Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Hardcover, 528 pages, Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: YA, Contemporary, LGBT
Adrian Piper is used to blending into the background. He may be a talented artist, a sci-fi geek, and gay, but at his Texas high school those traits only bring him the worst kind of attention.
In fact, the only place he feels free to express himself is at his drawing table, crafting a secret world through his own Renaissance art-inspired superhero, Graphite.
But in real life, when a shocking hate crime flips his world upside-down, Adrian must decide what kind of person he wants to be. Maybe it’s time to not be so invisible after all—no matter how dangerous the risk.
I’ve been seriously craving some superhero YA books lately, so when I randomly saw Draw the Line in the store without having any clue of its existence before, I was all too ready to devour it. And, thankfully, the book proved to be a great addition to the superhero world.
Relatable characters were in abundance in this beautiful story of a boy trying to fight the bigotry in his town. Adrian is an adorable geeky guy with a penchant for getting into terrible situations. He’s also unrealistically clumsy which, while slightly less relatable, was entertaining. Adrian’s friends were also highly realistic. It was amazing to read the interactions Adrian had with Audrey and Trent. Adrian actually talked about his friends’ problems, not just his own. I honestly wish more pages were added to the story, just so there could be some more closure with the three amigos.
Besides having relatable characters, the plot was, while a bit predictable and cliché, very touching and motivating. Some of the “bad guys” were a little too bad in, as I said, a cliché way. Additionally, bystanders and friends alike, even adults, would never stand up in some of the terrible situations that happened. However, the idea that Doug’s father was the police chief or sheriff (can’t remember which), did make the situation crazily frightening. I couldn’t believe how awful some of the people in charge were treating victims just because the bully was a popular football player. I know it actually happens in real life, I just wish it wasn’t. That’s what made the plot realistic inside a mix of the predictable and cliché.
I know you’re probably asking if this book is so predictable and cliché and it follows the typical bullied-kid-contemporary book storyline, then why am I giving it 4.5 stars? Well, it’s not only the characters but the points that the book made about what a hero/superhero should do. One of the greatest lines in the book talked about how a superhero shouldn’t destroy, but instead create. I think that’s a fantastic motto that all heroes (of the Marvel/DC type or every-day ones) should use. It’s much better than killing people or even just beating them up to make yourself seem heroic. Despite this fantastic line, I do wish Graphite, Adrian’s alter-ego superhero that he draws, would have had more time in the book showing how he created versus destroyed.
All in all, this book is a testament to the idea that people have to step up when injustices are committed. I think Adrian manages to draw that point pretty well.
*Note: I was gifted a copy of this book. This in no way affected my opinion/review.