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Proxy (Proxy #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,683 Ratings  ·  1,112 Reviews
Knox was born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want—the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sente ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by Philomel Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rob Russin
May 22, 2013 Rob Russin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-of-2013
My review at

Very rarely, I come across a book that manages to surprise me.

We are living in a post-Harry Potter-and-Twilight world, and "young adult fiction" has become synonymous with mediocre imitators of either series. Books for younger readers are lucrative right now, and publishers have swarmed to tales of wizard schools and supernatural romance like flies to a bloated, festering corpse. For every book that manages to find its wings and rise from the rotting carcass of these
Wendy Darling
This is fantastic joy ride of a book, with cool future tech, nuanced male protagonists (one of whom happens to be gay), good action scenes, interesting discussions of personal responsibility, and terrific twists and turns.

This full text of this review appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.

Recommended for: fans of False Memory or Legend.
Khanh (the Grinch)
Actual rating: 3.5

Poor Sydney Carton. He's got a hard Knox life. Yes, I wrote this entire review just so I could work "hard Knox life" into it somehow.

Remember reading The Whipping Boy in grade school? Remember how much you hated the fact that life could be so unfair? Well, get ready to be even more bitter towards life in this YA dystopian version of it.

This has a plot, but I think it doubles as a social commentary and satire about our culture and how it is devolving. It's about consumerism, deb
Aug 06, 2013 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
This is an important book. Usually, when a gay teenage boy asks me for a book recommendation, I'm stuck giving him contemporary fiction or "issue" books if he wants a decent book with a gay character. As much as I adore "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" and "Boy Meets Boy," gay teenage boys aren't that different than straight teenage boys when it comes to reading preferences. They want a book with zombies, explosions, robots, or epic battle scenes. I get it. I like books like that too. But good luck ...more
4.5 stars

Going along with my idea of book reproduction in my review of Speechless, Proxy would be the child of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and Legend by Marie Lu. It blends fast-paced action with a well-fleshed futuristic world, complete with characters that are rife with wit and passion.

Knox has never felt consequences before. A Patron born into one of the City's richest families, he has access to the best technology, clothing, and parties. Every time he makes a mistake, his Proxy - Syd, a hard-
Jubilation Lee
My friends. Let me tell you about Proxy.

To start with, it’s written like Feed version 2.0, and I fucking LOVED Feed so you can imagine I’m pumped for an updated version.

We’ve got two hot boys – one with a sort of Tony Stark-ish “I can work magic with holographic computer codes and also I might be a coke addict” persona and one who’s rocking this whole Aladdin-of-the-future-with-biotech-instead-of-a-magic-carpet vibe. And also a hot girl – with PURPLE EYES because why not – who spends most of the
Mar 09, 2016 Regan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned-read
Solid book. I really appreciated both the racial diversity and the LGBT elements present in this story! Excited to pick up the next one.
This was a disappointment. The basic idea for the book was decent, but the execution was lacking—to put it mildly.

There are various technical issues, like the unnecessary POV shifts, the paper-thin characterisation, the shallow, dull storyline, or the obvious lack of proper content editing—to just name a few.

The story peaks at around 30% and then it unceremoniously deflates. The author thought he was writing an adventure, but all he accomplished was to make the story drag and wander aimlessly.
Paula Stokes
Mar 12, 2013 Paula Stokes rated it it was amazing
I got this from my editor friend after seeing it in the Penguin catalog, but as cool as that flap copy is up there, it only scratches the surface.

There are so many good things to say about PROXY, but most of them are spoilery. I can say this: The story blisters along at the speed of a bullet train as the main characters run from an oppressive system of debtors and creditors. I don't know Alex London and I don't want to compare his work to specific other books because some writers find that offen
Aaron Hartzler
Feb 13, 2013 Aaron Hartzler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, lgbt
I was up until 2AM finishing this book because there was No. Other. Choice. Alex London has plotted a masterful start to a pulse-pounding series with the deft hand of an expert. He refuses to sacrifice the emotional heart of his characters for cheap thrills, and that makes the breakneck action something more than simply exciting; it makes this nail-biter meaningful . I couldn't believe the final scene, and you won't either. It shocked me, and thrilled me, and left me tweeting the author in the ...more
Thibaut Nicodème
Full review on my blog, the Snark Theater.


Somewhat more thoughtful review: This book is a damn masterpiece of its genre. You know how YA dystopias are generally out of touch with what makes a dystopia work (namely, that the dystopia has to resonate with a social problem of our day) and hinge on the same tired old tropes? Yeah, not here.

