Captured in Paint is the first installment of the Captured in Paint duet. This is the first book I’ve read by Ann M. Miller, and most certainly will not be the last. If you’re a fan of young adult fantasy romance, this book might be right up your alley!
Julia Parsons has had her life turned on its ear. A few months ago, she lost her mother and her boyfriend to a horrific fire. A loss she shouldered with a steadfastness that others found to be particularly freakish. With the loss of a family heirloom, she begins to unravel, unearthing emotions she had assumed she was incapable of feeling. Even worse, new family secrets come to haunt her in the form of a new, terrifying talent — and an equally terrifying new enemy, Luke. She learns that her boyfriend, Nick, is trapped in a painting. An impossibility that seems to grow even more impossible when she realizes that not only does magic exist, but she has it. She’s a Vista Witch.
First, I have to give compliments where compliments are due, Ann M. Miller writes beautifully. It was clean, free-flowing, effortless. I could sing her praises all day. There was special attention paid to the characters and their development, and it felt authentic and organic. Not once did I find myself squinting at the characters, wondering how much they limbered up for the Olympian reaches (which, might I add, happens quite a bit).
At a glance, the story seems to be rather straightforward, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how the story twisted and turned. It breathed, it sighed, and it gasped in equal measure. And I did, too!
I will say, from my own perspective, the chapters were a bit on the longer side. As an overworked, chronically overstressed mung-bean, I find it hard to sit down and immerse myself in longer chapters. I prefer to be able to sneak in a chapter here or a chapter there. With longer chapters, I find myself wondering more about how long I’ve been reading than spending time engaging with the story.
The pacing of the book, overall, was quite wonderful, so I know my critique of “it felt slow in the beginning” is likely due to how I consume content. If you’re similar to me, though, it would be worth noting before diving into this book.
I am greatly looking forward to its sequel, Illusions in Paint. I’m invested in Julia’s journey, and desperately want to see what happens next.
Are you a fan of YA? If you are, tell me your favorite books!
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