KIRKUS REVIEW

A naïve art student gets entangled in a web of lies, forgery, and manipulation.

Sabine Reyes is a talented new student at the California Institute for the Visual Arts whose isolation and homelessness after her mother’s recent death set her apart from other students. As the recipient of a prestigious merit-based scholarship, Sabine continually needs to prove her worth, especially to renowned faculty member Collin Krell, whose harsh critiques leave her angry and humiliated before her peers. If Sabine loses the scholarship, she stands to lose her place at the school, her room (she had been sleeping in her car), and her shot at becoming someone. When Adam, a grad student who seems to truly understand her, presents Sabine with a way of getting insight on Krell’s own art by secretly studying his work in progress, she takes the chance, not realizing the dangerous path she is about to embark on. Linka (A Girl Undone, 2015, etc.) expertly weaves a story that is both a slow-burning thriller about the world of art and a study on how a traumatized, vulnerable girl is led to commit a crime and make numerous mistakes. What it means to truly see is present as a recurring theme in terms of understanding not only art itself, but also self-expression and interaction with others and the world. Main characters are white; Sabine’s absent father is not described.

An engrossing novel about art, self-expression, and making amends. (Thriller. 14-adult)

 

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