Reviewed by Cana Rensberger for TeensReadToo.com
Remember your first serious relationship? The breathless excitement, nervousness, and giddiness that comes when you realize that he likes you? Caitlyn can't believe how lucky she is.
She first meets Tyler at an amusement park, in the splash pool. The attraction is immediate and mutual, and the timing couldn't be better. Her best friend, Ashley, is totally engrossed in Brandon, her boyfriend of eight months. And at home, she feels less than invisible. The latest insult is moving to the basement so her room can be turned into a nursery. Her mother and stepfather are finally going to have their perfect baby, a baby they've been trying for for years. It seems they've forgotten that Caitlyn even exists.
At first, Caitlyn convinces herself that she's not changing. She's doing what every other girl does who wants to be with her boyfriend. If she really loves him, she should try to please him, right? She ignores the inner voices that wonder why she's not talking to Ashley about her relationship with Tyler. She lets Tyler talk her into doing things that she would never have considered before. When she realizes that she can't paint a smiling self-portrait she begins to look beyond the euphoria of new love and finds support and forgiveness from her family and friends.
Teen feelings of being alive and loved, truly loved, for the first time, mixed with the uncertainty, stubbornness, and incredibly strong desire to please, are vividly portrayed in this debut novel. Ms. Peters does a beautiful job of immersing the reader in the heady feeling of young love. PAINTING CAITLYN was a very enjoyable read.