It's a borderline deconstruction, in the sense t
Cody Carter
Dec 13, 2013 Cody Carter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Oh. My. God.
This book left me weak. I kind of just want to walk outside, in the dark, and lay in the middle of the road...
Its was so perfect. So much action. So much everything. Very little romance. It is like my dream book. I can't even. So much character development in so little pages.
I need help. I'm tearing up writing this just thinking about the ending. Just thinking about how tragic it all is. I literally just finished it and now writing this. Its so fresh. So painful.
I want to meet thi
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
Knox is the Patron and Syd is the proxy. In this world, whenever a Patron needs to be punished, all punishments go to the Proxy. Knox got someone killed and in return, Syd is punished. The two meet by chance at a party and when they realize they have more in common than they think, they start to rely on each other and eventually help one another.

What a crazy, intense world! Imagine having someone else get punished for your crazy stunts! I don't know how one can live when the other suffers. I ha
Apr 16, 2015 Emma rated it it was amazing
Syd is an orphan. He doesn't know anything about his past. He doesn't want to think about his present. The only thing that keeps Syd going is that his debt is almost paid. Two more years and Syd's time as a proxy will be done. No more punishments for crimes committed by his patron. No more being seen as less than everything in the eyes of the system. Two more years and Syd will finally be free.

Knox doesn't think much about his past. Or his future. He doesn't have to when he can focus on the pres
Jun 23, 2013 Dana rated it liked it
Shelves: gay, netgalley, ya
Ok, so on the one hand, I read this very fast and definitely was interested to see where it was going. However, the farther along I got, the less interested I was.

Proxy is yet another take on the "this is the future and it sucks" theme so prevalent right now. In a nutshell, there's only the very rich and the very poor, so rich "patrons" hire "proxies" to take their punishments for them; in this way proxies can then pay off part of the debt that virtually every poor person is burdened with.

Mar 09, 2016 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-physical, 2016
Actual rating of 4.25 stars.

I tried reading this book once before, a little over a year ago. I didn't get more than 10 pages in, partly because I was reading on a train and finding it difficult to block out my surroundings, but also because it just didn't captivate me.

Well...It certainly captivated me this time around! This dystopian world that Alex London introduces you to is fascinating. He's created an entire system, and imagined it well. It's scary in how true it could be.

Another thing th
Jun 22, 2015 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exact rating: 4.5

This book started off rather confusing. Especially with its high tech settings, it took me quite some time to settle and inject myself into the world. It got better and better after getting used to the settings and characters. This has to be one of the books that will literally make you laugh out loud, thus making this one of the funniest book I've ever read. There were plot twists throughout the book and I spoiled myself for everyone of them because my hands wouldn't stay still
Oh God. This book.

I’m staring at the last page, waiting for a coherent thought on how I feel about this book. And sadly, it would not come. Because I can’t think. I just feel. I keep feeling all these emotions inside of me and I just want to hug myself to sleep.

I never knew I could relate to this book so much (that’s why I literally spent a week to slowly read it). It is definitely, as Marie Lu said it, “OFF-THE-CHARTS-AMAZING.”

Alex London has that talent like Collins, Lu, Roth, Dashner and so m
Paul Lunger
Feb 14, 2013 Paul Lunger rated it it was amazing
It is quite possible that with "Proxy", Alex London may have in fact written one of the best books of this year & something that should it reach the big screen could become a blockbuster industry for Hollywood. The concept is very simple - the wealthy (known as Patrons) have everything & anything they do wrong is paid for by the poor (the Proxy) who lives revolve around massive debt & punishment. The proxies also have no idea who their patrons are & also are to never meet. It is ...more
Feb 24, 2013 Bookandahug rated it really liked it
Move over Hunger Games. Sit down Divergent. Step aside Matched. Here comes PROXY locked and loaded and ready to take you on the ride of your life.

"Terror? Delight? Did it matter?" Knox is racing through the streets at 162 miles an hour planning his next move on Marie, the highly attractive and seemingly available girl in the seat next to him. But the one hand move to her thigh changes his life forever. Marie is dead. Knox is alive and Knox's proxy, Sydney Carton, is about to pay the price for Kn
Brian 9 ¾
Dec 04, 2015 Brian 9 ¾ rated it it was amazing
*Cry at the corner of the room*

This book is absolutely awesome.

The love story is good too, but I don't know which one.

The trio friendship was awesome

And the problem is, the ending. I'm done!

I need book 2 now!
Jun 15, 2014 Ari rated it really liked it
I can't believe I finished in one night!

I knew I said it before but I'll say it again; I hate and love dystopian story.
I hate it that sometime the concept is hard to believe to be exist, but I love it for the adrenalin rush that keeps me alive! Dystopian is my ecstasy!

