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Blank Canvas Paperback – June 28, 2015
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I was gripped by the reveal of the truth about her nightmare years held hostage by a sick man with an unusual motive. And Maddie’s efforts to rebuild relationships with the people left behind, including the beautiful boy who is as confused by her as she is by him, are revealed in personal and powerful moments resonant with real life hopes and pains. And if you don’t fall in love Autumn, Maddie’s wise beyond her years younger sister, you aren’t me. By the end of the novel, I felt as if I knew Maddie personally and wanted her to win, to choose purpose and hope, and to get back to what she should be obsessed with . . . her art, the dedicated boy, and putting her once and forever rival in her place. Overall, the journey into Maddie’s heart and soul and her struggle to rediscover herself is emotional, captivating, and relatable to any person who has ever experienced the depths of a personal tragedy. A great read.
We are given bits and pieces of what happened to Maddie during that horrible time, just enough to hint at how horrendous it was without delving on the period too much. I appreciated that because it let the story really focus on what the plot was about - her healing. Certain points are even kept hidden on purpose, allowing a nice mystery and suspense to filter in. This being from Maddie's viewpoint, the reader gets to know her very well--but not completely. It was a great twist which made me want to read on.
The setting itself was simply well done. It's easy to fall into Maddie's world and understand why she does what she does. The school itself is only lightly touched upon, but this isn't Maddie's main focus either. It's her closer environment, her family and long-term friend next door, which play the center in her life and take color in the story. I loved the interactions and felt my own heartstrings pulling as Maddie tries to find balance with the ones she loves.
There's a sweet romance, nothing shocking or unexpected. Simply sweet and that's perfect for a character like Maddie.
Summed up, I really enjoyed this and am glad I got a chance to read it (through winning a copy). The writing is wonderful and the author really knows how to pull the reader in. I can't wait to see what other stories will be coming from this author.
I felt so much for Maddie – someone trying for normal after everything’s been cruelly shaken up and she doesn’t feel like herself; doesn’t know what self she even is, anymore.
I empathized more than I thought I would. Related more than I expected to. Though I’m blessedly ignorant of what I’d think and feel and do in Maddie’s situation, her telling of it rang true and honest. She made it understandable. And with or without the traumatic cause, I know all too well how painful it is to be an artist who is – for whatever reason – unable to feed their starving passion.
I might as well also point out that Maddie’s determinedly enthusiastic little sister came darn close to making me cry. So here’s to you, Mere Joyce.
This book read like art, and I deeply appreciated it. Simple as that.
She has to try and find herself again in this nightmare that is her life now. She wants to be herself again but she will never be that person again. The kidnapping has changed her forever. I feel that she has a constant struggle to get through each day. She goes to see therapists but isn’t ready to talk to either of them.
As the story is told, I find myself pulled in and cheering her on. Hoping that eventually she finds that her life has to have painting in it. That it is a part of who she was and still is even though it is overshadowed by the Painter. In the end, painting her kidnapper helps her to heal.
Wesley her neighbor has always been her friend and even though there was no romance there before Maddie finds herself hoping there is more there. I want there to be the romance of teen love but it seems to take a long time to get there. Maddie has to find her way back to him first.
I really liked the relationship Maddie had with her sister. Her sister loved life and tried to enjoy everything knowing how fragile things were. Maddie also saw how much she had to suffer because of Maddie’s kidnapping. Their parents were so afraid to let them do anything which is understandable since they lost Maddie once. They wanted to keep her and her sister safe.