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Drawn by Chris Ledbetter


Product Description

Caught between the sweltering fall landscape of Wilmington, NC beaches and southern illusions and expectations, all sixteen year-old Cameron Shade thinks about is art. That, and for Farrah Spangled to view him as more than just a friend. Cameron hopes he can win her heart through art. 

After several warm interactions with Farrah, including painting together at the beach, Cameron discovers just how complex Farrah’s life is. Following a tense run-in with Farrah’s father, she forbids Cameron to speak to her again, but Cameron’s convinced there’s more behind the request. 

To impress Farrah, Cameron sketches her portrait into a mysterious sketchbook. He nearly jumps from his skin when the sketch moves and communicates with him. Farrah is now in grave danger because the sketch he drew of her sucked her real-life’s soul into the sketchbook. Cameron now has twenty days to extract Farrah. To save her, he must draw himself into the book. If he fails… they both die.

14+ due to adult situations



I flip to a clean sheet. Heaven is a blank canvas.

Mr. Cassisi breaks the silence, pointing to my hand. “I see you are still showing off your master pencil tricks.”

I hadn’t even realized I’d been twirling the pencil around my thumb. A little trick Mom taught me, before her death. I turn away and close my eyes for a moment.

Mr. Cassisi snaps my attention back to the present. “So, my young Caravaggio, what is it on that mind of yours?”

“I prefer Da Vinci.”

“Of course you do.” He smiles warmly, acknowledging our long-running joke, and sits on a nearby stool. “Big shoes, my friend.”

I sigh. “See, I’m trying to impress this girl at school by drawing a portrait of her, but I want it to be, like, really realistic, you know? So I wanted some advanced pointers beyond the normal instruction you give. I want the good stuff you learned back in Italy.”

“When is she going to sit for it?”

“She’s not. I’m going to use a yearbook picture––”

“Hmmm, that is not stalking at all, is it now?” He coughs loudly.

“You all right?”

“Just my annual cold when the weather changes over. I can almost tell time by how reliable it is.” He coughs again into a paper towel, looks at the towel, and then crumples it up to throw it away. He returns his attention to me. The lines in his face are more severe. “Son, if there is one thing I have learned in these eighty years, it is this: If you like the girl, tell her. That is the only damn thing YOLO is good for, you hear me? The greatest deceit this life delivers is the belief that you have time.”

My gaze falls to the floor, and then shifts toward the cawing seagulls at the window. “She has a boyfriend.”

Mr. Cassisi rubs his scruffy face. “If the girl is worth having, then you can’t be surprised if she is taken. He is a boyfriend, not a husband. That is what high school is all about. Ahhh, young love … that means you have to fight a little harder, yes? And not with these.” He shakes his wrinkled fist at me. “The pencil is mightier than the fist.” His subsequent chuckle resonates from deep within his chest as he walks behind the counter. “Keep talking. I’m listening.”

“Anyway, so I thought I’d try to get her attention through art.”

Mr. Cassisi reappears from behind the counter, pressing his fingers to his thumb and kissing the tips before gesturing his hand in the air. “There is no greater pursuit in life than the pursuit of art, yes?” He loops his smock over his head. “Now, let us begin.”

“Wait, why are you wearing a smock? We’re not painting.”

“It is all about process. I put on the smock. I am all business.” He grabs the pencil from my hand. “Now, you have the chops already, yes? I have seen your work. It is not the technical things. You want advanced technique? Here is the thing about portraits. With portraits…” He taps the tip of his pruned finger against the center of my chest. “You must draw from there.”

My sternum bone hums and vibrates like he tapped a tuning fork. He shifts his weight from foot to foot as he sketches a portrait of his late wife. From memory. It takes him all of five or six minutes. Maybe less. His process enthralls me. A pencil in his hand may as well be a magic wand. I’m rapt. When he’s finished, her picture appears to hover right above the paper.

