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What I Want You to See

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  137 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Winning a scholarship to California’s most prestigious art school seems like a fairy tale ending to Sabine Reye’s awful senior year. After losing both her mother and her home, Sabine longs for a place where she belongs.

But the cutthroat world of visual arts is nothing like what Sabine had imagined. Colin Krell, the renowned faculty member whom she had hoped would mentor he
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Disney-Hyperion
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Yna the Mood Reader
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Are you looking for an intriguing book about art, crime, and mystery? Congratulations, this book promises to give you just that.

What I Want You To See tells the story of Sabine Reyes and her journey through her first year at CALINVA, a prestigious art school. She has been struggling in a painting class, as she feels that she is not meeting the expectations of her professor. Aside from this, she is also dealing with losing her mother, being under much debt, and becoming homeless.

Sabine is a moral
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it

Sabine Reye is a talented painter. Her life turns upside down when her mother dies. Despite winning a fully-paid scholarship to California’s most prestigious art school, which was a dream come true, her life isn’t all roses and sunshine. Her class with the teacher she once admired and hoped to study with is harder than she imagined. When a handsome stranger, Adam, who seems to understand her and gives her an opportunity to be better at her art, she takes him up on the offer. But who is Adam real
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

What I Want You to See by Catherine Linka is a book I was excited for since it promises crime and art—two elements I always love in a story. I enjoyed the way art is translated onto the page, but my love for the book pretty much ends there. I had a difficult time connecting with the main character, and there is not enough emphasis on the action of the art crime, making the story fall flat.


This books follows Sabine, a talented scholar
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was quite a fun and a different book for me as what I knew about art was a big fat zero. The author did end up teaching quite a few bits of it.

Sabine was an art student on scholarship and wanted to gain the approval of her teacher Krell. Her classmate Adam helped her, and she ended up creating her version of her professor’s work and sinking into a crime.

My first book by author Catherine Linka, quite a well written book it was. I liked how the characters were etched, they got the opportunity
BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books)
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, ya
What I Loved:
The focus on art in What I Want You to See was amazing. I fell in love with a book many years ago about art and since that book, I have been so intrigued by other books that feature art. In What I Want You to See, I got that same understanding of how much love someone can have for art. I really enjoyed reading and learning more about the art world, and how things can go wrong with each bad decision.

How I Felt:
The Characters: Sabine, our main character, is a bit hard to get to like.
Leelynn (Sometimes Leelynn Reads) ❤
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club, Netgalley, and Disney-Hyperion for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.


At first, this book gave me vibes that reminded me about that movie with Hilary Duff in it where she goes to some arts school or something? You know what I’m talking about, right?

Well, any
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020, arcs
*review to come*
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Also Posted on For The Love of Fictional Worlds

Disclaimer: An eARC was provided via The Fantastic Flying Book Club and the Author as part of the Blog Tour. The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own.

For a woman like yours truly; who has absolutely no creative bone in her body, but who absolutely adores all creative forms of expression; What I Want You To See was definitely an eye – opener for me.

Sabine is an art student on scholarship to a prestigiou
Marti M
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
In this book we follow art student Sabine as she attends her first year at a prestigious art college. Sabine has lost her mother and been homeless in the past year so her scholarship to CALINVA is her saving grace. Unfortunately the professor she thought could mentor her likes to mercilessly tear apart her art with unkind criticism. She also meets Adam, a grad student who knows exactly how tough this schooling experience can be and offers her friendship. After a series of events, the two get swe ...more
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
#FirstLine ~ Think of Krell as an angry art god who requires human sacrifice.

WOW, just wow. Talk about a book that makes you think. This book is filled with relevant topics mixed with an unputdownable story! What I Want You to See is a richly written original thriller. Not only is this story multilayered, it is also deeply character driven. The story takes you on a journey that is unlike any other. Bold and fierce, this story tackles topics that others do not and forces the reader to see a once
Tami Brown
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Smart, arty and thrilling! Although she's a promising young artist, Sabine's ambition and insecurity lead her to make dangerous choices.
I'm a huge fan of art crime and forgery novels so this novel grabbed me from the start - and all the way to the end. The plot is unique, believable, compelling and really nailbiting! It's also very true to the artistic process and the art world.
Linka's finely crafted writing reveals her character's vulnerabilities and motivations. We come to understand that,
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
My Thoughts:

I love the beautiful and artistic cover on What I Want You to See. Once I read the synopsis, I was intrigued, and knew this was a book I wanted to read. What I Want You to See was a super fast read. The chapters are short, and the writing flows effortlessly. I love how the author gave just enough description of the setting, characters, and plot, that I could easily visualize everything, without being bored or making the narrative drag.

