Drawn Apart by Lisette Brodey

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The story moves at a steady pace, with a perfect mix, of drama, suspense, secrets revealed, unconditional love, and the mystique between these special friends in this small desert town.

When Avalon Martelli and Stephanie Lambert meet at the start of their junior year at Mystekal High, they form an instant connection. Stephanie is from South Jersey and Avalon from North Jersey, and they both feel out of place in the Southern California desert.

Aside from having a home state in common, they each possess a talent for art and the heartbreak of a broken family. Avalon has the gift of sight, where the future is sometimes revealed in her paintings, while Stephanie’s drawings are all about forever love. As Stephanie, a self-described poetry geek and hopeless romantic, talks about past lives and eternal happiness, Avalon denies she’s in love with her best guy friend, River Dalworth, who is attending art school in Los Angeles.

Only weeks before graduation, Stephanie is in a car accident and falls into a coma. Devastated, Avalon believes it is all her fault. The night before, she had painted Stephanie with her head against the steering wheel—and hadn’t told her. She confides this to River, who has come home to be with her, but he can’t convince her she’s not to blame. Avalon loudly proclaims to the universe that she no longer wants her gift, but River warns her she may receive another one in its place.

Avalon and her family, along with Stephanie’s mother, pray for a miracle. River tries to console her, but she finds his presence difficult, knowing he has someone else who “just might be the one.” Trying to push her own pain and disappointment aside, Avalon keeps vigil for her best friend, hoping that Stephanie will wake up and have her greatest wish fulfilled— the meeting of her soul mate.

Review by Richard Schwindt:

Lisette Brodey
Lisette Brodey

This is the third book in the Desert series by Lisette Brodey; and probably my favorite of the three. Brodey’s books are very much about connection and the impact of broken connections; broken families, loss and coping through love and art.

Avalon and Stephanie are displaced young women who come together in Mystekal; a small desert community in Southern California. Best of friends in this small and, to them, rather foreign town (that is mystical as much as it is Mystekal) their bond is shattered by a tragedy.

All in all Drawn Apart is a terrific entry for fans of moving and thoughtful YA fiction.

Review by Sheri A. Wilkinson:

Avalon Martelli and Stephanie Lambert met at Mystekal High in a California Desert town. They instantly formed a strong friendship when they learn they are both from New Jersey.They have a lot in common, they both come from broken homes, they both love art and they both are different than the rest of the students. Stephanie loves poetry and is a hopeless romantic. Avalon is in denial of her true feelings for her friend River Dalworth.

Right before graduation Stephanie is in a horrible car accident, that leaves her in a coma. Avalon feels it is her fault because she had painted a picture of Stephanie with her head in the steering wheel, and never warned her. Distraught over her friends dire situation Avalon claims she doesn’t want her gift anymore. But she doesn’t know how those words are about to affect her life, and those she loves.

Avalon is likable, she is facing personal problems at home, in her love life, and trying to cope with her best friends serious medical condition. Stephanie is likable too. She is so lovable just wanting to find (and be) with her one true soul mate. River is back, he is super smart, funny and very likable.

The plot is cleverly written with current situations, and glimpses of the past (between Stephanie and Avalon) . We learn more about Stephanie’s Mother and Avalon’s as well. The story moves at a steady pace, with a perfect mix, of drama, suspense, secrets revealed, unconditional love, and the mystique between these special friends in this small desert town. An all around five-star read. I highly recommend Drawn apart to Young/Adult as well as Adult readers. I also love the cover art, it is amazing and fits the story perfectly.

Great as a stand alone, but I strongly recommend reading the complete Desert series; Mystical High (book 1), Desert Star (book 2) And Drawn Apart (book 3).