Monday, July 23, 2012

Sketchy Behavior by Erynn Mangum


Drawing Conclusions or Drafting Disaster? Other than harboring a somewhat obsessive fondness for Crispix and completely swearing-off boys after a bad date (don't ask), sixteen-year-old Kate Carter is about as ordinary as they come, except for her two notable talents: art and sarcasm. After an introduction to forensic sketching in her elective art class, Kate discovers a third and most unexpected gift: criminal profiling. Her photo-quality sketch helps the police catch a wanted murderer and earns her celebrity status in South Woodhaven Falls. But when that murderer appears to be using his friends to exact revenge, Kate goes from local hero to possible target. Will she manage to survive? Will life ever be normal again? And will local news anchor Ted Deffle ever stop sending her flowers?


Erynn Mangum's books have, since high school, been my brain candy reads. I love her Laurie Holbrook series and have read the first of the Maya Davis series, so when I found her short novel, Sketchy Behavior, in a bookstore last November, I grabbed it.

I found it to be different than her other books. Not in a bad way, but definitely different. For one thing, all her other books were fluffy—goofy stories about a coffee-and-chocolate-guzzling matchmaker who finally meets her match, or an ice-cream junkie whose old boyfriend happens to be dating her roommate.
Sketchy Behavior is about a high school student who happens to perfectly sketch the face of a serial killer.
It has some of the goofiness of Erynn's other books, but it also has a very serious tone. Everyone takes this very seriously, especially when Kate starts receiving threats from X and things start happening that could only happen if he had a guy on the inside.

Erynn Mangum did a fabulous job capturing the characters. The story was tense, but with plenty of light moments and humor sprinkled through it. I didn't rush through it all in one sitting like so many other thrillers and suspense novels, but it was a fun weekend read. Sketchy Behavior is the author's first foray into suspense and I hope she writes more, because it's awesome!

I would feel perfectly comfortable passing this on to a 15-16 year old.

Rating: four out of five stars

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