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Sykosa (2012)

by Justin Ordoñez(Favorite Author)
3.43 of 5 Votes: 2
0985424311 (ISBN13: 9780985424312)
TDS Publishing
review 1: Sykosa is a very unique story compared to all the others I had reviewed. At times it is difficult to follow because it seems like it switches between wanting to be first person and actually being third person. Also the perspectives change through out the writing. There were definitely times that I was unsure of who was actually telling certain portion of the story. It is primarily from Sykosa's perspective and the parts that could be seen as from another character might actually be Sykosa's interpretation of what that character is thinking/feeling.Aside from the perspective difficulties, the plot line was very interesting. Sykosa is a junior in a christian high school. She is best friends with Niko and "seeing" a boy named Tom. I put that in quotes because their relations... morehip is a secret through out most of the story. Sykosa has a severe problem dealing with something that happened a year ago that has been emotionally traumatizing to her which surrounds her friends and a clique. I am not going to write out what the names of the cliques are because I try to keep my blog posts family friendly as much as I can. This book is definitely not family friendly for those of you that do not like reading about physical interactions and thoughts of such interactions. The characters in this book do not "make love" if that gets my point across. Anyway, I have no clue what the event is that has scarred Sykosa so much. It is not spelled out for you simply and I believe that is because by the end of the book Sykosa is learning how to handle her anxiety. The excerpt from Book 2 indicates that you will learn what happened during her sophomore year, and I believe the author withholds this information until then to show us how much she is healing. Ironically, her physical intimacy with Tom is her healing process. Ironic because I think that that is a major part of her emotional damage, just it wasn't with Tom.You will learn a lot about how cliques in high school turn destructive and how the battles among them are directly related to race, home issues, and teenage development. Sykosa and her best friend Niko are Asian which ends up playing a huge role in how they are accepted in their American christian high school. It was an interesting read, and I definitely want to read the second book just because I really want to know what happened during sophomore year. I finished this book feeling like a huge chunk was missing because I really don't know what happened in the past.Read more reviews at Identity Discovery Blog.
review 2: This is a difficult review to write. I wanted to love this book. The premise spoke to me, I like the fact that it's a YA set in current reality (instead of making everything a metaphor because it's supernatural), I like the fact that it involves a Catholic Parish school and the main characters are Asian (both very far from my experience), and I like that the author is young, new, and from Seattle.But I didn't love the book.Parts of it I did- there were a few witty turns of phrase, and some aspects of Sykosa's thoughts/obsessions/observations about her relation to her BFF and her mom struck me as very accurate to my own experience as a teen, and unique in the world of YA. The two main characters are nicely complex, as well. And clearly there's an all-too-often-occurring nod to the roles we play when something is implicitly "owed".Most of it, though, I struggled with- jumping timelines, which got confusing; constant hints to a bad incident that happened in the past (which, spoiler alert, we never find out what it is....very frustrating); switching between third person and first person voice made every "she" a confusing one (reference to Sykosa? Niko?); absolute lack of male characters as anything but a function (where is Niko's dad during all of this??); conflicting character drives in a seemingly-contrived way (Niko pushes boundaries because she needs a mother to set them and love her, and lacks that, but Sykosa's desires seem to be muddled and mostly nonexistent); Sykosa having conflicted sexuality in truth but not in words, and this never getting pointed out (she's so coldly removed from joy or desire with a boy, but constantly obsessing over female body parts and using more masculine/removed/derogatory terms for them); the language (which was shockingly foul when used in private- I cussed a lot as a kid, but mainly when trying to impress others and sound older, never in my everyday train of thought, especially with regard to the body parts of someone I love, and I went to public school and am not Christian). In summary, I think it's a good concept and a good start, and maybe needs some refinement and tweaks to make into the kind of book I would prefer that it was. less
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Great book but left me hanging...can't wait for part two...
Review to come after blog tour date.
Justin is a client of mine
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