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12.18.2010

Review: See What I See by Gloria Whelan


See What I See by Gloria Whelan
Young Adult, Contemporary
Hardcover (HARPERTEEN, 208 pages, $16.99)
ISBN# 0061255459
description not available at time of review writing
Author Site: gloriawhelan.com

One of the most moving YA titles I've read. (5 stars)

When Kate Tapert receives a scholarship to attend art school in Detroit the only thing that could possibly hold her back is the cost of boarding. Raised by her mother after her father left them to seek his fame and fortune as a painter she knows it's far too expensive. Her only option is to seek out the father she hasn't seen in a decade and offer a trade, she'll do his cooking and cleaning if he'll let her crash at his place while she attends school. But when she shows up on his doorstep in Detroit, the father she finds is even more of an enigma than he has been in his absense. Together they will learn a lot about the beauty of ugliness and Kate's life will forever be changed.

This may be one of the hardest books for me to review. I get quite uncomfortable reviewing when a book touches me on a deeply emotional level. SEE WHAT I SEE touched on some very personal areas of love, loss and my own relationship with my father. I found myself crying, so moved by what Kate went through with her dad that I had to finish it in a day just so I could distance myself from it. Whether the author intended for this book to touch her readers this intensely or not I really can't say. Maybe it just hit too close to home.

It was well written and enjoyable. There's a timelessness to it I think both adult and teen readers will appreciate. To be honest, I was a little surprised that this wasn't written by a much younger author because Kate's voice was spot on with her age. This isn't the most entertaining story, but it has its moments of being light, amusing and enjoyable. At its heart though I think it is safe to say that this book is about stepping out of a parent's shadow no matter what kind of parent they may be. Even though it made me cry I loved and would recommend this book to anyone who has a complicated relationship with their father.

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Notes: I received an unsolicited ARC from the publisher.

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