A Work of Art

Finished A Work of Art by Melody Maysonet.  I received a copy for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Shy, artistic Tera can’t wait to attend a prestigious art school in France to prove to her famous artist father that she can make something of herself. But Tera’s hopes for the future explode when the police arrest her dad for an unspeakable crime. Her father’s arrest must be a mistake, so Tera goes into action, sacrificing her future at art school to pay for his defense. Meanwhile, she falls head over heels for Joey, a rebel musician who makes her feel wanted and asks no questions about her past. Joey helps Tera forget her troubles, but he brings a whole new set of problems to Tera’s already complicated life. Then, to make matters worse, as her relationship with Joey deepens and as her dad’s hotshot lawyer builds a defense, fractures begin to appear in Tera’s childhood memories–fractures that make her wonder: could her father be guilty? And whether he’s guilty or innocent, can she find a way to step out of the shadows of her father’s reputation and walk free? Can she stop him, guilty or innocent, from tainting the only future she ever wanted? “A Work of Art” is a deeply felt story about self-image, self-deception, and the terrible moment that comes when we have to face the whole truth about the myths of our childhoods.

This is an incredibly good book but also an incredibly hard one.  I liked Tera immediately, and because of that I felt protective—and because of THAT, a lot of things in this book made me angry.  Like a lot of teenage girls (okay, like a lot of people in general), she doesn’t always make the best decisions.

Anyway, Tera’s entire life, she’s wanted to become an artist.  (As in professionally, not as a hobby.)  Her dream’s very close to coming true…until her dad is accused of a crime that she’s sure he didn’t commit.  She’s convinced that it’s a mistake (one that’s actually her fault, and so something she’s duty-bound to correct).  Except…what if it’s not?

While her life is awful and seems to ricochet from bad to worse and back again, she clings to the things she knows for sure, and to her art.  Horrible things are happening around her, but Tera refuses to completely give in.  She’s a heroine you can’t help but like and root for.

Highly recommended.

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