Kerry Gans's Reviews > Drawn

Drawn by Marie Lamba
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's review
Jan 30, 12

bookshelves: ya-and-mg, paranormal
Read in January, 2012

I love when a book’s title works on many levels. Marie Lamba’s DRAWN does just that. Her protagonist, Michelle De Freccio, is a teenage artist who loves to draw. Characters are drawn together by romance, friendship, and hate. Michelle and her friends are drawn into a mystery. And the reader is drawn into this book, and it never lets go.

Lamba’s writing is flowing and easy—nothing to trip the reader up and break the spell of the novel. The book starts quickly and speeds up from there. I found myself saying, “Just one more chapter.” every time I reached a chapter break.

Michelle, Christopher, Roger, William and all the minor characters are well-drawn (no pun intended) as well. It is not uncommon in novels for a group of kids the same age to act and sound the same, but Lamba avoids that trap. She is able to use class differences and the accompanying differences in speech to delineate the characters, but she also gives each one a personality of their own. What’s more, not a single character is one-dimensional—each one has flaws, strengths, and depths to them. Even the snotty “Queen Bee” girl, Constance, who could easily have been a stereotype, has flashes of a soul at war with the front she puts up.

Lamba also does a wonderful job evoking the atmosphere of the castle, which is almost as much of a character as the people. Haunting and haunted, housing both the grand and grotesque, Blanchley Castle entrances Michelle as well as the reader. The past and present entwine seamlessly within its walls, and what is “real” depends on what side of the temporal divide you are standing on. Lamba’s own experiences in England, and with fine arts, clearly shine through in the detail and solidity found throughout the book.

DRAWN is a fast-paced adventure filled with romance, danger, intrigue, friendship, and humor. Marie Lamba takes what could have been a stereotype-filled sketch of a story and turns it into a lushly detailed painting of life in both 21st and 15th century England. If you’re looking for a book with an engaging protagonist, captivating plot, and paranormal twist, this is for you. Just make sure to clear your calendar first, because once you start, you won’t want to put it down!

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