Broken Symmetry by Dan Rix

Sixteen-year-old Blaire Adams can walk through mirrors. 

It’s called breaking symmetry. To her, a mirror feels like a film of honey. She can reach through it, grab things…even step inside. 

On the other side she lives every teenager’s fantasy: a universe all her own, zero consequences. She can kiss the hot guy, break into La Jolla mansions, steal things…even kill. When finished, she just steps back into reality and smashes the mirror—and in an instant erases every stupid thing she did. Gone. It never happened. 

But breaking symmetry is also dangerous. First there’s the drug-like rush she gets when passing through the glass, like a shot of adrenaline. She suspects it’s degrading her body, making a new copy of her each time. A reflection of a reflection, each one a little hazier. Then, of course, there’s the risk of getting cut off from reality. 

When she narrowly escapes a military quarantine zone with the San Diego Police Department hot on her heels only to discover her escape mirror littering the floor in shards, her worst fear is realized. Now, trapped in a broken reflection, she must flee through a mind-bending maze of mirrors, going deeper into the nightmare as she struggles to grasp a betrayal, uncover the chilling truth about her ability, and somehow find a way out of a dead-end universe that “never happened.” 

These police officers tell me I have been gone for eleven months,” he said. “This is not true—”
“Daddy, where’d you go?” I mumbled.
“Blaire, you have to listen to me,” he said. “I never vanished . . . you vanished.”

This book is the ULTIMATE mind bender. It’s so creepy and unbelievable and just sooo good! By the end of this book you’ll be scared of your own reflection. This story is refreshingly original for this genre and you will not want to put this down. I envy those reading this story for the first time. Rix has created a world that is so complex, yet so detailed and well thought out. Blaire is one of the more likable female characters ive come across. What I really enjoyed about her was that she recognized when she sounded like a brat. I loved how independent and take charge she was. What I also enjoyed was the well developed male character Damien as well as the character Charles. He was a very interesting and calculating antagonist. The plot was crazy and never deviated even with the introduction of a new love interest. The author never really let the romance take over the story. With the way the plot twists and turns you will be on a terrifying adventure until the last word. This is a must read for any sci fi lovers and all those YA fans out there looking for something new. Without a doubt this is a 5/5 story. It can be found at amazon.com.

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The Poor Man’s Guide to Suicide by Andrew Armacost

Wesley Weimer, a twice-divorced prison guard and failed father of two, realizes that his life has grown lifeless. Child support payments suck him dry and so he’ll never finish that degree. Most of his free time is spent tending to his crippled mother or else writhing through painful visits with his children.

So with Christmas right around the corner, Wesley persuades a prisoner to strangle him for ten thousand dollars—this way, at least his kids can cash in on the life insurance. The only problem is, he doesn’t have ten thousand dollars…

“My initial suicidal ideations were pretty straightforward but have recently grown more elaborate, more ambitious, more demanding on the imagination.”

This was an amazing look into the psyche of a man who has lost all hope and optimism for life. The author does a wonderful job at conveying the voice of Wesley. The writing is smooth and jumps from past and present to really allow the reader to feel his despair. It’s very dark and gritty. The reader will really find themselves on a journey of self discovery. This is the type of story that will hit home for a lot of people. I really liked how the author showed that no matter what a person is going through or may have things can change at any moment. As was shown in the sudden change of circumstances with Wesley’s friend Cooper. The sudden downward spiral of Coopers life is the catalyst for Wesley to make changes in his own life. As a woman I found it interesting to read a book from the point of view of man who is also a noncustodial parent. It provided a lot of insight into how they may view their circumstances with their children as well the way it must feel to have children closer to their step parent than themselves. It was a brilliant portrayal of a truly decent man who through a series of events is at a dead end in life. This book has something for every reader to be able to connect with. Overall I would give it a 4/5 and I would recommend this for a read.

Zero Alternative by Luca Persaro

Scott Walker is a fugitive from the quicksands of Finance, with one card to play – DeepShare, a silicon oracle coveted by billionaires, hitmen and hackers. As he fights for survival and vengeance, digging deeper into the dark heart of the global economy, one question torments him: what price will the world have to pay?

