Ruth Hill's Reviews > Sykosa

Sykosa by Justin Ordoñez
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's review
Mar 31, 2012

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bookshelves: e-books
Read from March 31 to April 04, 2012

This young adult book was a read unlike anything I have ever read before, and if I have to rate just the story, I definitely think a 3.5 or a 4 is in order. I think the author truly did capture the essence of young adulthood and many of the things that plague teenagers. It's all about fitting in, dating, sex, cliques, and so much more. It is also about hiding things from your parents and wondering whether you are pretty or smart enough. And will your friend be your friend today or tomorrow?

I think that the best feature of this book (and what kept me reading even when I wasn't sure I wanted to) was the author's use of the "blackness" which alluded to some horrible thing that Sykosa witnessed and has never gotten over. It involves her friends, and even at the end of the story, I am not completely sure what happened, but I have a general idea. And it is true that this incident colors and infects everything in Sykosa's life. She has never gotten over it and probably never will. Only time can help her to move on from this incident.

I also enjoyed the fact that the author jumped around a lot in the story. It was not told in chronological order, and it kept me guessing what I might discover next in Sykosa's story. Loose ends were tied up as we went back in time and then jumped ahead to the present to unravel even more of the story. With the use of all of these devices, I found the story did not truly ever get boring.

My biggest complaint in the story was the prolific use of profanity. I know I often mention this in my reviews, and sometimes I am not incredibly bothered. Although I realize that a good share of teenagers use these various words on a regular basis, I do not relish continuing to read the "f-bomb" over and over again. I would just start to get interest in the story, and there would be a page of (unnecessary) profanity. It really did spoil the enjoyment of the story for me.

I also grew tired of everything being about sex. I realize and appreciate that young people are often obsessed with sex, but maybe I am just out of touch (though I like to think that as an educator who works with this age children that I am not). I have not witnessed everything being about sex. But I guess I also do not hear discussion in the locker rooms and in the hallway, so maybe I just cannot judge. I also cannot relate because I never dated in high school, and sex was never something I even focused on in school. It was something that barely crossed my mind, but then, I was an unusual teenager. I know that.

In short, this book is a good read that gives a peek into the "secret" lives of teenage girls. However, be warned that there are a myriad of sexual references and profanity throughout, so it may not be something you would like for your impressionable teen to read. I will admit that this is not one I would ever recommend to my daughter--even if she were old enough to read it.

I nearly forgot one of the most exciting things in the book. It actually took place in the Seattle, Washington area! I recognized so many of the places, and that is always nice. Not many books happen around here, but I feel it is the best setting for a story!

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated in any way, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

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