense?  It does in my head.  That's a scary place to be, though.  Wait . . . am I blogging my thoughts out loud again?  *sigh*  

I would have liked the book to be a little longer in order to draw out some of the mystery and relationships, but I think (I hope!) this will happen in the upcoming books. 

I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in return for my honest review.  I most definitely will be purchasing a hardcopy of Sketchy when it is released April 30, 2013.  Not only do I want to see how Bea’s character will develop, but also how the author will develop.  Place this on your To Be Read list . . . I promise you will not be disappointed.  

What I'm Listening To:


  1. I think I get you on wanting the mystery to be more of a mystery. That's kind of how I felt about the 'Across the Universe' series. While the author did a great job building up the suspense, it was still fairly easy to guess what some of the big twists might be. It's hard to strike a balance between enough of a twist and TOO MUCH of a twist (see: Variant by Robison Wells. The plot twist comes out of left field and makes no sense).

  2. I just received the Across the Universe series, and I am pretty excited to read it but at least now I know what to expect! lol I had not heard much about Variant, but it is now on my TBR list because I'm sort of partial to things that do not make sense. I'm not quite sure what that says about my character, but I'm working that out in my head. O_o