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A college freshman is swept into shaky moral territory within the cut-throat world of visual arts in this razor-sharp novel.

Winning a scholarship to California’s most prestigious art school seems like a fairy tale ending to Sabine Reye’s awful senior year. After losing both her mother and her home, Sabine longs for a place where she belongs. But the cutthroat world of visual arts is nothing like what Sabine had imagined. Colin Krell, the renowned faculty member whom she had hoped would mentor her, seems to take merciless delight in tearing down her best work — and warns her that she’ll lose the merit-based award if she doesn’t improve.

Desperate and humiliated, Sabine doesn’t know where to turn. Then she meets Adam, a grad student who understands better than anyone the pressures of art school. He even helps Sabine get insight on Krell by showing her the modern master’s work in progress, a portrait that’s sold for a million dollars sight unseen.

Sabine is enthralled by the portrait; within those swirling, colorful layers of paint is the key to winning her inscrutable teacher’s approval. Krell did advise her to improve her craft by copying a painting she connects with…but what would he think of Sabine secretly painting her own version of his masterpiece? And what should she do when she accidentally becomes party to a crime so well-plotted that no one knows about it but her?

Complex and utterly original, What I Want You to See is a gripping tale of deception, attraction, and moral ambiguity.

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

*"Clear-sighted and heartbreakingly true, this is a genuine portrait of a girl in quiet crisis learning to see things as they are."—Booklist (starred review)
"An engrossing novel about art, self-expression, and making amends."
Kirkus Reviews
"Through Sabine's first-person narrative, interspersed with "sketches" of her previous life, Linka crafts a unique story, both a twisty thriller and an indictment of education's high cost and the risks taken in pursuit of a dream."
Publishers Weekly
"Tense, smart, and engaging.... What I Want You to See is a stunning portrait of deception, artfully peeling back layers of secrets to reveal a meticulously crafted crime."—Elle Cosimano, award-winning author of Nearly Gone
"Linka delivers intrigue, betrayal, and a feast for art lovers."
Mary McCoy, author of Printz Honor Book I, Claudia
"A messy, heartbreaking and very real journey of learning to let others see who you truly are."
Carrie Arcos, author of National Book Award Finalist Out of Reach
"A stunning page-turner that will tear your heart and paste it back together."
Kim Purcell, author of This is Not a Love Letter and Trafficked
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