“Mr. Cassisi, that’s amazing,” I say. “Those fingers still have the juice.”

His voice thins. “Sometimes I hear a mysterious voice over the ocean, when the beach is empty. She speaks to me, still. Her whispers carry atop the waves.” He stares at the picture for a moment. “Amore mia … musa mia.” He reaches a finger toward the face, almost like he’s going to stroke her cheek. A single tear forms at the corner of his eye. “You must infuse the portrait with passion. Then and only then will she come alive on the page.”


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Product Reviews

Previous | Showing reviews 11-20 of 33 | Next

  1. Fast-paced, Original, and Romantic--Drawn is one of the best YA books, I've read this year! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 6th Jul 2015

    Guys, I loved this book.
    It was exactly what I needed to pull me out of my slump-y mood.

    In a few words, drawings are deadly in the world of "Terra Sempre," an artistic world where the artists creations have life. Cameron Shade, with his too cool name is crushing hard on his school's newspaper editor, Farrah Spangled. (I loved the names in this book.) She is off limits, gates, dogs, firearms--off limits. But, Cameron Shade can't stifle the searing, burning crush he has on Farrah. Their love is a forbidden one. Farrah's overbearing father and boyfriend keep her from enjoying the true joys in her life, whatever they may be. And, Cameron is not taking any of it lying down. He feels undeniable sparks between the two of them and refuses to believe Farrah doesn't feel the same.

    In a last ditch effort to win Farrah's affections, he draws her into a book--that unknowingly has the power to bring it's sketches to life, all the while siphoning the actual life of the person the sketch is based off of.

    With an odd, and realistic portrayal of European life, Cameron is determined to make it into,"Terra Sempre," to save Farrah's life and the clock's a ticking.

    Now that you know what this book is about essentially, let's get to the good stuff.

    The writing: This was by far my most favorite part of this novel. The writing, it was so relatable, so now. It just felt easy, and it read so smoothly. You can tell by the writing, the author is one cool dude.

    The dialogue was fantastic--sarcastic, humorous, and at times romantic.

    The characters: Diverse male characters, yes please!
    Cameron: I really liked Cameron. He was fun, and funny. I really loved the relationship he had with his father. A lot of YA relationships--those between child and parent, are often strained. There was a level of respect between the two that never wavered--and I loved it. I'm all for positive relationships.

    Jameson, was boisterous in a subtle way, and had a take charge attitude that worked well for his role in the story. Farrah, our darling female MC, was spunky--she was bright, and despite her ill-working relationship--stood out all on her own. Our villain was unexpected. The father was supportive, and the other supporting characters were solid.

    This book had a lot going for it.

    The world of video gaming--although I do play video games, I wouldn't exactly call myself a gamer. But, I couldn't help myself from getting caught up in the world of gaming that was included into this story. It was all very real, and exciting. It played a pivotal part in the story--and I think gamers will rejoice at it's presence.

    The plot: The pacing was perfect, and I really liked that Ledbetter didn't just jump right into everything. He let things happen gradually, naturally--and it worked.

    The romance: It was swift, but passionate.

    Guys, this book is just good. My expectations weren't high but they were met--surpassed.

    Art, European culture, gaming, and romance all combine to make up this kick-ass novel--which set out to do what it intended--to please.

    Drawn is the first novel I'm reading by this author, and I'm sure it won't be the last. Fortunately according to Ledbetter's Goodreads page, Drawn will have a sequel, and I'll be waiting with bated breath. There's much left to explore, and no cliffhangers to hang onto until then.

    A favorite for this year!

