Sabine Reyes knows rock bottom. After her mother died suddenly, Sabine spent much of her senior year living out of her car. Landing a scholarship to CALINVA, a prestigious California art school, means that she’s finally able to take a breath. But she still feels like she’s waiting for the other shoe to drop, especially when Collin Krell, her painting professor, has nothing but brutal criticism for her work. In real danger of losing her scholarship, Sabine struggles to find a way to impress Krell. When a magnetic grad student who cleans Krell’s studio shows her Krell’s newest portrait, which has created huge buzz in the art world despite being kept under lock and key, Sabine secretly copies it, determined to learn from him one way or another. But when Sabine inadvertently finds herself caught up in a crime, she’ll have to decide whether or not to speak out—even if it means losing everything. Linka (A Girl Called Fearless, 2014) balances multiple plot threads with unusual grace; the crime story line, while it propels the narrative, never overwhelms Sabine’s artistic journey, the grief she’s still processing, or the difficulties she faced while homeless and the connection she feels to the homeless community now. Clear-sighted and heartbreakingly true, this is a genuine portrait of a girl in quiet crisis learning to see things as they are.

— Maggie Reagan

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