Sunday, August 14, 2011

Review of Sketchy Behavior by Erynn Mangum

Rating: 4 Stars
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Synopsis from Drawing Conclusions or Drafting Disaster?  Other than harboring a somewhat obsessive fondness for Crispix and completely swearing-off boys after a bad date (don’t ask), sixteen-year-old Kate Carter is about as ordinary as they come, except for her two notable talents: art and sarcasm. After an introduction to forensic sketching in her elective art class, Kate discovers a third and most unexpected gift: criminal profiling. Her photo-quality sketch helps the police catch a wanted murderer and earns her celebrity status in South Woodhaven Falls. But when that murderer appears to be using his friends to exact revenge, Kate goes from local hero to possible target. Will she manage to survive? Will life ever be 
normal again? And will local news anchor Ted Deffle ever stop sending her flowers?

Review: Novels like Erynn Mangum's Sketchy Behavior are the reason that I enjoy reading young adult inspirational fiction.  Although Kate Carter is a teenager, her character is relatable and her unusual talent of criminal profiling adds an element of suspense to the plot.  The premise of Sketchy Behavior is fresh and unique, with the intrigue of a police mystery without the extra layer of technical crime terminology and descriptions to slow down the plot.  Kate faces her share of fear, doubt, and danger throughout the course of the novel.  Told from Kate's perspective in first person, the novel captured my attention and had me asking the same questions as Kate.  The majority of the plot takes place in Kate's home or in the police station, with the same core set of characters.  Some sections of the plot are relatively uneventful, but Mangum maintains a steady pace with her writing and keeps the reader's attention, primarily through Kate's candid thoughts about the major changes that are taking place in her life. The major climax of the novel occurs at the end of the book, and it had my heart pounding.  But even in the tense situation, Mangum incorporates a touch of her trademark humor.

I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from NetGalley, courtesy of Zondervan.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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