The story is told from college art student Sabine
Mari Johnston
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review and many others can also be found at Musings of a (Book) Girl.

Content Warnings: homelessness, anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD, suicide, hospitals, death of a parent

What I Want You to See is a very complex book. The first half was incredibly predictable and I thought about putting it aside several times but I’m glad I stuck with it. Once I got about halfway through I started to enjoy the characters and the direction the story was taking.

The main plot is pretty straightforward – Sabine is
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this YA book about a young woman on her own learning to make decisions and grow without her mother’s support. Sabine is an art student who is hiding her truth and struggling with what she wants to share with her new friends at school. I love that the title “What I Want You To See” refers to the ways that people hide themselves from others. Sabine creates a portrait of a homeless woman that strives to show how people see her as well as who she really is. Yet, Sabine doesn’t realize that ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I want to say first of all that I received this arc from The Fantastic Flying Book Club, and I am part of an amazing blog tour for it! You can find my blog stop, along with many others, over here on the tour page!

If I had a slogan, it would be "I don't like YA romances." That would be it. Kind of a shitty slogan, but there it is in all its glory. YA romances typically fall into the contemporary genre, so as much as I do enjoy a good contemporary I am hard-pressed to pull the trigger on a lot of
KarenJo Custodio
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was surprisingly fun and quite intriguing. What I Want You To See by Catherine Linka is a unique and captivating story about art, beauty, imperfection, and learning how to be true to yourself.

I like to think of myself as an artsy person. I love arts and crafts, I love being creative. I've done scrapbooking, jewelry making, pottery, and even started my own handmade nail polish business a few years ago (I don't do it anymore though). But, I personally don't know that much about art crit
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads
***I received a free e-ARC of this book through Netgalley and FFBC Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review***

Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

This book was the perfect fun read to compliment the “Intro to Art History” class I’m currently taking (and the drawing class I took last semester!). What I Want You to See was a captivating contemporary coming-of-age story mixed with romance, mystery, and of course, art.

One of my favorite elements about this novel was that it not only followed an aspiring art
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yabc-reviews
See my full review here:

WHAT I WANT YOU TO SEE is an interesting book that discusses homelessness, choices and their intersection with privilege, as well as art. Sabine is a student at CALINVA, a prestigious art school that she always dreamed of attending. The goal seemed unattainable until she received the Zoich scholarship. Now that she is at the school, she is having trouble navigating, particularly with regards to Krell, one of her professors who she
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
By Catherine Linka

This book was a non-stop read for me. I was immediately connected to the incredible writing of Catherine Linka and I found an instant linking to the main character, Sabine Reyes. It touches on so many real and intimate topics that young adults are facing across the world today but often go unseen or is downplayed; such as the homelessness of college students. It really tells the story in such an impactful way and that these homeless students do have hopes,
Abby Andrade
Nov 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
SEX, VIOLENCE, LANGUAGE, DRUGS/ SMOKING/ DRINKING, HOMOSEXUALITY, and REPRESENTATION content listed below. My thoughts on the writing at the end.

SEX- kissing, dating, flirting, and mention of sex 2x but not descriptive (an artist take on it)

LANGUAGE- sh*t, f**k, b**ch, and I think there were quite a few b*llsh*t's...

DRUGS/ SMOKING/ DRINKING- no drugs, I think a couple characters smoke, and quite a few drink including the mc

HOMOSEXUALITY- a few gay characters

REPRESENTATION- one of the main messag
Paige Green
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I received an arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: What I Want You to See

Author: Catherine Linka

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Publication Date: February 4, 2020

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 384

Recommended Age: 16+ (some sexual content, art stealing, some language)

Synopsis: Winning a scholarship to California’s most prestigious art school seems like a fairy tale ending to Sabine Reye’s awful senior year. After losing both her mother
Belle Ellrich
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Before I dive into this review further, I want to warn you that this book does focus on some heavy topics, such as depression, suicide, acting out of suicide by multiple people, bullying, catfishing, homeless flashbacks, talks of becoming homeless, and stealing. If any of those topics are triggering to you, I'd suggest you not read further into this review, as I'll be mentioning one of them later on.

