***This book was reviewed for Lola’s Blog Tours
Sketches of My Soul, by TC Booth, is the story of one young woman’s world-shattering summer. It is a summer of endings, true, but all endings beget new beginnings. All destruction begets new growth. (There I go, sounding like BBC’s Mycroft:P)
Tegan Taylor had anticipated a nice, mostly quiet summer before her senior year of high-school to be spent hiding away from others and indulging in her deepest passion- sketching. Life has different plans, bringing back into Tegan’s life a childhood friend, the grandson of her neighbor Mrs White. Drewy, now Andrew, is all grown up and smokin’ hot. Even better, he’s a musician. He’s back visiting his grandma for the summer, though the circumstances are less than ideal. As Tegan will later learn, Mrs White is going to dialysis several times a week.
Tegan tentatively sets out to get to know Andrew again, falling for him hard. And she’s not the only one. A school rival, and once friend, has Andrew in her sights. To top it off, Tegan’s ex wants to hook back up. That’s not going to happen though, thanks to what Jason and Mallory did to her, betraying her trust beyond repair. Added to the teenage drama, the hot new boy in town, and the fear for Mrs White’s health, is her father’s affliction, and her mother’s unrealistic expectations. When a sudden seizure puts her father in the hospital, it sets in motion a series of events that will leave Tegan forever changed. It’s up to her to thrive and grow in the aftermath, or fall and be trampled by life.
I loved the title to this book. It fits so perfectly. I found the story engaging, and the characters quite likeable. Mrs White’s story hit particularly hard, as my own grandmother passed from renal failure. Unlike Mrs White, she opted to decline dialysis. She sacrificed quantity for quality, and it is a decision I respected. Indeed, it’s likely the same one I’d make myself, knowing how rough treatment is.
I really felt for Tegan, and all that she goes through. I cannot imagine having to hide my true passion from my parents. Like Tegan, I spent a good proportion of my youth having my desires ridiculed, or run roughshod over, by my immediate family. They kept trying to push going to school to be a pharmacist on me. Uh, hellz no. Like Tegan, that was the beginning of my first real forays into standing up for myself against family. Decades later, with two BAs, one MA, and a PhD, none are to do with hard sciences. And sadly, my family never once expressed admiration or pride at my accomplishments. First Doctor in the family and they didn’t care, because it wasn’t what they wanted me to be. Qué Sera.
The later blows to Tegan’s psyche… I just can’t even imagine that shock. She weathered it well, though. I’m looking forward to the next book, so I can find out where things are headed! My only qualm is that another spell/grammar check would be good. There were several errors, though I did not feel they impeded the story at all, and story always takes prime for me.