He didn’t known what to do; this was too outside his universe. He should just go to the police, but there would be so many questions- he would have to talk about DeepOmega and he didn’t have a shred of proof, just two missing computers in a convoluted story.

And powerful enemies working against him as he tried to defend himself in front of the law. You might be truly screwed, Yours.

Zero Alternative was a fast paced thriller. Luca Pesaro takes you on a rollercoaster ride trough the shady and dangerous world of banking. Scott Walker (Yours) and his friend DM have a program with the ability to predict the market. With a resource so accurate and powerful many people want to get their hands on that program by any means. The beginning was a little slow because of the introduction of the banking world and the financial jargon but Pesaro does an excellent job of explaining concepts without making the reader feel as though they are sitting in a classroom. The characters are well thought out and quirky. The things one character does in the story is so twisted and cringe worthy you will be squirming in your seat. Betrayal, murder, sex, and espionage are all served up on a platter and fed to you in a decadent feast! I recommend this with no hesitation. There is zero alternative to buying this 5/5 rated thriller.

Searching For Sky by Jillian Cantor

Sky and River have always lived on Island, the only world they’ve ever known. Until the day River spots a boat. Across Ocean, in a place called California, Sky is separated from River and forced to live with a grandmother she’s just met. Here the rules for survival are different. People rely on strange things like cars and cell phones. They keep secrets from one another. And without River, nothing makes sense. Sky yearns for her old life where she was strong and capable, not lost and confused. She must find River so they can return to Island, but the truth behind how they ended up there in the first place will come as the biggest shock of all.

“Sky,” River whispers in my hair now. I’m almost asleep, my mother and Helmut so close that I can almost touch them. River’s voice is hazing and raw, and I wonder if he’s almost asleep, too. “Hmmm,” I whisper back.
“I saw something today.”
“What?” I ask him. I am so full and tired that I can barely move my lips to make a sound. I think about my mother’s bracelet, the way the pink shes feel cool and smooth against the bars flesh of my arm. “A boat,” River says, just as I am on the cusp of dreaming. “I think I saw a boat.”

Searching for Sky was slow moving for me at first. In the beginning it actually reminded me of a watered down version of The Blue Lagoon if they had found civilization so it took a little while for me to really open up to the story. I’m pleased that I stuck with it because it was a really beautiful coming of age tale but there were quite a few things that feel short for me and the made the book a miss. Sky is the main character and her best friend and only person in her world is River. When they are “rescued” from their island they are thrust into a world that is so opposite from what they’ve known their entire lives. Sky is desperate to go back to her island and having a hard time adjusting to this new life with a new name (Megan) everyone insist on calling her. All she wants is for River and her to return home. As she begins to learn more about her mother and the reasons they ended up on the island her life takes a devastating turn. The things she learns and experience are so heartbreaking and you want nothing more than for her to find her way. I found myself taking the journey with her and felt her anger, frustrations, and sadness. I found myself going back and fourth as to what I wanted to happen for her. Her whole character is based on the fact that she lived on island with no contact from civilization and there was no real depth to her.  Her ability to showcase the culture shock that Sky experienced when going to California was hilarious as Sky leaned the proper way to use the bathroom but I felt like the author could have done more. As a reverse dystopia it feel really short me in that sense. I did like how the author gradually showed how Sky became more and more desensitized to her new surroundings and how she became stuck between being Sky and being Megan.

From the small amount that we eventually learn about River I was really sad for him. I think his story and experiences would’ve been more interesting to read and the book would’ve benefited from being told by both of their perspectives. Overall, it was an alright read for me. I think I ruined it by expecting too much from the story beforehand. I would it give it  2/5 rating. This is definitely a book for 12+ year olds. They would really get the most out of the story.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

In a perfect world mothers would all want their babies, and strangers would open up their homes to the unloved. In a perfect world everything would be either black or white, right or wrong, and everyone would know the difference. But this isn’t a perfect world. The problem is people who think it is.”

