Shy, artistic Tera can't wait to attend a prestigious art school in France to prove to her famous artist father that she can make something of herself. But Tera's hopes for the future explode when the police arrest her dad for an unspeakable crime. Her father's arrest must be a mistake, so Tera goes into action, sacrificing her future at art school to pay for his defense. Meanwhile, she falls head over heels for Joey, a rebel musician who makes her feel wanted and asks no questions about her past. Joey helps Tera forget her troubles, but he brings a whole new set of problems to Tera's already complicated life. Then, to make matters worse, as her relationship with Joey deepens and as her dad's hotshot lawyer builds a defense, fractures begin to appear in Tera's childhood memories--fractures that make her wonder: could her father be guilty? And whether he's guilty or innocent, can she find a way to step out of the shadows of her father's reputation and walk free? Can she stop him, guilty or innocent, from tainting the only future she ever wanted? A Work of Art is a deeply felt story about self-image, self-deception, and the terrible moment that comes when we have to face the whole truth about the myths of our childhoods.
"Maysonet honestly, yet delicately, highlights issues such as victim-blaming, shame, and difficult sexual relationships." --The Horn Book Magazine
"Maysonet's...prose is unflinching as it illuminates one girl's traumatic experience with deeply felt compassion and brutal honesty...gilded with resilience and hope. An important book about endings, beginnings and the choice to move on." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Beautifully drawn, convincingly flawed characters create a world in which Tera's own childhood slowly moves from remembered happiness to dark understanding. This debut novel skillfully explores the consequences of self-deception, relationships, and the lengths we go to please the people we love." --Booklist
"This debut novel is a powerful story showing how a person can recreate memories to make sense of childhood until something happens to make that person face the truth.... The story may help those dealing with a crisis in their own lives." --VOYA Magazine
"Whatever Melody Maysonet wants to write next, I'm in. She's an author I can trust to make me hurt while I read and open my eyes a little more to the world around me." --YA Books Central
"Melody Maysonet does a great job with describing Tera's thoughts and emotions throughout her horrifying journey." --San Francisco Book Review
"Maysonet's novel and its unreliable narrator Tera will make a better human being out of any reader...you'll want to stay with Tera and watch her reclaim her art and her life. Absolutely one of the best dark contemporary novels of 2015." --YA Books Central