Hi everyone! Today I am very happy to be on the blog tour for What I Want You To See by Catherine Linka, hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club!
About the Book
Title: What I Want You To See
Author: Catherine Linka
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Blurb: Winning a scholarship to California’s most prestigious art school seems like a fairy tale ending to Sabine Reye’s awful senior year. After losing both her mother and her home, Sabine longs for a place where she belongs.
But the cutthroat world of visual arts is nothing like what Sabine had imagined. Colin Krell, the renowned faculty member whom she had hoped would mentor her, seems to take merciless delight in tearing down her best work—and warns her that she’ll lose the merit-based award if she doesn’t improve.
Desperate and humiliated, Sabine doesn’t know where to turn. Then she meets Adam, a grad student who understands better than anyone the pressures of art school. He even helps Sabine get insight on Krell by showing her the modern master’s work in progress, a portrait that’s sold for a million dollars sight unseen.
Sabine is enthralled by the portrait; within those swirling, colorful layers of paint is the key to winning her inscrutable teacher’s approval. Krell did advise her to improve her craft by copying a painting she connects with . . . but what would he think of Sabine secretly painting her own version of his masterpiece? And what should she do when she accidentally becomes party to a crime so well -plotted that no one knows about it but her?
Complex and utterly original, What I Want You to See is a gripping tale of deception, attraction, and moral ambiguity.
Review: This book blew my mind by the end! I didn’t know which way to turn! Also, this is going to be really hard to talk about without spoiling the ending, which I definitely don’t want to do, but I’ll do my best.
Let’s start off with the main character: Sabine. I connected with her right away because, while I have not had the challenges she faced, I do know what it’s like to be a student at an arts school, desperate for the approval of a very difficult teacher. My medium was not painting (it was music), but the emotions and devastation I felt when I could not figure out what my teacher was going for at the time really made me relate to Sabine. I understood why she wanted to take the risks she took and really hoped that things would work out for her.
Again, I can’t really go into as much of the plot as I would like, as it would spoil things and this is a book that really needs to be experienced fresh. I will say that I absolutely loved Sabine’s friends at CALVINA – Taysha and Kevin. Everyone should have people like this in their lives. I also really liked how the atmosphere of CALVINA was described. Any arts school, of any medium or genre, will be competitive and it is difficult sometimes to make friends. It is also difficult to connect with the imposing, sometimes intimidating, faculty, even though they are supposed to become your mentors. Catherine Linka captured this perfectly in this book.
The mystery and crime parts are the ones that I don’t want to talk about, but I will say that my heart was in my throat the entire time. I read most of this book in one sitting because I could not put it down. Sabine gets involved in something way over her head, and while she never meant to hurt anyone, it is also very difficult and risky to try and make things right. There is a question put to the reader about whether it is best to hope that the bad things we have done will be overlooked and blow over, or whether it is better to clear your conscience and come clean, regardless of the consequences and how it may affect your future. You’ll have to read the book to see what happens and what Sabine decides, but I found the ending to be perfect.
GoodReads rating: 5 stars
About the Author
Catherine Linka is the author of the young adult novel WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE as well as the dystopian series A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS and A GIRL UNDONE. A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS was an ABA Indie Next Pick and won the Young Adult Novel Award 2014 from the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association. A frequent speaker at writing and teen conferences, Catherine received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and worked as a young adult book buyer for an independent bookstore for seven years. Prior to pursuing a career in publishing, she studied international politics at Georgetown University followed by a master’s degree in business at the University of North Carolina. Catherine is married and lives with her husband in the San Gabriel foothills. Visit her at http://www.catherlinelinka.com.
This tour includes a giveaway to win a copy of What I Want You To See! You can enter via this Rafflecopter link and must enter by February 12th. This giveaway is open to the US only. Good luck!
Follow the Tour!
Be sure to check out the other stops on this blog tour to see more reviews, guest posts, author interviews, and more! You can find the schedule here. Thanks again to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for hosting this tour and for allowing me to be a part of it!