Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Review: Portrait of Us by A, Destiny and Rhonda Helms

Publisher:Simon Pulse
Pub Date: May 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
Source: Barnes and Noble
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

First crush, first love, first kiss;in this addition to the sweet and clean Flirt series, art may be the common ground between opposites Corinne and Matthew in their summer class.

Corinne is looking forward to a perfect summer taking classes at a local art studio, where a famous artist-in-residence will be teaching. She's always wanted to focus more on her art, and the related competition (and grand prize) would be a perfect way to end the summer.

Her dreams become muddled when she finds out she has to work with Matthew;the arrogant, annoying jock whose postmodern style seriously clashes with her classic aesthetic.

But what she expects to be a total nightmare turns out to be something different when she finds that maybe, just maybe, Matthew isn't as bad as she thought. Underneath that jock exterior, he might be someone Corinne could tolerate. Or possibly even like.

The question is…does Matthew feel the same way? Or is this all just a summer fling?

*Sigh* Without going into too much of a rant this is exactly the kind of book I've been looking for. It's a book about a girl and a boy. There is plot, conflict, interest, and intrigue, and it ends in a Happily ever after as the cover tells us it will and the main female character happens to be African-American. End of rant and on to the actual book.

I enjoyed this story and not because I've finally found a normal, average, every day character that kind of looks and acts like me. Corrine is an artist, she enjoys finding classically beautiful things in the world and creating an exact replica. It easy to see that art is her passion, but her parents believe that her future is in academics, and push her to be the best. Corrine has a limited view of the world around her, which is interesting because artists are suppose to see the world in a unique and interesting way.

Enter Matthew.

Matthew is also an artist. However, where Corrine is considers models, flowers, and landscapes beautiful (typical), Matthew uses modern art techniques to show the beauty in confusing metal work, newspaper strips, and barbie heads. He's a jock, but we are the readers are quick to pick up on the fact that there's more to him than that.

I was very impressed with Corrine's character development in this story. Her life was structured, and typical, but Matthew forced her to see that you can find beauty and inspiration in everything around you, Through that process she was also able to stand up for the kind of future she saw for herself, and not bow down to her parents wants. Although there were times when I wanted to shake the stubbornness out of Corrine (if I heard her talk about how different she and Matthew were one more times, I though I was going to freak) it was kind of okay. Matthew was new and different and he scared the heck out of her. I feel like Corrine's reaction of Matthew hit perfectly with her character type.

I'm not sure why no one has reviewed this book yet, but I think that's silly. Is this some overbearingly fabulous work of literature akin to someone like Ellen Hopkins, no. (I know their writing styles are nothing alike but I was speaking to the impact the story leaves). However that doesn't mean that this isn't a good book. I'll be ordering this for my library and recommending it to others.

4 Stars


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