6.15.2014

THE SUNDAY REVIEW: DRAWING AMANDA - STEPHANIE FEUER


Inky draws his crush for a game–and paints her into real danger.

DRAWING AMANDA is set in the under-parented, high-expectation world of a Manhattan international prep school. Fourteen-year-old budding artist Inky Kahn is still smarting from the death of his father. He thinks he’s found his big break when he bonds with the developer of a new computer game and snags a coveted drawing assignment, for which he uses his secret crush–Amanda–as a model.

But unbeknownst to Inky, the developer has a dangerous past, and is using his computer game to lure and stalk teenage girls. And Inky has inadvertently led Amanda right into his path. Blinded by his own ambition and sulking from his father’s death, Inky hides from the truth. Will Inky, with the help of Rungs, his cybergeek pal, discover the treachery in time and save Amanda before the creep ensnares her–or anyone else?
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Goodreads

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You might recognize this book from the cover reveal I participated in awhile back. Well, today's the day - this book is now available! Hipso Media was kind enough to send me an ARC to read and review so that I could share my thoughts with you guys.

This book deals with an issue that's important for kids to learn about - particularly in this day and age when so much of their lives exist online, with minimal supervision. It can be a wonderful place to find amazing people, but it also  comes with risks.

This is the story of a few misfit teens who are drawn to an online game - Rungs, who came across it and passed the info on to an artist friend Inky, who's looking for a break. The third is Amanda, a young girl who's new to her school and feeling lonely and isolated.

What begins as some harmless online fun soon shifts into something more sinister as Inky and Rungs uncover some worrying information and try to warn Amanda before it's too late.

This story had me thinking about several episodes of Law & Order: SVU as I was reading. It has that same feel of a story with a dark underbelly, the same creeping ick factor as the truth begins to bob to the surface.

The plot is set up in such a way that you're drawn in by the characters and have time to get to know and care about them before the story takes over. I felt for Amanda. She's moved around a lot, is in a new school, a new city, and for the first time she doesn't have her brothers for company.

Inky is likewise heartbreaking - he lost his dad, his mom is MIA most of the time, and losing his dad threw the rest of his world off its axis. He's failing in school, blew his chance to go to his dream art academy, and seems to have missed out on becoming a normal, dateable teenager like everyone else in his class.

My heart went out to both of them right from the beginning, and it's impossible not to hope that they'll get to know each other, maybe feel a little less alone.

I think the only down side for me personally (as an adult reader) was that this book felt more like a middle grade than young adult book - it's definitely more appropriate for younger teens. It also feels a bit more like a story built around a cautionary tale/warning than a book that just happens to deal with a scary issue. Which I think falls a little flat when you're not the intended audience.

However I would recommend this for younger teens - particularly those who enjoy some intrigue and mystery in their reads - and have a thing for rooting for the underdogs!

Want to check it out? Now for sale on Amazon.

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Book Title: Drawing Amanda
Author: Stephanie Feuer
Series: No
Edition: Paperback - Advanced Reader Copy from Publisher
Published By: Hipso Media
Released: June 15, 2014
Genre: Fiction, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Pages: 292
Date Read: June 10-15, 2014
Rating: 7/10

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