Unwind was a read like nothing I’ve come across so far. It will stay with you and have you thinking long after the last page has been read. Before reading this book I didn’t think I would like it. I felt like the concept of unwinding was just so out there that there was no way the author would be able to make this believable.  What I thought was really amazing was that the author was able to build tension in the story without all the action scenes and plot twist after plot twist. The whole idea of unwinding and the fact that the reader doesn’t find out what the actual process consist of is enough tension by itself. The world building was so spot on that after I started reading I didn’t question whether or not it was possible because I was in too engrossed in the story. I really thought Shusterman was brilliant in raising questions on pro life and pro choice without taking a side or forcing the reader to pick a side. Instead he raised important questions like when does an unborn child have a soul? At conception or when it’s first loved by the parent? When giving up a child does the parent feel guilt or relief afterwards? The book wasn’t so much about death as it was the human consciousness. It also tackles issues such as religion, terrorism, politics, and ageism. The switching point of view between the characters made it hard to connect with them in the beginning but the collision course they end up on is so shocking and sets off a series of events that can possibly change their world. This book also contains one of the most disturbing scenes I have read in a YA even for one in the dystopian genre. I recommend this book as well as the sequel UnWholly which can both be found at Amazon.com. I give this a 5/5 rating.

Nogo Gogo by Beaird Glover

As promised the Bookworm has returned with more reviews. No go Gogo by Beaird Glover. Which I received from the author for an honest review.

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In this messy love story, an unlikely hero is chosen by the empress of a bizarre cult and he becomes a new kind of paranormal like the world has never seen. Throw in some pungent explosions and greenhouse taboo, a deadly new drug and choices made for love or money, and the forces of good will fight it out with evil for the comedic unspeakable and to test the fortitude of everyone. 

“Think if it like this,” the guard says. “Not to put too fine a point on it, but I don’t know how else you could understand: Her butt is like the Tree of Knowledge, and forbidden booty fruit ripens within. You cannot pry into the wondrous mysteries of life. You may not pluck the forbidden booty fruit.”
“But I’m a gastroenterologist,” the doctor says. “I need to know the truth.”
“You can’t handle the truth!”
“Is she making Louis eat her forbidden booty fruit?” Justin asks.
“It is thought to be too strong, too feculent and putrid for human consumption,” the guard says.
Justin continues, “But, people aren’t supposed to eat poop anyway, right?”

Nogo Go go is the funniest and most disgusting thing I’ve read in a while! This paranormal satire is the equivalent of the longest and most hilarious fart joke you’ve ever heard! It will have you literally clutching your stomach… in laughter. In this story there a line is drawn between those who hold it in and those who “free their bowels” and the greedy people in the middle who want to exploit the market for both. You have the Freedom Farters and their Orifice Xo with her magic booty fruit and diarrhea inducing lettuce and the people behind NoGo. A drug that will instantly stop you up.  Nogo pushers are trying to corner the diarrhea market but are in for a series of events no one can predict. This colon cleansing plot twist will keep you thoroughly entertained. I give this a 5/5 rating and highly recommend you get this book right this second. It can be found at Amazon.com.

Who Run the [Dystopian] World? [White] Girls

Very interesting points made in both the post and the comments.

Be Young & Shut Up

Sharyl Sandberg was right, y’all. In the future, we’re all gonna lean in, and when the world goes to shit, it’s the white ladies that come out on top. A study that shows boys’ numbers lagging behind girls’ in reading might explain the reason for women having to constantly take up the mantle around all these inept future-dudes. But it might better explain the new demographic for the YA (young adult) dystopian novel, which is popularly read by girls and young women. This is neat, considering the sci-fi canon is often thought to belong to male authors and narratives about men, but YA has cornered its niche market by creating tons of female characters for young readers to see themselves reflected in. And even though it’ll take a miracle to get YA to be taken seriously, it’s still a step in the right direction.

But not so fast, have you…

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