Review + Giveaway (INT): Sketchy by Olivia Samms


Rating: **** / 4 out of 5
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal
To be published on April 30, 2013 by Amazon Children’s Publishing
Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

A popular cheerleader—raped, beaten, and left for dead. An edgy outsider with a gift. Can they team up to catch a killer? Bea’s life has been a mess ever since she got kicked out of private school and sent to rehab. Now clean, Bea is starting over at Packard High School, in a city shaken from two assaults on young women. The latest victim, Willa Pressman—the one who survived—doesn’t remember a thing. But Bea has a disturbing new “skill”: she can see—and then draw—images from other people’s minds. And when she looks at Willa, Bea is shocked by what she sketches. Bea might be the only one who knows Willa’s secrets—and who can take down the killer before he strikes again.


An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for a thoughtful and honest review. This, in no way, influenced my opinion.

A few words first: this book is made up of pure, utter amazeballs. And awesomesauce. Damn, son.

When I first read the synopsis of this book, I felt this fire and craving within my heart commanding me to read it as soon as I can. I mean, dude – an ability that allows you to draw the images from other people’s minds?! Holy hell, sign me up, s’il vous plaît! I was interested in interviewing Olivia Samms, the author of this lovely novel, and she generously gave me an ARC of this. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. You can pretty much tell that I quickly dove in and devoured this baby in 3 sittings (it could’ve been finished in one if only there were no distractions >.<). Ladies and gentlemen, I fell in love with it hook, line, and sinker.

Bea, the main character, is not only full of spunk, she’s also fun to read

Bea is a girl who used to be someone a lot of us would want to get away from – an alcoholic, a drug addict, an intense party-goer… pretty much someone who could’ve gotten into the Bad Girls Club effortlessly. But after certain circumstances, she’s changed – for the better. For three months now, she’s been clean – nada in her system, but her past comes with a lot of unfortunate and unwanted consequences. She’s shunned by her peers – her ex-best friend included -, her parents become a bit cautious and wary when it comes to her, temptations come to seduce her every now and then, and worse, she suddenly has this ability to draw the truth from other people. What’s a girl to do, right?

Truth be told, I love how the heroine was portrayed. While it may be true that she has a lot of flaws and things to be ashamed of, it was her courage and determination to make a change that made her so endearing. We see her struggle not only with herself, but with other people, too, and it was a journey that I found myself fascinated with. While the high school drama involved may have been quite unrealistic (but then again, I’ve never seen anything like that in schools where I live), it was still a pleasure to read a girl that has a lot of spunk while at the same time going “Eff you, biatches” to those who dare insult and gossip about her. I was there with her all the way through thick and thin, cheering, “Go, Bea!” You may find her doing questionable things (which aren’t really what they are further in the storyline!), but you appreciate the things she does out of good intentions, and this, I believe, makes her such a wonderful heroine. Right now, I am definitely looking forward to how more her character will grow in the succeeding books.

The ability Bea unlocked is pretty sweet, too!

As I previously stated before, Bea’s newfound power is hella cool. It’s something I’d definitely love to have myself! This skill of hers gave the book an intriguing and thrilling touch, where we become enthralled into an exciting mystery whodunit episode. Girls are disappearing and then found dead, and it would seem that Bea holds the key to solving the missing piece of the puzzle. The book is filled with a lot of fun twists and turns, with a nicely done written escalation and build-up of events.

Parents are present!

I remember ranting sometime ago that there’s this trend in YA fiction where parents are oftentimes absent. They’re either not there because they’re dead, alcoholics (and therefore too high up there to even bother with the kid), workaholics (and therefore has no time to interact with kids), or are out of town because of business matters or, heck, because they’re on a honeymoon trip. I assumed two things: a.) there are no parents present because it gives the main character an excuse to do whatever they want conveniently; and b.) the writers are too lazy and/or are trying to avoid to write child-parent relationships. Which makes me a sad potato, because in my opinion, making a great storyline while also incorporating such an important factor present in the teen’s life is an indicator of an awesome writer.

And once again, truth be told, I wasn’t expecting to see any parent-child relationship once more here, so imagine my very pleasant surprise when I saw there is one! And Ms. Olivia Samms wrote it very, very well. I think this is what I appreciated the most in the storyline – a mother and father’s love for their children that knows no boundaries. Their acceptance of what their child used to be and an eagerness to see what they will become in the future. Their desire to protect you from all that is harmful, their yearning to give you the best in life – these are the things that I definitely love reading about, because honestly, such messages are not oftentimes seen in real life AND in YA fiction nowadays. So, yes, bravo, Ms. Olivia Samms! :)

The romance at the end was so…

Don’t you just love a romance where you don’t need to say “I love you” to let the other person know you do? That a gesture here and there like an eye contact, a brush of the hand, and a knowing smile will simply say it for you? Ever found yourself looking for a romance that isn’t there, and then BAM! the ending gives you one that totally makes your heart fly to the clouds with the butterflies? I won’t spoil you what it is, but it’s definitely something I *am* super looking forward to. Please bring the next book already!

There’s one setback, though…

I only regret that there weren’t enough internal narration. While it was already good, I wanted to know more of Bea’s thoughts. I also regret it wasn’t longer, because it could’ve been dragged out a little more, resulting to a ‘rushed’ feeling. It was still very, very good, though! Here’s to me hoping more surprises, and longer books will be waiting for us! ^.~

All in all, this is a book to keep an eye on come April 30. You definitely won’t want to miss this riveting and thrilling episode of a teenager whose newfound power allows her to finally not only make a difference in her life, but in the lives of other people as well.



Since this book is super awesome, I’m giving away a copy of this book to one lucky winner. That’s right, I will order one for you so you can feel what I felt about this book, too. Yay, yes?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena


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  1. Becky Gardner says

    This book looks great for both myself and my Daughter. I would love to win it and I feel that it is very unique and hopefully is successful, because there are so many cookie cutter books out there now, and not just of this genre, but of all of them. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  2. Meghan Stith says

    I think the concept is awesome. Being able to see what’s in other’s minds even when they can’t remember? Cool, cool, cool.

    mestith at gmail dot com

  3. Miss. Lucinda Fountain says

    Thanks for such a fantastic giveaway, and a brilliant blog post! I think that SKETCHY sounds like an amazing read, and i love paranormal YA genre.
    This is something that i shall be definately adding to my to-read list. x

  4. Grace says

    The premise sounds really unique! Can’t wait to read it – the cover looks awesome too.
    Thanks for the giveaway, great review!


  1. […] This coming April 30 marks the release date of Sketchy, Olivia Samms’ debut novel starring a spunky seventeen year old girl just out of rehab named Bea. I read this book a few weeks ago and absolutely loved it. It has a thrilling plot, an engaging cast of characters, and is full of promise! I’m definitely a fan and cannot wait to read more of Bea’s adventures with her new-found power. You can read my review of it HERE. […]