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See What I See

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  345 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Kate Tapert sees her life in paintings. She makes sense of the world around her by relating it to what she adores—art. Armed with a suitcase, some canvases, and a scholarship to art school in Detroit, Kate is ready to leave home and fully immerse herself in painting. Sounds like heaven. All Kate needs is a place to stay.

That place is the home of her father, famous and recl
Hardcover, 199 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by HarperTeen (first published April 1st 2010)
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Aug 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed sitting down at 1 am and reading this novel, I find Gloria Whelan's novels very relaxing and it just takes you from whatever it is that you are upset about and drives you into her characters' lives. It is an easy read, but let me tell you something, that I did not realize until the end, she kind of always makes her protagonist a smart, caring and positive person. I loved the way Kate stuck around her dad just to pursue her dreams of becoming an artist. As harsh as that man was t ...more
joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire*
a nearly perfect little story. well-balanced, -paced, and -executed. lovely general milieu and artistic detail.
believable, heart-breaking, and hopeful. great cover!

pg13 very green, for hard issues like abandonment and alcoholism, with no suger-coated fairy tale ending

very much recommended for teens or for book clubs, as there are layers of meaning and great possible discussion of choices

ie did kate's father make the right choice to devote his life full-time to art rather than his family?
Rebecca McNutt
Nov 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm still not sure what to make of this book. I liked it, but the characters were generic and difficult to connect with. The dialogue was at times unrealistic and choppy, or even stranger was when it got into the art talk - it got trippy! I think that this book is trying to evoke something, but I don't honestly know what it is.
Jessica Bierschied
Jan 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
SEE WHAT I SEE, by Gloria Whelan, is a story about a young artist who will do whatever it takes to achieve her dreams of becoming a famous painter like her father, who she hasn't seen since she was a little girl. Kate is in for more than she expected when she shows up at her father's doorstep in Detroit, to find that her long absent father is dying and has only months to live.

I found this novel very uplifting and really made me think about the importance of family. Kate has had nothing to do wi
Sep 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
First. It is necessary to mention the beauty of the prose. It is glorious. Like, clutch-your-heart-and-read-it-again glorious. The book reminds me of a painting. As though the empty pages were a canvas and the words the paint. Ms. Whelan is a master at using these words to create a painting that is rich, layered and textured.

The book deals with the relationships between a child and her parents. Specifically the relationship between a child who was abandoned and the father who abandoned her. It i
Michelle Isenhoff
Oct 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Gloria Whelan has reconfirmed herself as one of my favorite authors with her latest book, See What I See. We share a state, and the passion with which she paints northern Michigan’s gorgeous scenery reflects my own love of “up north.” But it is her mastery of story and language that makes her one of the greats.

Kate has grown up without her father. He’s been too busy becoming a famous artist to pay her any mind. The only thing she ever received from him was a talent for art. She needs to paint as
Princess Bookie
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2010
My Thoughts: I won't lie, I don't read many books like this. I'm more of a romance reader. But I got this for review and I liked the sound of it plus I knew a few friends were excited for it so decided to give it a chance. We meet Kate who has spent her whole life with her mom, in a trailer, barely getting by. She wants to become an artist, go to art school, do something she loves. Her father is a famous painter but he left them while she was just a child and had nothing to do with them all thes ...more
May 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, ya
I really liked See What I See. It is a "read it in one sitting" book. It is written in first person, very much like a diary. - Very understated, but still very powerful at times.

good quotes
(page 139)
"You're making yourself too important. Guilt comes from feeling we're at the center of the universe. We're not. We're just a small part of someone's life; there are a hundred thousand other things going on. In the case of your father it's his cirrhosis, exacerbated by portal hypertension."