  2. Captivating 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 5th Jul 2015

    As a reader, you will find yourself drawn into this moving story of young love. The author, Chris Ledbetter reminds us that teenage love doesn't have the cynical checklists and baggage many adults carry around. I found myself caught up rooting for Cameron and Farrah. Chris Ledbetter weaves layer upon layer of rich detail, keeping the reader engaged as the story unfolds in both worlds.He handles the emotions of a young person experiencing grief and pining for love in a graceful and captivating manner. Unique and realistic. I loved this book. Leah Grant

  3. BTS Book Review 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 3rd Jul 2015

    Stunning! Each word was vividly woven together, creating a brilliant read. Drawn truly comes to life, each character jumps off the page. Drawn by Chris Ledbetter delves into the thoughts and feelings of teenage Cameron. His male voice shines through in his love to Farrah, his father, friends how he missed his mom and respect for his art mentor. Mr. Cassisi, who wisely tells Cameron "The greatest deceit this life delivers is the belief you have time." An that sets the tone for the rest of this novel. Art is a huge theme throughout, and the way the author clearly weaves fantasy and real-life scenarios is simply amazing. I couldn't stop reading this once I picked it up. Filled with tender moments, hard decisions Cameron has to make. Drawn was original every step of the way! YA lovers, look no further for your next read!

  4. Great first book 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 24th Jun 2015

    Enjoyed this story a lot!! Very creative premise and wonderful visualizations from the descriptions of people and places. Great first book by Christopher Ledbetter, can't wait for the sequel to see where the story leads next.

  5. Good Book 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 19th Jun 2015

    I was really intrigued by the cover of Drawn, and that was what made me want to pick it up first. When I started reading, I was immediately sucked into the three different worlds (in a way) that made up this story. The book held my attention from the first page until the last page. It was a little slow in the beginning, but definitely picked up it's pace as the story moved along.

    The three different worlds in this book would be the real world, the gaming world, and the sketch book world. I thought it was interesting complex way to write the book, but it worked for me. I was won over by this fantastic world that the author has thought up.

    I really enjoyed getting to know Farrah, she had times irritated me with what she said or did, but overall I though she was a really great character. Cameron was also pretty cool, but he was super nice... which don't get me wrong, isn't a bad thing... but I definitely like guys who have a little mystery or intrigue about them. Although, I did think Cameron and Farrah were an awesome couple.

    I want to mention that I was very disappointed when I had to put the book down because it was over. I wasn't ready to part from Farrah and Cameron, I wanted to continue reading. For the most part this book was amazing, I just had some issues with the pace and Cameron as a character.

    I would definitely recommend this book.

    *Note: I received this book free to read in exchange for an honest review.

  6. One of the Most Unique Reads Ever! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 19th Jun 2015

    DRAWN is one of the most unique books I've ever read, and that's saying a lot because I read constantly. The plot keeps the pages turning and the main characters, Cameron and Farrah, are worth rooting for.

  7. This book is amazing! The plot is unique 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 18th Jun 2015

    Original, engaging and fast paced.
    This book is amazing! The plot is unique, I enjoyed how the Author was able to entwine two worlds in such a magisterial way. the characters are very complex and credible, Cameron is, by far, the most interesting.
    The story is fast paced, it grabs you since page one, full of witty dialogues, twists and turns and romance!
    I read somewhere, that Drawn is the first YA book of this Author, Wow! Congratulations, because it's a master piece!!!

    Highly Recommended for YA/Sci Fi/Romance readers

    *I received a Free copy in exchange for an Honest Review*

  8. An Enthralling Romantic Fantasy! 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 18th Jun 2015

    In "Drawn" Chris Ledbetter blends fantasy, romance and adventure with the artistic swirl of a pen in the magic pages of an old sketchbook. The story begins at Seaview High School where a sixteen year old talented artist, Cameron Shade has a crush on Farrah Spangled a third year journalism student and editor of the newspaper whose boyfriend is a football jock. In emotional turmoil after a painting excursion and with a complicated family life , Farah hurts Cameron with her decision to stop speaking to him at school.

