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Draw the Dark

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,040 Ratings  ·  208 Reviews
There are things in Winter, Wisconsin, folks just don't talk about. The murder way back in '45 is one. The near-suicide of a first-grade teacher is another. And then there is 17-year old Christian Cage. Christian's parents disappeared when he was a little boy, and ever since he's drawn and painted obsessively, trying desperately to remember his mother. The problem is Chris ...more
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Carolrhoda Books (first published August 1st 2010)
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Rating details
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Jul 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: why-yes-i-ya
this is one of those three-star situations where i am giving it three stars for me, karen, and not for the larger world. i liked her writing a lot, and i liked the premise, but i have been around the literary block a few too many times for this story to own me. i am certain its audience; those far younger and less handled by literature, would like it more.

it would have made a fantastic amazing stories episode. (you see how old i am??)

without giving too much away, i think that some of the element
Reading this book was kind of like riding the TGV train in Europe. It starts off kind of slow, just chugging along, until it gets it footing in wide open fields and starts barreling at its full potential: ramming down the countryside at 200 miles per hour and you're sitting there wobbling with the carriage enjoying the ride but somewhere deep in the back of your mind you're hoping the brakes are good.

This was such an amazing book. The more I read, the more I wanted to devour. I didn't want my lu
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carrie (brightbeautifulthings)
Christian Cage has always been an outsider in Winter, Wisconsin. Raised by his Uncle Henry after his mother disappeared, he prefers art to interaction, but strange things happen sometimes when Christian draws. He’s convinced that his mother is trapped in another dimension he calls the sideways place, the place where he gets the power to make his drawings come alive–or end in death. When Christian is blamed for vandalizing the barn of the richest man in town, he’s plunged into the secret anti-Sem ...more
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Rated 4.5 really.

As usual with Bick, the reviews are all over the place. I think what it boils down to is, her fondness for mixing different genres and telling multiple stories at once doesn't work for everyone. It sure works for me. From her, I'll even take history lessons without flinching (yes, average me doesn't get along with history very well. Maybe this makes me a horrible person. Maybe you just have to feed me history in a spoon coated with the sugar of a good piece of fiction. Which Bic
Oct 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Sometimes first impressions can be misleading. When I first took a look at this book, I have to admit that I passed it over in favor of other flashier titles that were out there in the YA categories on NetGalley. I kept coming back to it though- the idea of the book just sounded interesting. I have to keep reminding myself that sometimes some of the best books can be the most unassuming.

Christian would like to tell you that he's just your average teenager, but that'd be far from the truth. From
Jul 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, age-ya, horror, arcs
Pretty much from the moment I first saw this cover I wanted to read this book... and lucky me got the chance via Netgalley (it doesn't come out until October). Somehow the red barn looked really creepy.

Ever since his mom disappeared into the sideways place, Christian has been drawing on his walls, drawing things OUT. People in the small town of Winter, Wisconsin are leery of him since that incident with his first grade teacher... and his Aunt Jean... and now he's being blamed for painting a cryp
Dani Harper
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To say that I loved this book would be an understatement. To explain why I loved it so much is difficult, perhaps because I don't quite know myself. All I do know for certain is that I couldn't put it down, I cared about the characters, I didn't see the twists and turns coming, and the end was amazing. I could not ask any more of any story. Because I'm an author myself, perhaps the best compliment I can give is to say that I wish I had been the one to write it. Draw the Dark will have a place of ...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
Review for this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED book is below the PSA. The PSA does not reflect this book or the author (who is lovely)

 photo Goodreads_zpsfd34dfc1.jpg

Draw the Dark is gritty, original and unnerving. I'm going to be honest with you. It's been a couple of months since I've listened to the audiobook. I hate myself for procrastinating this review. However I really liked this book and want other people to read it so I'm reviewing it anyways.

Christian Cage is a bit of an outcast. After both his parents disappear, he turns to a
Mar 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, ya
Christian is a great protagonist, someone who can keep a reader's sympathy while he flails around out of his depth. He's trying to prove himself like any normal teen, he has a hard time fitting in, but if he could just learn how to use his abilities, he could be the most powerful of any of them. He's a genius who hasn't come into his own, but somehow his genius makes him more relatable. Maybe it's because he's very aware of how "weird" he appears to everyone else, or maybe I just have a fondness ...more
Asher Allen
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Draw the Dark by Ilsa J. Bick is a creepy fiction model about a boy named Christian who can see other people’s past experiences in dreams and do things unconsciously with no recollection of ever doing it. Naturally, that is never a good thing. Christian ends up painting anti-semitic symbols on property that doesn’t belong to him and other mischievous activities. Throughout the story, Christian tries to get help, but nobody can believe his stories because of how absurd they are. I can relate to ...more
Laura Lulu
Aug 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
A dark & creepy story about a 17 yr old boy with strange "powers", along with a great murder-mystery from 1945. I don't think this is YA--except for the protag being a 17 yr old boy, the story reads like a suspense novel, with some added creepy paranormal goodies. So if you're not a fan of YA, don't let that deter you from this story--it was a good one, with barely any teen angst.

I might have given it 5 stars, but for the 1st & last chapters. They were about his missing parents & a "
Angelina Justice
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, fantasy
I loved this book. It was a supernatural, history mystery. The characters are engaging. The story stays tense without being melodramatic and the plot resolution wraps up loose ends nicely while still allowing the readers imagination to fill in the blanks. I learned some things I didn't know about past, foreign prisoners of war on American soil. I love it when a book teaches me something new, while also telling a great story.

