Monday, September 29, 2014

Reprise Review: Canvas Bound / Laura M. Kolar

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: YA/Coming of Age/Paranormal Romance

Approximate word count: 70-75,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: YES  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


Laura M. Kolar is a self-declared hopeless romantic who lives with her husband and daughter in Michigan. To learn more visit her website.


The Captive Art Series is a trilogy set in an art academy in England, where many of the students have some very interesting and unique talents. The first book, Canvas Bound, follows sixteen-year-old Libby Tanner, whose art comes to life. Her painted skies turn from day to night, leaves rustle on trees, and every so often a mystery boy appears.

While attending Aldridge, Libby meets charming Brent Henderson, a performing arts student who showers her with attention. But his rival, gorgeous Dean James, is the one who occupies her mind…

Libby soon learns there’s more to both Brent and Dean than she ever imagined. In order to save her future, and the boy who’s captured her heart, she must unlock the secrets behind her art by entering the most dangerous place of all…the world within her paintings.

But once she steps into the canvas, she risks being trapped forever.”


Olivia Tanner has an unusual artistic talent, as do all the students enrolled in England’s Aldridge Art Academy. Libby, as she likes to be called, is a conservative but smart, independent, and strong-willed girl. She is a well developed protagonist and this story is told through her eyes. Although she would rather stay in her room and paint, Travis, her student liaison, has also taken it upon himself to be her social director and insists she participate in the schools activities.  I LOVED his character, he is the big brother she never had growing up and their personalities played off each other well. I found the tension and drama drove the plot at a nice steady pace throughout the story, but towards the end I found it hard to put the book down.

Ms. Kolar handled her flawed characters well expressing their insecurities as well as their strengths in a believable way. I loved the way she compared nature verses nurture in the lives of Dean, Ryan, and Brent. As Libby starts to listen to her intuition she is able to see her classmates as they really are and read their true intent. It was enlightening to her as she realized that she was the only one who came from a safe and stable background. The balances of evil intentions are redefined as misguided attempts to gain self worth may be a little naïve, but this is a young adult story and I would like to see this aspect further explored as this trilogy continues.

This is a captivating story that will tug at your heart-strings and awe your senses as these young adults find their way around their lives and learn to control their abilities in a productive/positive way. These are not magical abilities as much as they are psychic connections with their chosen art form. I found the topic fascinating and I am sure you will also.  

Format/Typo Issues:

I read an advanced review copy and cannot comment on this section. Although, I will say Red Adept Publishing produces extremely clean books.

Rating: ***** Five stars

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Mary Preston said...

I love the sound of this.

?wazithinkin said...

This is a unique story that I think readers will enjoy. Thanks for dropping in and commenting, Ms. Preston.