*Book source ~ A review copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Sixteen-year-old Michigan native and art prodigy Olivia ‘Libby’ Tanner hops across the pond to attend England’s prestigious Aldridge Art Academy. All Libby wants to do is paint, but her new friend, sculptor Travis Weston, drags her to an Academy dinner where she meets performing arts student Brent Henderson. Even though Brent is handsome and charming Libby’s gut is telling her something is off about the guy. After some persuading by Brent, she ignores her instincts and agrees to go out with him. However, the guy who really catches her eye is Dean James who hangs out with Brent and who Libby seems to see everywhere. Aside from boy trouble, Libby has a secret about her art and she can’t tell anyone for fear they’ll think she’s crazy. But there’s something strange going on at Aldridge Academy and Libby doesn’t realize until nearly too late that she and her art are at the very center of it all.
This story pulled me in from the beginning like a fish on a lure. Libby is very likeable and the mystery surrounding her art kept me reading to find out what was going on. Brent wasn’t a very likeable guy and it was frustrating that Libby would ignore her gut about him. I had to remind myself that the characters are teenagers and teenagers do stupid shit, that they don’t have the benefit of experience and age. In fact, that’s one of the things that made the characters very believable. How many times did I smack my forehead and say, ‘Oh, for fuck’s sake!’ before remembering that I was no smarter than them when I was their age. In fact, I was probably (most likely) worse, so I had to cut them some slack.
While the characters could have used a bit more in-depth richness the overall story with its twists and turns was captivating. I look forward to continuing this series and discovering more about the students with the amazing abilities, where they come from and what’s their purpose. All-in-all an awesome YA cake, frosted with mystery and sprinkled with romance.