Release date: March 12, 2014
Sasha has a secret – that she can make you spill your secret with nothing more than a question. Her strange gift makes her a burden to her foster family and a total freak of nature. Not that Sasha cares. Why should she when no one cares about her?
Then the CIA knocks on her door. They want to give Sasha a new identity and drop her into a foreign country to infiltrate a ring of zealous graffiti terrorists. They want to give Sasha something to care about.
To survive a world where no one is who they seem, Sasha needs to make people trust her. But when that trust blossoms into love, Sasha is forced to decide between duty and friendship, between her mind and her heart, and whether to tell the truth or keep her secrets.
Drawn is a contemporary-like story with a dash of paranormal. Sasha is a human lie detector – with just her voice, she can make someone fess up what’s on their minds. Cool ability but doesn’t help her socially because it is switched on 24/7. Having been in and out of foster homes for her entire childhood, she knows getting close to people is a work in vain, because ultimately they will say something hurtful and regretful to her. So, she builds up these walls and just concentrates on how she can use her ability for the greater good. Being fostered by an FBI agent for the last four years, she is trained in being an agent. When the opportunity comes along to be a spy, she gets excited. She has to find a particular graffiti artist, known for his politically-effective works and turn him into an asset for the CIA. Being close to age, she is great for the role. But soon she finds out that maybe what she wanted to be was not what was best for her.
Sasha’s character is very introverted, because of her ability and she is quick to think that others will reject her. When she arrives in Brussels and her handler’s exuberant daughter wants to be friends with her, she avoids it at first thinking it will anyway hurt later on. Art, however, connects them and soon they are hitting the town and painting it with graffiti. She gains a valuable asset in Vivi, but also a good friend – which she doesn’t realize until later on. Vivi’s friend Seb is a love interest, but even there she holds back because she doesn’t want to deal with the broken heart later on. The author has written each character in such good detail – you know Vivi, Seb and Chelsea and how they are feeling so well, even if Sasha herself doesn’t see it. The story ultimately shows that between the heart and duty, sometimes what is right and what is good are not always the same. It was a celebration of liberty of a person from her fears and learning to trust others.
A unique feature of the novel was that sections were marked off with a short comic strip chronicling Sasha’s early years. While the artwork in the comic wasn’t really good, it however added a nice touch to the story. I would also have loved if the ending wasn’t left so open-ended but it was sort of bittersweet too. I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.
Received a copy from Gray Life in exchange for an honest review.