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Charisma

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3.56  ·  Rating details ·  1,038 ratings  ·  186 reviews
A chance at the ultimate makeover means deadly consequences in this Sarah Dessen-meets-Robin Cook thriller

Aislyn suffers from crippling shyness—that is, until she’s offered a dose of Charisma, an underground gene therapy drug guaranteed to make her shine. The effects are instant. She’s charming, vivacious, and popular. But strangely, so are some other kids she knows. The m
...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Dial Books
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Dannii Elle
I initially picked this book up after my absolute adoration for Nerve and the intriguing-sounding synopsis.

Aislyn's crippling shyness plagues every day of her existence. But this pales in comparison when she thinks of her brother, Sammy's, everyday struggle of living with severe cystic fibrosis. But when Aislyn is given a chance at mutating the genes that directly cause her inhibitions it seems like a miracle cure for all her problems. Sammy's struggle is still very real but perhaps, with her ow
...more
Lynne Stringer
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Charisma took a while to get going. It didn't really engage me until about a third of the way through. I think the main reason for this was that a bit too much time was spent on Aislyn's crippling shyness. Now, this shyness is integral to the story the book is telling, however, I think the point would have been made quite adequately in fewer scenes. It's never easy to read chapter after chapter from the point of view of a person who is constantly down on herself and failing (in her eyes) in eve ...more
Kaitlin
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5 stars

With the pink bunny and an intriguing description, this book instantly made me curious when I first discovered it. I needed to read it and had pretty high expectations for it. Thankfully, the story inside was as fascinating as I was hoping it would be.

I loved the focuses of Charisma. There was gene therapy--the point where it goes from helpful and important to something truly unethical. There was social anxiety, wh
...more
Nasty Lady MJ
Aug 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
To see review with gif click here.

One of the most offensive things someone that I’m close to has ever told me is that because I’m an introvert I will never get anywhere in life and I must make myself an extrovert. This person (an extrovert) very obviously put his foot in his mouth and I still haven’t quite forgave him for that particular excrement that came from his mouth but I kept thinking of that horrible remark when I read Charisma. And all I wanted to do was kick his extrovert ass, so I had
...more
Natalie
Feb 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: disappointed, dnf
I tried so hard to finish this book but I lost it half way through. It's really not for me. I found it was incredibly slow, none of the characters were at all memorable and the overall plot was lacking something. I wasn't a fan of the writing much either, it didn't grip me as much as I'd hoped. I do think the idea of the story is good, but maybe if it was executed in a more exciting way, I would have enjoyed it more.

Very disappointed. I was really looking forward to this one as well.

Give it a tr
...more
Marieke
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ik kwam niet erg makkelijk door dit boek heen, maar al met al is het toch een fijn boek voor tussendoor! Het verhaal kwam moeilijk op gang en ik werd telkens afgeleid door andere dingen. Toch is dit boek 4 sterren waard, want ik vond het verhaal erg origineel.
En ik hou van de cover, zo mooi!

Jennifer
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
No no no noooo. shane.. no. ffuuuuu
Siobhan
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Everyone remembers the obsession with Nerve. The release of the movie had a large chunk of the book loving population grabbing at the novel, interested to see where the movie came from. I was part of that population. The advertisements for the movie seemed wonderful, and before I decided to watch, I wanted to read the book. Upon finishing the book, I realised it was not at all what I had expected it to be. In fact, I was extremely disappointed in it. I gave it a three star rating and have yet to ...more
Rachel
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, for-review
CHARISMA is a fascinating, chilling and immensely entertaining story that invites readers into a world where an untested gene therapy drug promises amazing results but unbeknownst to its recipients comes at a deadly price. It’s a story that reveals a likely and not-so-far-off future where one’s personality can be radically altered with a single injection. It’s a thought-provoking and gripping and utterly compelling read that will have readers debating the pros and cons of the scientific advancem ...more
Amanda
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookshelf, 2016
As a person who struggles with social anxiety, I was eager to pick this up. The story was interesting and had me thinking about the moral and ethical issues that arise when it comes to controversial medical procedures (gene therapy, in particular). This book is a good example of what can happen when things are taken too far. A great, thought provoking read!
Brittany (UnderTheRadarBooks)
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library
I have no idea how this has almost 4 stars, I barely was able to finish it. I love the cover and the idea is interesting but the execution fell short. Unless you like obnoxiously annoying characters and a plot line with more holes than a sponge, don't waste your time.
Dagmar
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Ik geef niet gauw een boek maar 2 sterren, maar dit verdient gewoon niet beter... Check mijn volledige recensie op http://leesendroom.jouwweb.nl/charisma
Romana
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
4 stars.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I’ve always thought it sounded interesting, and I’ve wanted to read Ryan’s other book, ‘Nerve’, forever, but the mixed reviews and relatively low rating on Goodreads made me hesitant to pick up ‘Charisma’, fearing disappointment.

