Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review: Sketchy Behavior by Erynn Mangum

Book Cover and Synopsis:
Drawing conclusions or drafting disaster? 

Other than harboring a somewhat obsessive fondness for Crispix and completely swearing-off boys after a bad date (don't ask), sixteen-year-old Kate Carter is about as ordinary as they come, except for her two notable talents: art and sarcasm. 

After an introduction to forensic sketching in her elective art class, Kate discovers a third and most unexpected gift---criminal profiling. Her photo-quality sketch helps the police catch a wanted murderer and earns her celebrity status in South Woodhaven Falls. But when that murderer appears to be using his friends to exact revenge, Kate goes from local hero to possible target. Will she manage to survive? Will life ever be normal again? And will local news anchor Ted Deffle ever stop sending her flowers?

My Thoughts:
Sketchy Behavior covers more sober topics than Erynn Mangum's past novels have, but despite the serious situations the story is still infused with the traditional Erynn Mangum charm that I've come to love. Yes, the plot does revolve around various aspects of crime and the fear of criminals at large, but it's done in a rather lighthearted way so there's really no chance of being dragged down by the seriousness.... But there is a definite chance of being entertained!

Kate has a unique and humorous way of looking at things, and the first person writing puts you right inside her head, where you can see all of the amusing thoughts that run amuck in her mind. Unfortunately due to her circumstances she doesn't have many opportunities to actually say any of these thoughts out loud.... Still, some of her views are quite amusing, and several times I was helpless to keep the grin off my face!

There's one thing that struck me as rather odd, but I'm going to have to be fairly vague so as not to give spoilers. ;) Towards the end of the book there is a large twist involving one of the main characters, and the facts that are revealed struck me as quite out of character for this person. Yes, from a writing standpoint it was a great out-of-the-blue twist, but I was disappointed that there wasn't an explanation as to why this person did what they did, or what their motivation was. I wish one more chapter had been included to give a little more closure with this character's storyline, instead of leaving me hanging with a "what on earth!?" feeling.

While it's not my favorite of Erynn Mangum's works, I did enjoy the story overall. (Some of the scenes were so vivid that I began thinking this could make a really fun and amusing movie! Hint, hint, producers!!) Anyway, at this point I don't think there are plans for a sequel novel, but if there were, I would certainly pick it up so I could continue following Kate's adventures. She's got some extreme artistic talent that has the potential to put her in interesting situations, and I'd be quite curious to see what becomes of her as she graduates high school and starts off on her own.

My Rating: 4 stars

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