See What I See by Gloria Whelan
release date: December 28, 2010
hardcover, 208 pages
intended audience: Young adult
source: from publisher for review
Kate Tapert sees her life in paintings. Yet one place she never sees her life is in the work of the famous and reclusive artist Dalton Quinn—her father, whom she hasn’t seen or heard from in nearly ten years. Now Kate has an art dream of her own, and a scholarship to art school to help make it a reality. The last piece to the puzzle is staying with her father, which means it’s time for Kate to work her way into Dalton’s life, into his mind, and into his heart, whether he likes it or not.
Review: This is the first book that I've ever sat down with, dove into the first pages and before I knew it, it was 3 hours and 200 pages later. I closed it with a heavy sigh. I held it in my hands for few minutes after and had to literally wait for the hypnotic grip it had on my senses to pass. While it was a short read---a little over 200 pages is quite short by normal standards, it was completely intriguing all the way through.
The main character, Kate, is an artist. The first-person present tense that the story is written in really puts you right into her world and lets you see things through her eyes. What makes this even more interesting is that she seems to look at the entire world around her with the eyes of a painter. Colors are described by the acrylic color she would use to capture them in a painting. Trees and places and buildings are taken in with the consideration of how she would portray them. It's a completely unique way to see through the eyes of a character and makes it easy to get a sense of who Kate is.
Its a story about a broken family, about a girl and her dreams, and keeping a tight hold on those dreams even when sacrifices have to be made. This was not always an easy read. Her father was cruel and angry and I often wondered how she found the strength to stay near him. My heart would break for her every time she would get glimpses of hope and then be dumped on almost in the same breath. Yes, I even shed a tear or two while reading this one.
While I found the ending a little predictable, it was how the story needed to end. All in all, a powerful and satisfying story---one that is definitely worth a read.
Favorite quote: I force myself to sit quietly in my seat as everything familiar disappears. I have qualms and wonder what a qualm would look like if you painted it, probably like a bowl of melting ice cream or a dish of Jell-O just before it sets.
Visit Gloria's site here.
Purchase See What I See at : Amazon ~ BN.com ~ Indiebound