Book Review: Sketches of My Soul
This is my stop during the book blitz for Sketches of My Soul by TC Booth. This book blitz is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 3 till 9 July. See the tour schedule here.
Sketches of My Soul (Sketches #1)
By TC Booth
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: June 20, 2017
In the game of life, I was used to being on the losing team. The odds were stacked against me. Tegan’s Team—a mom who tried to control me, a dad who would rather drink then spend time being a father, a lying ex-boyfriend, and fake friends. Like any team however, you have that one shining star that stood out above the rest. For me that star was Emily, my best friend.
I guess life had pity on me the day it gave me a friend that always had my back. Life must have felt extra giving the day it gave me a cheer leader—Mrs. White, my next-door neighbor. She’d been more of a parent to me growing up then my own parents.
And then there was Andrew. He was my shooting star. One that I never saw coming. One that I hoped became mine over the summer of my senior year.
A glimpse into a crystal ball couldn’t have prepared me for that summer, though. The summer where a letter from my mom rocked me to the core. I felt the world shake with every word I read in that letter. By the time I reached the end, my world split wide open swallowing me whole.
You can find Sketches of My Soul on Goodreads
You can buy Sketches of My Soul on Amazon
If you sign-up for the author’s newsletter you can get a free copy of Sketches, the prequel novella to Sketches of My Soul.
About the Author:
TC Booth was born and raised in a small Ohio town where she currently lives with her husband, children, and fur covered baby Sammy.
She is an award winning author who loves to read and write young adult fiction. Besides her book addiction, TC enjoys music, attending Cavs games, going to the beach, eating chocolate and spending time with her family.
You can find and contact TC Booth here:
There’s a tour wide giveaway during the book blitz for Sketches of my Soul. One winner will win a $10 Amazon gift card!
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And now, time for my review!
Let me start off by saying, I LOVE books about art! Or, rather, books where one of the main characters is super into art, and uses art as a mechanism for their emotional journey. Actually, one of the main characters in the novel I most recently finished writing is an artist. I personally love doing art as a hobby, whether it's drawing comics, painting pictures of Chewie, or making weird Star Trek fan art. Regardless, I immediately related to the main character, Tegan, because of how into art she is!
Tegan's family is very well constructed. Booth did an excellent job portraying the struggles of a family dealing with alcoholism. Tegan's father felt believable, and I could feel the pain Tegan suffered from growing up with an alcoholic father.
Another part of this book that was super well-done was the suspense! I can really appreciate well-done suspense in a contemporary YA novel. A lot of authors may default to thinking that suspense is for thrillers or fantasy novels, but a contemporary, slice-of-life story can have suspense, too, especially if you want to keep the audience engaged. Booth created suspense by revealing only small pieces of information to the audience at a time. Over the course of the story, we learn that the secrets in Tegan's family go much deeper than we thought, and it's worth reading all the way through to find out what's going on.
There were a few things about this book that kept me from giving it five stars. For example--and don't worry, I won't put any spoilers in my review!--at the end, there is a huge reveal of a secret about Tegan's mom. When this reveal happened, I was honestly more confused than anything. I didn't think Tegan's mom's behavior throughout the story warranted this kind of secret, and the twist just honestly didn't feel completely earned. It left me with more questions than answers about Tegan's family dynamic.
Also, I wasn't sure why Tegan's parents wanted her to go to medical school so badly. Don't get me wrong; I LOVED how Booth showed the struggle of a child wanting to pursue art, while her parents push her toward a more profitable STEM field. As a young person pursuing art/writing myself, I totally understand how Tegan felt, and I was glad to see that passion so honestly portrayed. At the same time, I did not understand why it was medical school specifically her parents were pushing her towards. It's established early on that both of Tegan's parents are humanities professors at the local college, so I was confused by their preference for STEM fields, and medicine specifically.
There was just one more thing I didn't really like, and that was how Mallory's character was presented. I understand that we only got her from Tegan's perspective, which means of course we'll see her flaws. Teenagers who dislike each other definitely aren't known for being the most objective! However, Mallory was a threat to Tegan essentially because she dressed in revealing clothes and pursued the same boys Tegan liked (Jason and Andrew). I just wish Mallory would've had some kind of redemption arc so she didn't feel like a mean-girl stereotype. Tegan vs. Mallory seemed like almost a textbook example of innocence vs. deviance, and it just got a little too on-the-nose for me. But sometimes I'm too much of an angry feminist when I read things, so feel free to take that with a grain of salt!
I'll finish off this review with some more things I liked!
I loved Tegan's relationship with Andrew. It's SO IMPORTANT to have more books, TV shows, movies, etc. where we can see healthy teen relationships. Andrew is older than Tegan--he's already finished a year of college, while Tegan's just turned 18. However, he never pressures her into a relationship and never pressures her into going farther than she's comfortable with. What was especially well-done about this, was that Andrew wasn't a nice-guy stereotype, either. He had anger issues and a rough past. Yet he still shows respect to Tegan, and always treats her well. He was a good example of a complex character still able to have a healthy relationship.
I also LOVED the character of Mrs. White! She's wonderful. I LOVE LOVE LOVE books that have a strong relationship between characters of different generations--that's what the OTHER novel I just finished writing is about! (TC Booth, I think you may have read my mind a few times while you were writing this, haha!) Mrs. White and Tegan had a sweet relationship, and they made me smile whenever they interacted.
If you're looking for a light and quick read that still has a lot of emotional depth, and still manages to deal with some heavy topics in an honest way, I'd recommend Sketches of My Soul!
I received a free advanced copy of this e-book from Lola's Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review.
I hope you guys enjoy Sketches of My Soul if you read it!