(page 15
Nidah (SleepDreamWrite)
More like 4.5 stars. This sounded good. Liked the descriptions of the setting and especially comparing it to art and when Quinn and her dad painted. Makes me want to give painting a try again. Maybe. I like that there was a hint at a romance and that Kate had her friends old and new. A sad but quick read.
Oct 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Contemporary realistic fiction about a budding artist who moves in with her estranged artist father in Detroit while she attends art school, only to discover he is unrepentant about having abandoned her and her mom, and dying of liver failure. Complex relationships and lots of nature imagery. Reminded me in some ways of Garret Freymann-Weyr in tone.
May 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 14-16, art, family, michigan
While this story felt true to the art world, ultimately I felt it didn't pack enough emotion - I felt distanced from the story at all times. And it was totally predictable. Some lovely writing and a fast read.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was really cool and interesting. It was cool to have it be in Michigan and the story itself was rather cool.
A Nelson
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dec 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
I entered this book with minimal expectations, but found myself pleasantly surprised at the muted poignancy in this novel.

The premise of this novel immediately brought to mind The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks; I am in the middle of reading the book now, so I cannot tell you how much the two are alike and how they differ, but there is a definite similarity between the two. The parallels between the hope and beauty of Kate's art world and the bleak and chasmic depression swirling around life with
Sep 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
see what i see is a story that explain how we can realize our dreams if we want to. in this case Kate had a scholarship for an art school. but she needs to move to Detroit, her dad lives there but he left her and her mom years ago. he didn't knows that she was in his house!!!! he never communicate with her and also he never ask about how was she and her mom.
when he saw her he said to her that she doesn't have nothing to do here.
she try to convene him to let her stay only for that day because she
Well, the hunt for father/daughter relationship stories continue...

So, I found this book out of the blue and I thought it would be perfect. It's about an art student, and I love art and I get what she is talking about. A recluse father, who is also an artist? That adds another intriguing part to the puzzle, and then there is another part but I won't spoil it. Unlike "Burn" "See What I See" is a better novel with more sympathetic characters. Kate is a good protagonist who grows throughout the nov
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
See What I See was a short but packed and refreshing read.

The story is about a girl named Kate who is applying to an art school in Detroit but can't afford a place to live so she decides to crash with her famous artist Dad who had left her and her mom. What was special about this story was the relationship between father and daughter, which felt heartfelt.

Kate is a character you can't help but at least sympathize with and at most love. She loves her mom but she's always been curious about her d
May 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
This was a so-so book. It kept me ready, but left a sour taste in my mouth.

Maybe cause I have friends that are like Kate in the book. Live with their mothers and never hear from the father and such.

So the book felt kinda plain and a bit weak. Kate wasn't someone I cared to much of. Everything that happen to her was because she let it. She didn't really stand her ground or anything and it just seemed the excuse of him being sick and dying was the only thing that made them be close. Other then tha
I don’t read a great deal of contemporary YA since I’m more drawn to the fantastical side of literature but when I do venture to the realistic side of fiction, books like See What I See are great finds.

Our protagonist is Kate, an 18-yr old fresh from high school who has been granted a scholarship to one of the most prestigious art schools in the country. Problem is, neither she nor her mother have money for a dorm room. Kate’s father left them when she was only a toddler and has had nothing to d
Tawni (The Book Worms)
Nov 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
See What I See is a great story about acceptance and never losing sight of your dreams even if they get put on hold or things get complicated.

Kate is an aspiring painter who decides to move in with her estranged father while she attends art school. Kate hasn’t seen her father and famous painter, Dalton Quinn, for years after he chooses work over her mother and herself.

When Kate shows up at Dalton’s home he immediately wants her to leave and hates that she’s there. What seems like a terrible and
Mar 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Kate's dad, Dalton Quinn, is a famous artist. He gained notoriety for his grisly paintings that shed a dark light on society's woes. His work has been on display in prestigious galleries throughout the world, and his reputation as an artist is both admirable and impressive. His qualities as a father, however, leave a lot to be desired. Dalton abandoned Kate and her mom years ago, so he could pursue his art, along with drinking and other women. Kate grew up in a trailer, while her mom worked extr ...more
John Clark
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Kate Tapert is eighteen, lives in near poverty with her mother in rural Michigan. She sees the world as a continuous series of paintings and that's how she makes sense of things, so well, in fact, that she's gotten a scholarship to a prestigious art school in Detroit. One problem, she has no money for room and board.
Her father, who abandoned her and Mom years ago, is a famous artist and recently moved to Detroit from NYC. Kate, gathers her belongings and her courage, boards a bus and goes to De
Jessica B
Nov 23, 2010 rated it liked it

See What I See was a quick read, but I felt like it could've been so much more.

