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(Proxy #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  10,489 ratings  ·  1,598 reviews
Syd’s life is not his own. As a proxy he must to pay for someone else's crimes. When his patron Knox crashes a car and kills someone, Syd is branded and sentenced to death. The boys realize the only way to beat the system is to save each other so they flee. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test the boys' resolve, and shine a blinding ...more
Paperback, 379 pages
Published May 1st 2014 by Speak (first published June 18th 2013)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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Robert Russin
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
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
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.
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
“Life is too short for perpetual misery.”

A diverse, dystopian, queer and action packed story, with lots of unexpected turns.
In 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.

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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.
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-
May 04, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Wow, I didn't really know what to expect going into this. People recommended it to me when I asked for more LGBT+ reads after Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. And I can say I'm pleasantly surprised. I also read this for #diverseathon , and it ended up being perfect for that. Not only is the main character gay, but he's also a person of color.

Besides all that, I really enjoyed this novel on its own! Syd was super realistic in his thoughts about situations, I thought. He s
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Alex London’s Proxy creates a fascinating dystopian culture of debt and credit. Syd was an orphan so he owes a debt to society. When his debt is purchased he becomes a Proxy for Knox a wealthy Patron. If Syd needs anything, like school, food, shelter he can turn to his Patron. But that only means more debt. As a Proxy, Syd bears the punishment for anything Knox does. When Knox needs to be punished it’s Syd that gets shocked or forced to perform hard labor while his Patron has to watch.

When sixt
Wow, this was bad.

DNF @ 63%. I put off writing a review for weeks in the hope that my anger would die down and I could give this more than 1 star and some rabid ranting. Well, one of those goals was accomplished -- I no longer have the burning need to write a scathing review. This book is simply not worth the effort.

So I'm limiting myself to one (1) rant:

The story alternated cleanly between two POVs until the two main characters met up in person, and then POV changes starting coming randomly in
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.25* Make sure you imagine Syd as black it doesn't tell you until like 30 pages in. Also Syd is gay if you are looking for an lgbt book.

OMG THAT ENDING. The first 200 pages were really amazing. Best book I've read so far over 3 months amazing. The world is so awesome. There are robots and gadgets and hacking.

Then the desert canyon traveling part of the story hit for 100 pages. That part wasn't great. It wasn't terrible just not nearly as cool as when they were in the city. I've seen it a few t
Jody McGrath
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, but sad. Just ordered book number 2. Lol!
- ̗̀ DANY  ̖́- (danyreads)
. : ☾⋆ — 2 ★

i think this book is a product of its time.

i’m talking about 2013 YA dystopia. *shudders* oooh, do it again. 2013 YA dystopia. *shudders* oooooooohh. 2013 YA dystopia. 2013 YA dystopia. 2013 YA dystopia. (that’s a lion king reference please laugh)

anyway what i mean is that back in 2013 people weren’t really that hard to please (myself included) and if i’d read it back then i probably would’ve thought it was amazing. and don’t get me wrong, it was cool and fun and action packed and en
May 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt, 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.

Cody Carter
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aaron Hartzler
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 th ...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
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
Paula Stokes
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
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 that Proxy does well
Jul 19, 2015 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
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
4.5 stars

This review can also be found at http://fortheloveofbooksreviews.blogs...

In the City, there are patrons, and there are proxies. Patrons pay proxies to take on their debt, which includes punishments for misbehavior and crimes. Knox is a wealthy teenage boy who has lived a privileged life, especially compared to Syd, his proxy, who lives in the poorer area of town.

Syd has spent almost his whole life being punished for Knox. He's having a fairly normal, if slightly unfortunate day: he's
Paul Lunger
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 this system whic ...more
Aug 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020, lgbtq
Proxy by Alex London is a smart, fast-paced dystopian thrill ride that doesn’t let up. In it, we follow two boys, Sydney and Knox. Syd is a proxy, which means he takes the punishments of the one he is indebted to. That patron would be Knox, a boy who lives a life of privilege and luxury. One day, Knox ends up killing someone in an accident, and Syd is forced to reap the consequences. But Syd is tired of the system, tired of living a life he didn’t choose for himself. So he makes a daring escape, ...more
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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

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