Sketchy is a study in dichotomy so I guess it’s only fitting I’m of two minds about it as I write this review.
Bea is a recovering alcoholic ..Show More »and drug addict…who has a physic ability to sketch people’s thoughts when she draws them.
There are two very different stories at play here and I’m not exactly sold on how well they fit together.
On the one hand, Beas substance abuse problem seems like it could fill out a story all of its own. The fact that is shared page time with a high-concept premise really undercut the severity and sincerity of the heady subject matter.
Meanwhile, the ability to ‘sketch the truth’ side of the narrative didn’t really live up to its promise and wasn’t particularly fulfilling in a mystery sense.
Don’t get me wrong, this genre-clash had some serious potential given how her using is at odds with her ability but nothing came of it.
I could just call Sketchy a zero-sum and leave potential readers to make up their own minds but Sketchy had one, I think, unforgivable flaw.
Bea is painted as a victim because of the lack of trust parents, teachers and police have in her given her substance abuse history.
And the author clearly tells us it is the authority figures in the wrong here.
Yes Bea is cleaning up her act but after literally JUST getting out of rehab the author takes the position that it is unfair that her parents don’t trust her… while she lies about where she is going, puts herself in the path of temptation and has trouble managing to resist using again.
Even when her parents find drugs on her, we are supposed to be outraged they don’t “believe” she’s still clean. Likewise, we're supposed to agree it's unfair that her parents want to her get a part-time job to support her vintage clothing obsession.
I'm really not sure what the author was going for with this approach to the main character. If she was trying to make her more realistic with her self-centred teen approach to life it backfired to make her simply unlikeable.
I have no interest in reading about Bea further, whether or not the stories improve and I can’t think of a particular group or age I’d want to recommend Sketchy too.