In Proxy, I'm having a hard time to believe and accept that there's a system which made someone take the punishment for someone else' mistake. I meant in slavery era it might be happened, but the story taken place in the future, wh
Adam Silvera

Alex London is better known as C. Alexander London, author of the Accidental Adventures series for the middle grade crowd. But here he crashes onto the YA scene with a futuristic spin on Sid Fleischman's Newbery Medal–winning The Whipping Boy.

In an unfair society where civilization is far from free, 16-year-old orphan Sydney Carton (named after the character from A Tale of Two Cities) has amassed 18 years of debt, owed to the Xelon Corporation. Syd is a pr
Jul 20, 2015 TL marked it as gave-up-on-lost-interest
DNF at 50% (I think )

Started out well but I just couldn't anymore. The concept was different but too many mental flags for me *shrugs *

Not terrible but just not for me I guess
Ley (sounds like "Lee") *my head is a jungle*
Well, this was disappointing. I wanted to love this, I really did. But it's just very lackluster and overall I would suggest skipping this one.

I like Syd, and kudos to the author for an LGBT character whose sexual orientation isn't the only part of his personality. Syd was cool, very likable. As for the other characters? Well, to start I hate Knox. He's an irritating, selfish, ignorant little shit and he never learns his lesson. (view spoiler)
Truth be told. Dystopia is not my thing. I haven't read that a lot, well I tried one, it's Kiera Cass's The Selection which I didn't come to like. Now, trying my second luck with London's Proxy which I thouroughly enjoyed and it was just an incredible read and really was unputdownable. So it's a start. Oh, I remember London just visited our country for the book signing event and it's not every day that authors come to us. Too bad I've just read this, I could have gotten my book signed. Sad face. ...more
Sep 24, 2014 Armen rated it it was amazing
I'm still recovering. I... can't..I don't know what to feel. I am torn up between different emotions. ARGH!!! I'm so frustrated, in a good way at least because this book is so awesome!! It definitely conjured some of my becoming dormant feelings.
So, this book is your another post-apocalyptic dystopian novel (quite the craze right now) but this one does not disappoint. The story tells the story of Sydney Carton and Knox Brindle. A proxy and a patron. A debtor and a creditor. Very different lives
Jul 27, 2013 goldn_rule rated it it was ok
It’s been weeks since I finished the book and I have been putting off the task of writing a review for a while a now. The reason is simple; I don’t have much to write about. Each time I try to put to words what I thought of the book, I manage to conjure a bit fat nothing.

The story revolves around Knox, the quintessential rich kid, and Syd, the impoverished proxy. When Knox breaks the rules, Syd takes the punishment. Knox and Syd are polar opposites; Patron and proxy, prince and pauper, sinner a
Jan 13, 2016 Kai rated it liked it
Shelves: glbt, 2016

A diverse, dystopian, queer and action packed story, with lots of unexpected turns.
At the beginning I had difficulties understanding the world our main character lives in, especially the system and the technical terms. And while I, being the hopeless romantic that I am, could've wished for a little more romance, this novel had a good pace and great writing.
Jun 02, 2013 Tori rated it did not like it
I received this book via Goodreads First reads program. Oh this book. Where to start? I feel guilty at this book, I mean, they didn't exactly give it out to get bad reviews now, did they? No. But I can't exactly fake a good review just because of guilt, so alas, a bad review is what they'll get.

Proxy starts with the interesting premise that society has split into two groups, the upper class, we-are-rich-and-have-everything class and the poor we-all-live-in-the-gutter-class. What makes it differe
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diolague and conflict 8 7 Dec 20, 2015 04:32PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Proxy by Alex London - Restarting August 10th 2015 14 85 Aug 12, 2015 04:00AM  
Anyone want to cry with me? (SPOILERS) 8 58 May 05, 2015 03:25AM  
If you could make ANY ending to this book, how would it be? 1 17 Oct 02, 2014 03:55PM  
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The Short Version:

Alex London writes books for adults (One Day The Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War), children (Dog Tags series; An Accidental Adventure series) and teens (Proxy). At one time a journalist reporting from conflict zones and refugee camps, he is now a full time novelist living in Brooklyn, NY, where he can be found wandering the streets talking to his dog, who is the real bra
More about Alex London...

Other Books in the Series

Proxy (2 books)
  • Guardian (Proxy, #2)

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“Destiny is just the inevitable result of choice, from the choices that came before us to the choices we make. They are a river that can only flow in one direction.” 63 likes
“Nature cannot be reprogrammed forever. Humans are not meant to run like software. You cannot hack the human condition.” 40 likes
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