Review

Review: Drawn by Cecilia Gray

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3 out of 5 stars | Goodreads

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

It took me a while longer to get to this book than I intended, especially as it is relatively short, and by that point I’d pretty much completely forgotten what it was about! Therefore I decided to dive into it with little knowledge, and was pleasantly surprised.

The basic premise is that Sasha, our protagonist, was abandoned as a baby and grew up in various foster homes. Due to a strange power of hers that makes people who hear her voice speak whatever is on their mind at that moment, she didn’t last long with many families, who were afraid of what she could do. Sasha ends up working for the CIA, as an agent in training, who want to use her strange gift to their advantage. After living happily with one agent for several years, she is suddenly placed on a case in Belgium and has to relocate, leaving behind everything familiar.

Drawn was a sweet story, if not hugely well-developed. It had a really interesting premise – a girl able to make people speak their minds, recruited by the CIA – and I would love to see it as a full novel rather than the 150 odd pages it currently is. This would also have allowed more time to develop the characters from the cookie cutter characters they are, particularly Vivianne as the teenage rebel. Sasha as a protagonist was interesting, with her artistic talents as well as the more unusual, and I really like one particular personal element that was added at the beginning of every chapter: comic strips of Sasha’s life, drawn by Sasha herself. She felt more real, more 3D, although unfortunately she was one of very few developed characters. The reason for Sasha having to go to Belgium seemed a bit far-fetched: the CIA getting involved in graffiti terrorist? Really? But I suppose it had to also be something suitable for younger audiences. The ending was lacking, but again I think the book would really have benefitted from being longer.

This was very much a story about building friendships and trust, about first love and working out who you really are and where you belong. Those were the elements I enjoyed, more so than the mystery of the identity of Kid Aert. A sweet, short story that I would love to see developed into a full novel.

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Monthly Roundup

Monthly Roundup: April 2015

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Every first Wednesday of the month, I’ll be posting a roundup of the month just gone, and writing about what’s to come in the next few weeks.

Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells Drawn by Cecilia Gray Those Above Doctor Who: Engines of War Crocodile on the Sandbank

 

Last month I read a total of six books: The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs, The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer, Drawn by Cecilia Gray, Those Above by Daniel Polansky, Doctor Who: Engines of War by George Mann and Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters.

I may have read more than last month somehow, but it was a month of ‘eh’ books. These all received two or three stars. The most fun was probably Crocodile on the Sandbank, purely for its portrayal of a Victorian female archaeologist, with ladies fainting left right and centre.

 

Challenge progress:

  • I read five books towards the DC vs Marvel Challenge and managed to defeat Kang the Conqueror! Gorilla Grodd is the villain for May, and he looks to be a tough one.
  • I have currently read twenty five books towards my Goodreads goal.

 

Currently reading:

Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan
How was April for you?

Past Features

Weekly Roundup #34

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My ‘Weekly Roundup’ is where I share the books I have received in the past week, whether bought, gifted, borrowed etc. This is a couple of weeks worth of this feature – apparently I haven’t posted one since October, what with Sci-Fi Month in November and then the blog migration to WordPress in December.


Gifted

  • Lonely Planet: The Netherlands – I received this for Christmas from my parents, as I’m off to the Netherlands for my Masters this year. Even though I’ll be studying, I’ve got to make the most of my year abroad (although I’m hoping I’ll stay there a bit longer if possible) and I want to visit as many places as possible!
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – I’m sure you’ve seen this one all over the blogosphere. Samantha Shannon has been pipped as ‘the new J.K. Rowling’, and has signed a seven book deal, as well as the film rights to the series – and she’s a year younger than me. Urk.

 

Bought

  • Hodd by Adam Thorpe – this is a sort of alternate version of the traditional Robin Hood story. I kept seeing it in my local charity shop, and eventually picked it up – it’s practically brand new. This is one of my planned books for the Avengers vs. X-Men Challenge.
  • The Dinner by Herman Koch – I first heard about this book when I read Kelly’s review of it. It’s the sort of contemporary/adult fiction novel I like – with something just hidden below the surface. Plus it’s set in Amsterdam, and I want to read more books set in the Netherlands!
  • The Science of Doctor Who by Paul Parsons – um, how was I ever going to spot this in a charity shop and NOT buy it?
  • The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan – I’m interested to see how this one plays out, as it’s co-written by a film director – although it’s definitely within his genre. This is another one I’m planning to read for the Avengers vs. X-Men Challenge.

 

For Kindle

Ever since I got my own Kindle, I’ve gone kind of crazy. All these 99p deals on brand new books! And the classics, which I’ll mention but not bother with covers: Popular Tales from the Norse, The Babylonian Legends of Creation, Lysistrata, The Birds, The Frogs, The Eleven Comedies, Travels in West Africa, The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Vanity Fair and soooo many more… (I started listing them then realised exactly how many I had downloaded…)

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

  • Raising Steam (Discworld #40) by Terry Pratchett – new Discworld novel? For 99p? Yes, yes I will buy it.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – short adult fiction by Neil Gaiman. I’ve only read his books for younger readers, so I’d like to see how different his adult writing is.
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – Donna Tartt’s The Secret History is one of my favourite books, and when I spotted this new release of hers for 99p I thought I’d give it a try.
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith – written by J.K. Rowling under a pseudonym, I’d love to see how this differs from her usual writing style.

 

Netgalley

So one of my Bookish New Years Resolutions was to get my Netgalley ratio up to at LEAST 50%. So naturally, at the beginning of the year I requested a whole load of new books from Netgalley. The cover links to the Goodreads page.

The Vanishing by Wendy Webb Camelot Burning by Kathryn Rose The Cruel Path by David J. Normoyle Drawn by Cecilia Gray In the Company of Thieves by Kage Baker The Martian by Andy Weir We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo Doctor Who: The Death Pit by A.L. Kennedy Providence Hang Wire by Adam Christopher The Waking Engine by David Edison Black Moon

And that’s it! I think I have enough for a while now… not that that will stop me getting more books! What new reads do you have this week?