13 July 2015

Blog Tour with Giveaway: Drawn by Chris Ledbetter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” 

----Oscar Wilde

Chris Ledbetter, an American YA author, pens an intriguing contemporary YA story, Drawn, that centers around a young artist and his magical sketchbook which finally pulls him into a thrilling adventure to find the girl of his dreams.


Caught between the sweltering fall landscape of Wilmington, NC beaches and southern illusions and expectations, all sixteen year-old Cameron Shade thinks about is art. That, and for Farrah Spangled to view him as more than just a friend. Cameron longs to win her heart through art.

After several warm interactions with Farrah, including painting together at the beach, Cameron discovers just how complex Farrah’s life is with her boyfriend and her family. Following a tense run-in with Farrah’s father, she forbids Cameron to ever speak to her again, but Cameron’s convinced there’s more behind the request.

To impress Farrah with a last-ditch effort, Cameron sketches her portrait. But the sketchbook he uses hides a dark secret. Farrah’s now in grave danger because the sketch he drew of her siphons her real-life’s soul into the sketchbook. Cameron now has twenty days to extract Farrah. To save her, he must draw himself into the book.

If he fails… they both die.

The story opens with Cameron, who is a 16year old high school student, having a crush on his school newspaper editor, named, Farrah Spangled, who is actually a third year journalism student and her boyfriend is on the football team of the school. But on a family expedition that turned out badly between Cameron and Farrah's father, results Farrah to make a decision to stop talking to him forever at school. Marco Cassisi, is Cameron's artist friend, who after his death leaves a sketchbook for him, that has only one warning to draw things not human life. Frustrated with Farrah's decision, Cameron decides to draw her portrait to make things right between them, unfortunately, his painting comes to life with Farrah's soul forever trapped into the sketch book's magical world, Terra Semper, that leads Cameron to draw his self-portrait to save Farrah. Will he be able to do that? Can he, being an avid gamer, use his gaming skills to go on an unknown adventure to save Farrah?

Okay, honestly, I was sucked into the story right from the very first moment. The writing style of the author is engaging and the plot has been layered with suspense and action to keep the readers on their edges. The prose is fantastic and articulate with a fast pace. The narrative is interesting and catchy layered with mystery as well as emotions and thoroughly intense and funny at times. Then, not to mention about that compelling book cover, that just like the book title, draws into the reader's attention inside the book.

Terra Semper, the magical world inside the sketchbook is strongly and strikingly portrayed by the author. Everything in this mystifying world is run by a stylus and some ink and humans are immortal. The picture drawn by the author of this world with tiniest of tiny details are carefully laid out by the author, thus making the readers connect with the fantasy world. There is also a world based on video games, that the author initially features in the storyline, that reveals it's importance later into the plot when things get bit messy and out of control in that fantasy world.

The characterization is also nice but not brilliant, especially the main ones, Cameron and Farrah. Despite Cameron being a boy, and I, being a female reader, could connect with his problems related to his parents and his wish to be a fantastic artist some day. Cameron is a fun guy who lead the story very well with lots of drama, action and romance. He and his friends from the video games world are perfect fit to the story, as they are all distinct and have something unique from one another another, that lets them stand out. On the other hand, Farrah, I didn't like her that much because at times she annoyed me with her attitude, but in the end, the author represented her as a young girl who braved all the domination from her family and her boyfriend to fulfill her desires. Overall, I must say that the characters are all portrayed with a bit of complexity among them to add depth and interest in their demeanor.

The chemistry is very strong and has been sweetly featured by the author. Farrah and Cameron's romance is filled with passion, desire and lots of cuteness, that makes the readers feel for them, especially through Cameron, to root for the love of his life.

In that strange, magical world, there are lots to hold onto, like the European artists and their paintings which the author have vividly depicted and the rivalry among the artists which makes the world even for interesting.

Verdict: A must-read YA novel of this year.

Courtesy: I received the book from YA Bound Blog Book Tour. 

Author Info:

Chris Ledbetter grew up in Durham, NC before moving to Charlottesville, VA in 11th grade. After high school, he attended Hampton University where he promptly "walked-on" to the best drum line in the CIAA. And, without any prior percussion experience. He carried the bass drum for four years, something his back is not very happy about now.

After a change of heart and major, he enrolled in Old Dominion University and earned his degree in Business Administration. He's worked in various managerial and marketing capacities throughout his life. While teaching high school for six years in Culpeper, VA, he taught business management, business law, marketing, and sports marketing, and also coached football.

He has walked the streets of Los Angeles and New York City, waded in the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and climbed Diamond Head crater on Hawaii and rang in the New Year in Tokyo, Japan. But he dreams of one day visiting Greece and Italy.

He's a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. As a self-described, young reluctant reader, he writes young adult stories specifically to reach other reluctant readers. As a participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program, he was blessed to be mentored by Suzanne Morgan Williams, 2012 SCBWI member of the year.

He now lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.

Connect with Chris on: WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

Book Purchase Links:


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  1. Thank you so much for hosting me and reviewing my book!!

  2. It was my pleasure, thanks a lot Chris:-)

  3. I have actually seen this book around and it intrigues me because I don't think I have read a book where art is so included into it. Which makes this one intriguing to me!

  4. Hope you get to read this book, because I'm sure you'll love it! :-) Thanks though


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