Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Review: Work of Art by Melody Maysonet

Title:  Work of Art 
Author: Melody Maysonet 
Publisher: Merit Press
Publishing Date: March 18th 2015
Pages: 240
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction 
Series: Stand Alone
Source:  Hardcover


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.

The synopsis of this book grabbed me right away and when I was offered the book for a review I jumped at it. I received the book, opened it up for a sneak peek because I always do when I get a new book and this was not the next read on my list.... well that peak turned into a one sitting read. Once I started the book I couldn't put it down.  It was amazing, heartbreaking, disturbing, suspenseful, and beautiful. I loved it from the first page to the last. 

Tera is an artist like her dad. She has always worked hard for his approval and now she is sure she has it. She has been accepted with  scholarship to a prestigious art school in France and article will run featuring father and daughter artists, She finally sees the pride in his eyes. Her world is coming together until its ripped out from beneath her. Her father is arrested for an unspeakable crime and Tera puts her entire future on hold to prove his innocence. In the process she starts to doubt he is innocent. To get her mind off things she starts to see bad boy Joey from the pizza joint she works at. Nothing but trouble, Joey uncovers many of memories that hold secrets from Tera's past. Nothing is right anymore and Tera must find her way through the mess of her life.

This book really was incredible. One of the most heart wrenching stories I have read in a very long time. There was so much going on in this book and every decision that Tera made put her in a bad place and I felt for her. Tera struggled with her father's approval and when she couldn't strive for her father's approval anymore she moved on over to a boy at work, Joey. She did everything she could to feel beautiful in his eyes and do what made him happy. Losing herself in the process, or discovering she never knew who she was in the first place. 

This story is about family secrets and finding the strength to move on. Tera had to do that but she also had to find beauty and approval in herself.. She had to face her demons straight on and that is never an easy feat. 

Tera lacked in self image and self respect. She had some pretty deep issues but I felt for her, I connected to her, I could see the issues and know that she struggled inside but she didn't appear that way on the outside, On the outside she seemed very put together and confident 

This book spotlighted all the relationships in Tera's life, how they worked and how they fell apart. She had a good relationship with her dad, so she thought. I saw him as mean and negative. Nothing Tera did was quite good enough. Of course this was seen mainly through the memories 

Tera and her mother had a horrible relationship. Tera, from the words of her father, believed her mother to be crazy and everything was her fault. She wanted nothing more than to escape her mother and not become her. 

The other relationships were with the horrible boyfriend, her ex best friend, and her art teacher. All these relationships, Tera was only looking for approval and never seemed to quite find it. She seemed to lose everyone one way or the other.

I think Tera's story was heartbreaking but yet beautiful because through it all she was a survivor. There were some pretty terrifying events that happen in this book and because of this I don't recommend this for young teens at all. Its a very disturbing book. As an adult I barely made it through but I knew in the end it would have to lead somewhere and I was hoping it would lead to strength, inner beauty, and healing and that is where this book led. 

I really didn't know what to expect when I started that first page, but like I mentioned at the beginning, I couldn't put the book down. I was strongly compelled to keep turning those pages. It was a very fast read and every chapter ended with me wanting more. 

I do recommend this book to most everyone. It is not for the light of heart, it is deep and vicious but it's worth the read. I think this book could bring many girls to their inner strength. It does shine light on some very horrible evils in this world, but I don't think these evils should be hid. 

A very hard read but worth every moment.

Melody Maysonet was born in Alaska but grew up in Illinois. After many years as a starving college student (an ordeal she survived by playing marathon sessions of Dungeons & Dragons), Melody taught English at a community college before moving to Seattle, where (as Melody Alder) she became editor and columnist for Wizards of the Coast’s The Duelist magazine. Then it was off to South Florida, where she edited, researched, and wrote historical coffee-table books. Currently, Melody is a volunteer teacher at an outreach homeless shelter, but she devotes most of her time to writing fiction for young adults. She lives in Coconut Creek, Florida, with her husband and son. Her debut novel, A WORK OF ART (Merit Press) is due out in March 2015.


  1. I love your honest opinions! Thanks for sharing and I hope to see you around my blog


  2. Oh wow this sounds so good and right up my alley! I love these emotional reads and it sounds very character driven, too, which is a must for me. I also like how it seems to focus on non-romantic relationships - how refreshing! Great review, Jenn! I hadn't heard of this one before but I'll def be keeping an eye out for it!

  3. I am always looking for amazing stand-alones! I will have to add this to my TBR!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

  4. Hi, Jenn! You saw exactly what I was trying to do in this story, and I'm so glad you liked it. Thanks for the wonderful review! I couldn't have said it better myself ;-)

  5. Sounds very character orientated, and I'd feel bad for her too, you can't make everyone happy, and doing so does make you lose yourself, you get lost in the process. /Bad family dynamics and relationships, yikes, now I really feel sorry for her. But indeed, she is a survivor. :)

  6. Added to my TBR! I love all of your posts, Jenn. :)


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