The ending also lends itself to a sequel. One can only hope it is forthc
Oct 05, 2011 rated it did not like it
I was just so slow. I do not remember the last book that I read this slowly. I kept saying another 20 pages and it has to pick up but it didn't. I got about 100 pages in and decided since it was due back at the library I was done. I an just not going to pay late charges on a book I am having to force myself to read.

Who knows maybe for other people this book held their attention. But it just wasn't my cup of tea.
Nov 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this one, I really, really did. I am, after all, a northwoods girl, & I been to many a b-ball game in Winter, WI. And, somehwere, buried deep, there appears to lurk a great story...
I just couldn't find it -- the book cries for a tighter editing job.
Scott Freeman
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Far and away the best YA book I have read this year.
Pop Bop
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A Compelling YA Psychological Thriller

I very much enjoyed this book, but not necessarily for the reasons you might expect. The angle here is that our hero, Christian Cage, may be delusional or schizophrenic, and he might or might not be in touch with voices and messages "from the other side" that are trying to lead him to solve an old crime. His Dad disappeared when Christian was a small child, and then a few years later his Mom disappeared. Christian suspects that instead of having run away or
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
Christian has a gift although he thinks of it as a curse. He can see people's darkest fears and draw them. It worked on his teacher when he was seven. It worked on his aunt when he was ten. An since then, he's tried to hide it. One morning he wakes up sore and tired, not knowing why. Until his uncle, the sheriff, pulls him from school. In his sleep, Christian went to an old barn owned by the richest guy in town and, hanging from a rope by one arm, spray-painted "I saw you" with a couple of Nazi ...more
Nov 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, ya-fiction
I was so incredibly disappointed with this book. I got to 68% of the book, well over half way through, and it never got any better from the beginning. There were some interesting elements to it: the sideways place and the town’s history in particular. But in the end, I was so bored and done with the book. I hate leaving books unfinished, but this one felt like homework, and we all know how that feels.

My main complaints are the writing style and lack of plot development. The writing style is awk
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think this book is amazing just the way that the author describes all of the characters really puts you "in" the book. I think that the author did an amazing job at getting that dark and mysterious vibe while still making it entertaining for a younger audience to understand and get the hints. The way Christian fall's into insanity is perfect how they describe the doctor's evaluations and how the Christian thinks really makes you feel like you are really experiencing everything he is. The way s ...more
Brooke Skeen
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The story was compelling. At first it reminded me a bit of Stranger Things, my mine equating the "sideways place" with "the upside down" but as I read it was less like the show (although I do believe the book came first) and was more of a thriller.

Christian Cage was the perfect dichotomy of same and other - it was easy to see bits of myself in him and at the same time to see as something almost exotic. There was anger and rage, but also compassion. Despite the supernatural elements, the story f
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I would rate this book 3/5 stars because even though it was good it was not one of my favorites. In this book Christian Cage (the main character)loses both of his parents after his father disappeared when he was born, then his mother disappears and throughout the book he tries to find her by drawing pictures and having dreams. But then sometimes he has nightmares where he kills people and those nightmares end up being real. I just found this to be kind of confusing because the book didn’t explai ...more
Danny Pfarr
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When you read this you start off confused, and then amazed, and confused again, until you finally understand the total of this wonderful book. In the end, the story is so magical and ends with such a twist that it has to be one of my favorite books now. It is a spiralling mystery of natural phenomena, the past in a small American town, WWII, and art. What those things have to do with each other, you just have to find out by reading.
Shayla Harris
Oct 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I "broke up" with this book because I already didn't like the setting or the plot with this book. I felt that the main character was not a right fit and I couldn't imagine anything good and it just felt off. I didn't like how there was a different dimension and it was just too confusing to follow and it wasn't hooking me in.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Christian isn't just a normal boy, he can see other peoples past and be in their dreams. With that being said, this book is kinda hard to follow but a really good and interesting book. It leaves you wanting to find out more about how Christian can "be in their dreams". I recommend this book to people who can follow a bunch of "problems" happening at once.
Jun 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Review also posted at Metageekery Studies

One of the luxuries of the library is the ability to browse shelves. While I savor recommendations from friends or automated algorithms, some of the best books one can find is from taking the time to peruse.

Admittedly, my finding of Draw the Dark did not come from humble amble through the shelves of Fremont Library. I had returned two books and was hurriedly looking for something new to read before rushing out to a bus for an appointment later that day.
Nick B.
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book Draw the Dark is about a kid named Christian that lives in Winter, Wisconsin and can see other peoples past lives.

I really liked the book. One of the scenes that I liked was when Christian had to repaint Dekker's bike instead of painting what Dekker wants, Christian painted one of his visions on his bike and the reason why I like it is because it was interesting that Christian didn't just paint what Dekker wanted but instead painted what his vision was. One thing I didn't like about the
Dark Faerie Tales
Feb 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick and Dirty: The mysteries that surround Winter, Wisconsin and Christian Cage make this an interesting and surprising read.

Opening Sentence: So. Everything I need to leave is here: My brushes. Paint. The wall.

The Review:

Christian Cage wakes up one morning after an intense dream about a kid pleading with his father with red paint covered hands, but no notion of how it got there. After being accused of vandalizing a barn with Nazi imagery despite not remembe
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Draw the Dark 3 14 Feb 18, 2014 12:03AM  
English 11 1B/D: Draw the dark 3 7 Oct 04, 2012 05:59AM  
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“Follow your heart. Just don't get lost.” 51 likes
“I am a ghost in a land of phantoms and forgotten nightmares.” 11 likes
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