Paige Bradish
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What I Want You To See by Catherine Linka is a book that teaches its readers a lesson. It isn’t just a cute story about a girl following her dreams, or trying to anyways. It’s about a girl trying to pick herself up from rock bottom and hitting a lot of walls along the way. It’s important for writers to write through sticky situations, and tough subjects rather than writing around them ultimately sugar coating anything too hard. Sabine Reyes is a tough young woman trying to make her dreams come t ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
What I Want You to See
by Catherine Linka
Pub Date: 04 Feb 2020
read courtesy of

As a YA School Librarian, I try to read books from the perspective of my students. Although I've given this story a 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ for its story, I can only see it being a 3 ⭐⭐⭐ for my high school students. I loved the story and the style of writing, but I'm just not sure it's the type of story my students would enjoy. It's hard to say what about it does this: perhaps part writing style, part narrow character/pl
Jessica Kloss
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Deeply engrossing from start to finish. Now, I feel I need to qualify this a bit. I found the part of the plot that focused on Sabine's attempts to prove herself at art school just as suspenseful as the part about accidentally getting involved in a criminal conspiracy. Which is good, because that's what most of the book was about. I am not a painter myself, and in fact the visual arts kind of freak me out because I wouldn't know where to start, but the author did such a good job folding the phil ...more
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some elements of mystery woven into an emotional contemporary. I thought Sabine was an extremely interesting and compelling character and I identified with her quite a bit. I think Linka did a great job shifting the reader's perspective from the beginning to the end of the book - it's easy to empathize with Sabine as she struggles with what seems like an instructor that holds a grudge against her. She's feeling targeted and attacked, and is easily influenced into making bad decisions. Her ration ...more
Feb 27, 2020 rated it liked it
When Sabine Reye wins a scholarship to a prestigious art school; it feels like a dream after her awful senior year. During her senior year, her mother passes away unexpectedly leaving Sabine without a home. She longs for a place to call her own. However, Sabine didn't realize that the art world could be so cutthroat and that seems to feed on other people's failures. She hopes that Colin Krell, a renowned painter on staff who becomes her mentor but, instead he delights in tearing her down and cri ...more
Bookablereads Reviews
Feb 01, 2020 marked it as to-read
Written in an intricate manner, What I Want You to See is definitely one of the book the book community will surely love. 

Based on the cover, looks can be deceiving in a way you will think that is it just one of the many other feel good contemporary. But no, What I Want You to See is much more different than that. It is the kind of story where you the reader can learn how complex life is. How sometimes things don't happen the way we want it to be.

As a person who doesn't have the talent and inter
Amy’s Booket List
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I worry with certain characters that I'm not going to be able to create an emotional connection, because I cannot empathize with their life. In What I Want You to See, I had those concerns simply because, on the surface, we have very little in common.

Beyond the fact that she is an amazingly talented art student, and my toddler can draw better than I can, Sabine has had an incredibly difficult life. Thankfully, I have never been homeless, and I don't know what it feels like to lose my only paren
Dianna (SavingsInSeconds blog)
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
I usually like to go into a book without knowing too much about it. In the case of What I Want You to See, I think that’s very important. The summary gives WAY too much information, taking away from the suspense that I craved. Still, I very much enjoyed this book. There were some terrific moments that clearly placed a fork in Sabine’s road. I loved the author’s writing style, which was descriptive without being tedious. Definitely planning to give this to my daughter to read! I hope to see anoth ...more
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Catherine Linka was almost thrown out of boarding school for being “too verbal.” Fortunately, she learned to channel her outspokenness and creative energy into writing. A passionate traveler she loves to visit wild landscapes like Iceland, the Amazon, Patagonia and the Arctic circle. Catherine has seen 6 types of whales in the wild, and lived her lifelong dream when she stood on deck in pajamas an ...more

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