ARC Review: Olivia Samms – Sketchy


Title: Sketchy
Author: Olivia Samms
Series: Bea Catcher Chronicles #1
Amazon Children’s
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Release Date: 30 April 2013

A popular cheerleader—raped, beaten, and left for dead. An edgy outsider with a gift. Can they team up to catch a killer?

Bea’s life has been a mess ever since she got kicked out of private school and sent to rehab. Now clean, Bea is starting over at Packard High School, in a city shaken from two assaults on young women. The latest victim, Willa Pressman—the one who survived—doesn’t remember a thing. But Bea has a disturbing new “skill”: she can see—and then draw—images from other people’s minds. And when she looks at Willa, Bea is shocked by what she sketches. Bea might be the only one who knows Willa’s secrets—and who can take down the killer before he strikes again. (

This book was surprisingly good. I was actually a little iffy going into it, as I haven’t had much luck with YA releases this year, but I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t without its problems, but overall it was a pretty good read. It’s also a very quick read, so if you’re looking for a quick piece to read at an airport or something, pick this up. There’s also mature material in this book, not suitable for younger readers, so reader be warned.

The idea was fairly unique, in that Bea draws images that she sees in other people’s minds. Using this ability to solve a mystery is fairly common faire for these books, and Bea does just that, with sometimes not-so-great results.

Bea’s parents bugged me. I suppose they were supposed to be the overly-protective parents who feel betrayed by their child, but they still bothered me. I can’t even really pinpoint why they bothered me so much, because I can definitely understand why they did what they did (such as giving Bea hardly any leeway and having her pee in a cup for drug testing constantly), but they essentially make her a prisoner in her own home, and I really can’t condone that no matter what Bea’s done.

The high school drama seemed a bit much, also, but then again I know how mean kids can be. It was actually harder to watch Bea’s flashbacks, of her former friend shunning her because she didn’t want to admit to her drug problem, and let Bea take the fall for everything, which was absolutely ridiculous, but believable. Then Bea has to deal with all the rumors in her new school, and all I could wonder was if Bea would ever catch a break.

And I really, really liked the friendship between Bea and Chris. I liked that Chris was the sometime voice of reason for Bea, even though she hardly listened to him. Well, at least he tried.

There’s also a slight hint of romance that I’m hoping will be developed in a future book. It’s very spoiler-y to say anything more than that, but I really do look forward to seeing this develop and seeing what it can be.

Overall, I thought this was a good read. There were a few bits that bothered me, such as Bea’s severely over-protective parents, but the rest was so entertaining that it drowned out the little things.

An electronic review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions herein are mine and were not influenced in any way by the publisher or author.


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