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The Arts-Angels Track 1: Drawn To You Paperback – September 29, 2012
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About the Author
Like her main character, Gina Santiago, Janel is a Nuyorican who attended a Manhattan high school of the arts as an art major.
Unlike Gina, she isn't very good at guitar and doesn't have a rock band to call her own.
Truth be told, she never dreamed of becoming a guitarist. Instead, from the time she was a tween she dreamed of becoming a published author of a book series. And you can see that her dream has come true!
Her first hint of an idea for the Arts-Angels series began way back when she received a pendant of St. Michael the Archangel for her sixteenth birthday.
She lives with her twin sister, Jennifer (who got a pendant of St. Joan of Arc that same birthday but hasn't written any books about it), in New York City.
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Gina's dream is to attend the New York Academy of Arts and Talents, just like her idol Angel Dominguez. She gets in on a scholarship but for art (another of her talents) not music. Although Gina is disappointed she still keeps music as part of her world in school by starting up her own band.
As Gina forges her own path, never giving up on her dreams, she and her mother finally really talk about Gina's father and the truth surrounding his death and why her mother tried so hard to keep Gina from music. I don't want to spoil it so I'll leave it at that. I will say I suspected the truth but I quickly dismissed it because the way Janel wove that story line in, I was kept guessing.
This story flew by, engaging and entertaining. It is written for a younger audience (perhaps ages 10-15?) so the language isn't difficult but that doesn't stop an adult from enjoying it. In fact, I think this novel is written better than some of the adult literary novels I've read lately. Everything about it, plot, characters, emotions, situations, etc, all of it was completely believable. I was dumped into this high school and I recognized all the kids around me: the geeks, the snobs, the bullies. Gina encounters other students who act exactly as I remember some of my friends acting and the way I see teenagers acting today. No matter where you go to school, be it a private academy or a regular public school, you have to deal with these exact same scenarios.
I finished this story in about 2 days and I can't wait to see what happens to Gina and her friends in the next instalment....I see a Battle of the Bands approaching ;)
5 out of 5 stars
I was provided a copy of this novel for an honest review.
Middle grade school books can be so much fun and this is a great offering. If you are an adult who is looking for a quick read, or if you have a middle-grader (I would suggest this for mature 8 year olds up to about 14 or so), then I highly recommend Drawn to You.
Gina Santiago is a very talented artist and musician who receives a scholarship to the famed New York Academy of Arts and Talents---only she's disappointed when she gets in for art instead of music. There's a lot of drama in her household--her mom is against her music because Gina's father, a musician, was killed on his way to a show before Gina was born. But to Gina, her music is her life--she loves her art, but she lives for her music. The conflict between mother and daughter is very well drawn.
Thankfully, Gina has not only the support of other family members, but the new friends she meets at NYAAT. Of course, there's drama there of another sort--enough drama to carry us through a series.
Janel Rodriguez Ferrer is a name to watch out for-- and I already have her on my auto-buy list for the second book in this series!
--Crystal Velasquez, author of Your Life, But Cooler!
This book was very interesting and I didn't want to stop reading until I had finished it! It has everything a good book should: A very likable main character, a cool plot, great lyrics, and it never gets boring! It rocks and I must admit that I was totally DRAWN TO IT! I've read it three times already!