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Draw the Dark

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,071 ratings  ·  211 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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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,071 ratings  ·  211 reviews

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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: age-ya, 2010, 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
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.
Rhiannon Ryder
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
After finishing up Ashes I was at a loss, I wanted more. You know how it is sometimes; it makes picking up the next book a bit harder. However, I had Draw the Dark in my BEA pile and since it was Ilsa's book prior to Ashes it was the closest I was going to come, not more Ashes but more Ilsa Bick.

From Goodreads:
"The things I draw: They tend to die."

There are things the people of Winter, Wisconsin, would rather forget. The year the Nazis came to town, for one. That fire, for another. But what th
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 "
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Totally forgot to write a review for this one, though I had quite a bit to say. This book was really annoying in that I think the author had ideas for several books and instead of actually writing several books she crammed all her plots into one. For instance the plot regarding the "sideways place" or whatever the heck it was called really only showed up at the beginning and end and for the rest of the book it remained mostly unmentioned. And Christian being able to draw death didn't really furt ...more
Nov 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya-fiction, dnf
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
Rebecca Ann
Apr 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book had a compelling concept, but failed to do anything with it. I was very disappointed by the use of stock characters and cliched horror themes. The entire plot was completey predictable, and the characters had no personality outside of their staple character-types (loner-boy, popular girl, sheriff, psychiatrist). We learn almost nothing about the sideway places that made me want to read this, and the worst part was that this was not scary at ALL. Horror needs atmosphere and description, ...more
Angelina Justice
May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, ya
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
Stacey Lucky
Sep 27, 2012 rated it did not like it

So many unanswered questions. It seemed like the author didn't know what kind of story to tell. At first all we read about was the forbidden door and then poof it's gone until almost the very end and by that time it doesn't even fit with the story anymore. The door is only one example of things that were not consistent with this book. One of MANY!
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.
Pamella Brokenshire
Oct 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
One word, weird. Weird writing style, weird story, weird characters, this was just all around wierd. I didn't much care for it, except the nice little twist at the end about the murderer. I thought it would be a nice Halloween read, but it was really just a waste of time. I wish I could draw myself into the past and unread this so I could get back the time I wasted...
Cassie Helwig
May 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book was confusing because it seemed like the author wanted to incorporate 3-4 different stories into one. The main story was good, but then she added some other things in there that it really could have done without.
Dec 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I stopped at page 170. I just couldn't subject myself to it anymore. While the writing was decent, nothing made sense. Random info kept being force fed to the point where it actually made my head hurt. I hate giving up on books, but this is one I just can't finish.
Jay Anon
Sep 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
I couldn't read past the first ten pages. Don't see why everyone's pissing themselves over it, it just seemed condescending and poorly written to me. Or maybe I'm wrong. Whatever, I don't really care.
Feb 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
long and drawn out. i think this should be a adult book,
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
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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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Among other things, I was an English major in college and so I know that I'm supposed to write things like, "Ilsa J. Bick is ." Except I hate writing about myself in the third person like I'm not in the room. Helloooo, I'm right here . . . So let's just say that I'm a child psychiatrist (yeah, you read that right)as well as a film scholar, surgeon wannabe (meaning I did an internship in surgery an ...more
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“Follow your heart. Just don't get lost.” 50 likes
“I am a ghost in a land of phantoms and forgotten nightmares.” 10 likes
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