Many thanks to FFBC and Disney Hyperion for my copy of What I Want You To See and for my spot on the blog tour.
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 her, seems to take merciless delight in tearing down her best work—and warns her that she’ll lose the merit-based award if she doesn’t improve.
Desperate and humiliated, Sabine doesn’t know where to turn. Then she meets Adam, a grad student who understands better than anyone the pressures of art school. He even helps Sabine get insight on Krell by showing her the modern master’s work in progress, a portrait that’s sold for a million dollars sight unseen.
Sabine is enthralled by the portrait; within those swirling, colorful layers of paint is the key to winning her inscrutable teacher’s approval. Krell did advise her to improve her craft by copying a painting she connects with . . . but what would he think of Sabine secretly painting her own version of his masterpiece? And what should she do when she accidentally becomes party to a crime so well -plotted that no one knows about it but her?
Complex and utterly original, What I Want You to See is a gripping tale of deception, attraction, and moral ambiguity.
This was another one of those books that really messed up my thoughts. Even as I am writing this review, my thoughts are a jumbled mess. So, I’ll try to keep it short and hopefully I’ll be coherent enough for you all to understand what I have to say.
What I Want You To See tells the story of Sabine Reyes, an art student who earns a full paid scholarship at one of California’s prestigious art school. Being passionate about art, Sabine is ecstatic about it only to encounter a series of misadventures brought upon herself by her own actions. Upon being humiliated at the hands of her art teacher, Colin Krell who mercilessly tears up her work, Sabine desperately seeks a friend to confide in. Adam offers her friendship and helps her reach her true potential. But Sabine ultimately falls down the rabbit hole.
While it may seem as if the blurb gives away the main story, trust me when I say that there’s plenty of twists to keep one enticed! What I Want You To See is just what it sounds like: perception, and what we see and make of a situation. As a story whose one of the themes is moral ambiguity, I found Sabine truly convincing as a character who is confused when it comes to ethical decision-making. While Sabine thinks that her decisions are okay, they inevitably drag her down and forces her to question herself. It’s also a coming of age story of Sabine as we see her developing throughout the book.
What I Want You To See is remarkable in the sense that it’s quite different and cannot be confined to a single specific genre. I enjoyed Linka’s engaging writing style which evoked several emotions in me. All in all, I loved reading the book and would recommend you to do read it as well.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 and a parka watching orca in Antarctica’s Gerlach Straits. Her next trip: Tasmania. She doesn’t believe in fate, but she did fall in love with her husband on their first date when he laced up her boots, because she’d broken her hand.