Drawing Amanda: Review

drawing amandaAuthor: Stephanie Feuer

Publisher: Hipso Media

Summary: DRAWING AMANDA is set in the under-parented, high-expectation world of a Manhattan international prep school. Fourteen-year-old budding artist Inky Kahn is still smarting from the death of his father. He thinks he’s found his big break when he bonds with the developer of a new computer game and snags a coveted drawing assignment, for which he uses his secret crush–Amanda–as a model.

But unbeknownst to Inky, the developer has a dangerous past, and is using his computer game to lure and stalk teenage girls. And Inky has inadvertently led Amanda right into his path. Blinded by his own ambition and sulking from his father’s death, Inky hides from the truth. Will Inky, with the help of Rungs, his cybergeek pal, discover the treachery in time and save Amanda before the creep ensnares her–or anyone else? (Via Goodreads.)

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Review: Drawing Amanda reads as a cautionary tale, a warning about the dangers of the internet and a reminder that even the smartest of kinds can be lured in by an internet predator if he pays attention to them however that is not all that this book is about. It is also about grief, alienation and trying to fit in and these are dealt with more primarily in the book which sometimes made the main plot line of the internet predator feels like a secondary plot device that was not overly important and that, for me, was the weak point of the book.

The main character, Inky, is still dealing with the death of his father while Amanda has just moved school yet again but this time is without the protection and guidance of her older brothers and struggles to fit in. These issues are what make them susceptible to the charming manipulations of Woody but a lot more focus is given to these issues than the actual manipulation which made the book feel quite slow in places. I, personally, would have preferred if we saw more of the kids interactions with Woody and how he groomed them. However if that was done then perhaps the books would have been too dark for it’s age group, despite this. it does serve as a warning and insight into the dangers of the internet without being too dark.

I did enjoy this book it just took me awhile to get into it. With all the switching between the characters and their issues the pace was a little slow and sometimes the characters were a bit annoying. It did take me quite a wile to warm up to Inky and Amanda but towards the end I did really start to like them. I loved Rungs from the get go. He was funny, smart and was the only one of the characters to truly understand the danger of the situation that they had found themselves in. I think I would have enjoyed this book a bit more if he had been the main character. If you’re an artist I do believe you’ll adore Inky though.

Overall, I did enjoy this book. I loved how creepy and manipulative Woody was and how he lured these kids in and I especially loved their reactions to discovering what he was. First denial, then feeling the need to protect him and then acceptance. I thought it was very realistic and true to form. I also received the enhance edition ebook which meant my copy was illustrated and at times animated and this was beautiful and stunning and really made Inky’s work come to life.

I do think I was a little too old for this book. I’d definitely recommend it from middle grade to age sixteen but I still did like it.

3.5 Stars.

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