Book Review: A Work of Art by Melody Maysonet

A Work of ArtThe last time I ever read a book this harsh and unabashed, I was sixteen and unhealthily into E.R. Frank books. I don’t think I’ll be ever able to fully describe how painful it was to read about the experiences Tera has to go through in just 240 pages. Still, reading “A Work of Art” was like watching someone’s life through a glass door and not being able to interfere in any way.

Tera is 17 and is an upcoming artist with a future so bright- she has been accepted into one of France’s top art schools before finishing high school. Her sort-of-famous artist father has been her mentor her entire life and her partner in crime when it comes to her crazy anxiety-ridden mother. Unfortunately, when Tera’s father is really arrested for a crime, she has to choose between her future as an art major in a prestigious school or using college money to pay for her father’s attorney.

Her choices land her back in her old job at Papa Geppetto’s, a pizza restaurant. Here, she meets Sadie – a character I feel needed to be more involved in the novel – and Joey, a guy who seems like he could be the love of her life.

Tera’s life has been turned upside down and, now, she’s the talk of the school and the scorn of the friends of her former best friend. She tries to convince herself and everyone else that her father’s arrest was just some big misunderstanding but slowly, even she begins to doubt the man she’s always looked up to.

It’s unfortunate that this story is sometimes the reality that many young girls around the world are constantly faced with. Still, despite the circumstances that Tera is forced to endure, she comes out victorious over it all. Even though she went over the edge a few times with her relationship with Joey, I realized that she was only trying to get back that person in her life who she could look up to now that her father was no longer in the picture.

Sadly, I can’t say that I have a favorite character because I felt as if the book was so short that I didn’t get time to notice anyone else except for Tera and her problems.

What I truly admired about this book was the author’s writing style. The author uses a couple flashbacks of Tera’s childhood to give the readers a chance to decide whether or not Tera’s father is really guilty. The last flashback is what convinced me that he wasn’t the great man Tera always thought him to be.

As Tera struggles to regain the peace she once had in her life, she’s finally able to step out of her father’s shadow and into the person she needs to be. I truly have to congratulate the author on carefully shaping Tera’s transformation from blind sheep to a confident teen who knows what she wants and expresses how she feels through her art. I’m glad I got an opportunity to read this book and I think it’s an important novel for all young girls to read. While they may not be able to relate to the experiences Tera goes through, they can definitely learn from the hardships Tera has been through.

Rating: 8/10

 

Book Info:

Publisher: Merit Press (March 18, 2015)

Length: 240 pages

Source: My own copy

Genre: YA Fiction, Romance

Completed: April 2015

 

Leigh-Ann Brodber is an upcoming enthusiastic journalist. She knows it is a field that is already heavily flooded by diverse opinions, hard criticism and occasional appraisal (when it’s due), but she’s sure she’ll be able to add her own colors to the journalism rainbow soon enough. Leigh-Ann currently attends COSTAATT, a college located in the Caribbean, where she’s pursuing her Bachelors in Mass Communication. She’s written film, stage production and food articles for various websites, and she’s also a born and bred animal rights activist, although she doesn’t think she’ll ever give up her rights to eat chicken. She has helped out at her local hospital many-a-time by indulging in weekly chit-chat with patients under a program called Candy Stripers. She recently started getting help for her long term Facebook addiction, she swears.