    After the death of his friend and art teacher Marco Cassisi, Cameron is willed an ancient book; the pages blank and a cryptic note inside advising him to draw things not people. Frustrated with Farrah's thoughtlessness Cameron throws caution to the wind and sketches her picture on a blank page in the book. When the girl in the portrait comes alive and he realizes Farrah's soul is in danger an adventure begins that has Cameron drawing a self-portrait so he can enter the unreality of Terra Semper. Enlisting the aid of his gaming teammates he knows he only has twenty days to reclaim her before she becomes a part of the Italian Renaissance landscape forever.

    The story is fast-paced, quickly heating up in intensity and suspense when Echo the personification of Farrah disappears and Alphateam- Cameron (aka Whiplash), Goulash and Reaper- join forces to return her soul to the real world. With detailed description Chris Ledbetter weaves a surreal and imaginative setting where Immortalibus and Imitatus - sketched images - become real and sustain their likeness after drinking a concoction of ink. In a roller coaster of twists and turns the action never stops, keeping the reader enthralled from the first page to the last. In this innovative and magical tale the sense of loss, hopelessness and mounting violence is diluted by the romance, friendship and self-sacrifice of its engaging and complex characters.

    Cameron Shade haunted by the loss of his mother and art teacher is often "drunk on sadness" and guilt-ridden especially after Farrah becomes ill. He's a gifted artist, talented gamer, dependable and empathetic. In contrast his friend Jameson Scott is a friendly, sarcastic, but loyal friend while Chace Scott is a rich, conceited, self-absorbed and controlling jock. Farrah Spangled is the confused and angry object of Cameron's affections. Although she cares for him, her life is dominated by her boyfriend and her family's interests. All these characters add passion, power and drama to a captivating and innovative story.

    I thoroughly enjoyed "Drawn" by Chris Ledbetter a novel that's reminiscent of Amanda Sun's book "Ink" with its artistic drawings that come alive . It's well-worth reading.

  9. "Drawn" by Chris Ledbetter 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 18th Jun 2015

    After reading "Drawn" by Chris Ledbetter, the one word that best describes my impression of this novel is CAPTIVATING. It took me on an exciting adventure that left me thinking, "Wow! Well done." The manner in which the author was able to clearly define his setting, characters, scenes, conflicts, relationships, plot, and ultimate outcome was amazing to me. I did not have to struggle to understand the structure of this novel nor its meaning. It played like a movie in my mind. It is obvious to me, and apparently others, that the author has a gift for novel writing.

  10. Interesting Italian Fantasy 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 18th Jun 2015

    In Drawn, by Chris Ledbetter, Cameron has a crush on Farrah. The main problem is that she already has a boyfriend…and she can never seem to remember his name. Hoping to secure her admiration, Cameron sketches her portrait on an ancient-looking sketchbook he inherited from his art mentor, a book that contains obvious warnings not to sketch people in it. Cameron’s world turns upside down when the drawing blinks and smiles up at him.

    I have heard of books about people’s drawings coming to life in which the sketches walk around in the real worl. But Drawn takes the idea to a different dimension by making all things drawn into the book come to life in an entire world contained within the book. It was intriguing to learn about this new world in which everything is possible with a stylus and some ink and where humans live immortal lives.

    Cameron had a team he played video games with. At first, I wondered why the author was spending so much time on their friendships. But the novel soon revealed that even that friendship played a role in Cameron’s fight to bring Farrah back to the real world.

    I enjoyed the appearance of several famous artists in Drawn. It made me smile to see their rivalry. The appearance of mythical creatures was also interesting. It demonstrated the unending possibilities of the world within the sketchbook.

    One thing in Cameron and Farrah’s relationship made me wonder. They spent some time apart in which Farrah learns that it is Cameron’s fault she is in danger. Then, when they meet again, they are both very determined never to be separated and to date no matter what. What changed? They were not able to communicate yet Farrah is willing to risk all to be with the one who put her in danger then rescued her from it? Perhaps it is just me, but it did not entirely make sense.

    Overall, Drawn is a good story. I would read it again if need be.

    I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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