Sketchy Behavior - Throwback Thursday!

It's another Throwback Thursday! I'll be revising and posting reviews I've written in the past. This entry was originally written in 2011:

(c.) 2011 by Zondervan
Title: Sketchy Behavior
Author: Erynn Mangum
Published: 2011 by Zonderkidz

Author Erynn Mangum's first novel for teens centers on 16-year-old Kate Cater, who discovers she has a talent for art and unknowingly uses it to sketch a wanted criminal after a forensic sketching introduction in her school's art class.  When the police use her drawing to apprehend a man who matches the description, her life is turned upside down –suddenly she is as famous as Nancy Drew in her small hometown.  Things take dangerous turn when it seems that the murderer is intent on getting revenge through his accomplices.  With law enforcement establishing 24/7 security around her home and a police officer following Kate everywhere –even to school– will her life ever be the same? 

                That is what first (pardon the pun) “drew” me in  –I've loved art and drawing ever since I could remember, so I wanted to see how it would be incorporated into this YA novel.  Though drawing was not described in technical detail (as it was not needed), the emphasis for an artist's need to observe and pay attention to detail (especially for a profiler) was spot-on.  Erynn Mangum really captured her protagonist's teenage point of view in an authentic, believable voice.  Kate narrates her story with wry humor (and sprinkled with pop references). It's interesting to see how her relationships with other characters change over the course of the book.  The climax of the story included a twist I definitely did not see coming and the conclusion was satisfying enough, though I do think (and hope) that a sequel is possible. 

                Though there were moments that some could say bordered on the line of “too preachy”, I think that the spiritual aspect of “Sketchy Behavior” was done well.  Kate comes from what I'd imagine a fairly typical modern American family would be –spiritually speaking.  Her father seems indifferent to religion and her mother only suggests they go to church to “get all the help they can” when it's clear that Kate's life could be in danger.  Kate herself admits that she hasn't really thought about things like that.  Christian characters like Detective Masterson provide a contrast for Kate and the reader to observe how they handle or look at situations compared to Kate's family.  I was glad that the author didn't go for a more stereotypical ending for Kate's spiritual journey (though it seems unfinished) which is part of the reason why I think a sequel or maybe the start of a series could be realized. 

                *Disclosure:  I received an advanced reader's copy of this book through Zondervan's Z-Street Team program.  No compensation was received and the opinions expressed are my own.*
Sketchy Behavior - Throwback Thursday! Sketchy Behavior - Throwback Thursday! Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 7/31/2014 12:00:00 AM Rating: 5

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