The story is narrated by Aislyn, a 16-year-old student with social anxiety that makes almost everything and everyone terrifying. Only a handful of people allow Aislyn to be herself, including her younger brother, Sammy, wh
...more
Yv
Apr 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wat zou jij doen als je éxtreem verlegen bent en er een oplossing met gentherapie geboden wordt? Aislyn overkomt dit en ondanks dat haar leven vanaf het moment van de injectie de goede kant op gaat, heeft het toch een duistere zijde...

Ik moet zeggen dat ik best wel heb genoten van het boek. Verwacht er niet teveel van en laat je gewoon meeslepen, dat is denk ik het beste advies. Het is namelijk een YA met behoorlijk wat fantasie, maar het is op een leuke manier geschreven. Op zo'n manier dat je
...more
Phoenix
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Between The Pages Book Club (Gemma M)
I must start off by explaining that I struggled what to award this book between a four star and three star, that is because my assumption of what would happen in this book turned out to be correct and that spoilt it for me as I already knew! Secondly, I had high expectations after reading and loving Nerve by this author but personally this was no where near as good as Nerve and I felt let down. Lastly, it took me a while to get into this book and I found from chapter 11 on wards it did pick up b ...more
Brandy
Aislyn is cripplingly shy: she's very smart and could have won the state science fair with her research on gene therapies, if only she'd been able to bring herself to talk to the judges about it. She'd love to talk to people and advocate for gene therapies as a treatment for various illnesses, like her brother's cystic fibrosis, but she freezes up and can't get words out. So when a researcher offers her a chance to overcome her social anxieties with an experimental gene therapy, Aislyn jumps at ...more
Stacey B.
3.5/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This was a fun read. First of all, I could totally relate to Aislyn's social phobia. I don't have it quite as bad as her, and lately I'm starting to come out of my shell as I get older and realize that we're all just people, but I can definitely relate to her. There were some things that I predicted about the story, but that didn't really take away from my experience reading. I felt that the ending was pretty well done. There was a good amount of closure while still leav
...more
Kayla
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
This book was so action packed and it was just amazing
Wilson Peters
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brainy girl goes viral in more ways than one.

This book made me all kinds of nerd-happy.
Gabrielle
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
The book was entertaining enough but I was quite bored most of the time and did not connect with the characters this book was nothing special unfortunately I really like the cover though
Whitepaw
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great YA thriller. Fast-paced and exciting. It poses great medical ethics questions, and could definitely be used for education. Not a dull moment.
Cassie Holcomb
Mar 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Wasn't my favorite book in the world, but it was okay. The ending was sad!
Angel - Angel Reads
I have feelings about this book and I am not sure about them yet - full review to come
Defne (that-bookworm)
When Nerve was first released, it was all everyone could talk about and the hype was too real. I wanted nothing more than to watch the movie asap and that I did. I couldn't stop talking about it for a week because the world in the movie was so enchanting I found myself captivated by it. Then I saw this book on the shelf in the Ernest Librairie in Luxembourg and just the fact that this was the very same author who wrote Nerve was enough for me to want to get my hands on it.

Long story short, you c
...more
Artemissia Gold
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charisma est une belle surprise pour moi. Je ne l’ai pas lâché jusqu’à la fin. Le message véhiculé à l’intérieur par son autrice est positif dans le sens où il est encourageant. Ce, malgré ce que vivent les personnages. C’est un bon thriller – SF au style plutôt léger (malgré les thèmes abordés) qui parlera à tout le monde. La plume de Jeanne Ryan est souple, prenante, on entre vite dans l’histoire et on suit Aislyn, simples lecteurs que nous sommes, avec grand plaisir et beaucoup de crainte pou ...more
Stephanie Ward
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

'Charisma' is a thought-provoking YA thriller that revolves around gene therapy, which is always a hot topic in our society - and will probably become even more relevant in the near future. The story focuses on our main character, Aislyn, who is extremely shy and suffers panic attacks due to social anxiety and the stress it causes her. She's incredibly smart, pretty, a loving and devoted daughter who helps to care for her younger brother, who suffers from cystic fibrosis. She should hav
...more
Carien
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I very much enjoyed Nerve by Ryan, so decided to give Charisma a try as well.

And this is a nice read.

I didn't like it as much as Nerve, but it was entertaining. I did think the teens in this book were all very stupid, but that seems to be the case with more teens in YA.

There's teen angsting, love triangly troubles, risk taking, and more.

I will confess I didn't like Aislyn and the boys she surrounds herself with. It's probably the reason why I thought this story was just nice, and why I wasn't r
...more
Michelle Rebar
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Review to come...

Update 4/30/15 Review originally posted on Michelle's Minions


Aislyn is smart, pretty and has a promising future as a scientist. She's only in High School, but she's can sequence DNA. She also suffers from crippling shyness. Her social anxiety has held her back in life, but it's about to affect her future. It's no longer about just being afraid to go to parties like a normal teenager. In order to get scholarship money, Aislyn has to put herself and her research out in
...more
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I’ve lived all over the world, raised in a family with eleven brothers and sisters. I spent my early childhood in Hawaii and the rest of my growing-up years trying to figure out a way to get back there, with stops in South Korea, Michigan and Germany along the way. Before writing fiction, I tried my hand at many things, including war game simulation and youth development research. But I decided it ...more