The plot moved along at a good pace and definitely kept me interested, even though I don't know that much about art. (But this book did make me want to learn more about art, mostly so I can go to art school, because it sounds COOL..)

This book lacked the emotional punch I was looking for. While I liked Kate's character a lot, I felt like I there was this barrier keeping me from loving h
Diane Ferbrache
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Kate sees things with an artist’s eye. All she wants is to go to art school and get to know her father. She and her mother have been barely getting by in a trailer in rural Michigan since her father left them years ago. He’s a famous painter and he’s dying, and when Kate moves in with him she learns much about her father and herself. Her life in Detroit opens her eyes in ways she could never imagine. She doesn’t find the romantic ideal of a father she longed for, but she does discover her creat ...more
Jun 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
Kate's rocky childhood hasn't stood in the way of her passion: painting. Her famous father abandoned his wife and daughter for fame and riches in New York, but now is broke and reclusive in Detroit. Kate longs to connect with him, so when she receives a scholarship to the art school in Detroit, she decides to go for it--arrive on her father's doorstep, unannounced. She finds a broken man, desperately ill, horrendously bad-tempered, but she digs in her heels and stays with him. She quits art scho ...more
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
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May 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: journey
See What I See is a novel about Kate Talpert-Quinn, daughter of the famous artists, Dalton Quinn. I loved Kate's journey of self discovery and art, but felt like there were parts left out of this book and some undeveloped characters that I would have liked to see more. Kate goes to Detroit on an art scholarship to live with her dad who she hasn't seen since he left the family when she was seven. Her hometown is up north and she misses it. It is her inspiration for painting, a love her father pas ...more
Jan 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Liked how the focus wasn't on "love" and being in a relationship; it was mostly about what Kate wanted to do with her life and her art and dealing with her selfish father. That's what I enjoyed, a break form all the romance.

What I didn't like:
I think, in the author's attempt to create a unique story, her writing suffered from not being connectable to the reader. There was a lot of telling instead of showing (perfect example of that in this book). I want to experience the relationships in Kate'
Nov 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
I received this book from the Good Reads "First Reads" giveaway program.

"See What I See" is the story about a teenage girl heading off to college who gets more than she bargained for when she moves in with her ailing father.

I really enjoyed this book. The story immediately grabs you and you want to keep reading to find out what happened. I am glad that while this story has a general happy ending, not all of the situations that the main character finds herself in were predictable. I was hoping fo
Sara Latta
Dec 08, 2010 rated it liked it
The premise of the book--aspiring young artist goes off to art school in Detroit and moves in with her famous father, an artist who deserted his wife and daughter years earlier--was promising. And while parts of the book were enjoyable, especially the passages about painting and color, it didn't really do much for me. Kate, the main character, seems much younger than her 18 years, and like all of the characters in the book, is rather two-dimensional and predictable. Still, it was a quick read, a ...more
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1st Period Langua...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Harsha's - book 2 3 7 Mar 31, 2014 08:58AM  
Dalton Quinn 1 2 Nov 06, 2011 12:47PM  
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Gloria Whelan is the best-selling author of many novels for young readers, including Homeless Bird, winner of the National Book Award; Friutlands: Louisa May Alcott Made Perfect; Angel on the Square and its companion, The Impossible Journey; Once on this Island, winner of the Great Lakes Book Award; Farewell to the Island; and Return to the Island. She lives with her husband, Joseph, in the woods ...more
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“You're making yourself too important. Guilt comes from feeling we're at the center of the universe. We're not.” 8 likes
“I find having your own car is like a passport to the world.” 3 likes
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