Already famous at seventeen, Jason (Jay) Walker is an artist obsessed with light, but unlike the Impressionist painter, Monet, Jay would rather capture the reflective ripple of scar tissue instead of a sunrise over water. Too bad he's been in an artistic dry period since his hot girlfriend turned cold. Jay's been left with an unfinished painting, no model, and a tight deadline for a competition that, if he wins, guarantees a fat scholarship to Ecole des Beaux-Arts in France.
He's got a plan though. Twice a week he ditches class to meet Kell in the cemetery that separates their two schools. Through an odd game of trading scars, and a little administrative blackmail, Jay convinces a very unwilling Kell to be his next model.
Jay only wanted to capture light reflecting off her torn surface, but after he starts working, he can't help but want to paint it all, every layer down to the depths of her soul. But soon, Kell starts changing. With every session his work gets better and she becomes colder, her eyes duller, her wild emotions flatline.
And he realizes the same thing happened when he painted his ex-girlfriend.
Jay is sure to win another award for his new work, but this time is different. This time, he knows it's happening, and this time, it's Kell. Somehow her emotions are being absorbed into his painting and he's not sure if he's willing to sacrifice her for a scholarship, cash prize, and press write-up.
What's worse, he's not sure if he can give up painting, on which he's built his entire identity, on the slim chance it might save her.
Starlight is an in-progress YA Contemporary Fantasy based on the old superstition that a photo can steal a piece of your soul