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Jo Bristol has a tick ... she has visions of killing people. Los Angeles is under attack from cyber terrorists, and in an effort to stop them, the city uses spy drones to seek out civilians with brain abnormalities and adjusts their brains to remove any criminal tendencies. Jo has spent her life evading the drones and having her brain be manipulated by keeping her tick a secret, until a week before her seventeenth birthday her visions threaten to become reality.

Having always wanted to be a painter, Jo knows any adjustment to her brain could alter her artistic sense and she could lose all that makes her who she is. She must do everything she can to hide the darkness in her mind or lose her muse completely.

The first in a 3-Part series, TICK is the beginning of Jo's adventures, and will continue into two more books, VICE and MARK.

446 pages, Paperback

First published March 1, 2015

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About the author

Allison Rose

14 books28 followers
Allison Rose is a Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy novelist from Los Angeles, California. Much of her debut novel, "Tick", is set in a futuristic version of her hometown. Having begun as an aspiring screenwriter and director, she strapped on an electric guitar and tried her hand as a songwriter before discovering her love of writing fiction novels.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE - The Girl and the Book

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5 stars
11 (40%)
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11 (40%)
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3 (11%)
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1 (3%)
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Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer D.
104 reviews16 followers
June 14, 2015
I love dystopian/sci-fi novels, even when they confuse the hell out of me and Tick did just that, but not in a way to make me not like it. I was a satisfied confused if that makes sense.

Jo wants nothing more than to be an artist in a world where brain “ticks” are “taken care of”. And boy does she have a whopper of a tick. Jo zones out and has visions of killing people, so many that shes completely numb to it. She has never acted on these visions, it’s just something that is part of her life.

The whole country is pretty much ruled by drones made by FutureTech, The government is made up of people who are basically the face of the country, they have no purpose, they don’t actually do anything. They leave everything in the hands of FutureTech. But where there is FutureTech there is also Alias-X, almost like a sworn enemy, hacking into their systems trying to take them out. One of the reasons that I love this battle of the computer/hacker giants is that you aren’t exactly sure who the bad guys are. Granted Alias-X does some horrendous things in this book, but FutureTech isn’t exactly a cuddly bunny, those people what to scan your brain, find your abnormalities and “fix” you. Not exactly trustworthy!

Then there is Felix, Lone Wolf…

I just don’t know about him, he’s hiding things BIG TIME, and I have an extremely hard time trusting him. I want to like him, I do but I don’t know if I can. He conveniently shows up to rescue Jo.

My favorite character of all was actually Evie, the 11 year old bad ass sniper with bigger balls than most men and has no problem standing up to everyone around her. I can’t wait to see her in the second book!

There is so much that happens in Tick, that it is hard for me to pick anything out without giving too much away.

The was only one reason that Tick didn’t get 5 out of 5, and that is because I felt like most of part one of the book felt off from the rest of it. I felt like part one was trying really hard to normalize Jo when she is anything but normal and I know that there has to be a build up to the rest of the book but it was lacking something, I can’t quite put my finger on it but something is missing. Once I hit the end of part one, I was a goner. Everything seemed to blow up (literally and figuratively) and I couldn’t put it down.

AND SHAME ON YOU ALLISON ROSE FOR THAT ENDING!! Lol, way to make me crave book 2 like a fat kid loves cake! I have my thought on what is going on, but knowing your writing style now I’m probably way off base.

Thank you Allison Rose for sending me a copy of Tick in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Sam.
77 reviews15 followers
August 10, 2016

4.5 stars..

Tick is the debut novel of Allison Rose. It is classed as a YA/Dystopian however in my opinion this book crosses more genres and can also be classify as a contemporary, psy or thriller.

The main character is Jo, who has an incredible artistic talent but also a dark secret. She has visions of brutally killing people. And there is no pick as to who it will be. She is trying to avoid getting noticed and 'adjusted' by drones patrolling an unstable America, whilst trying to find her direction in the world.

Slowly, her life starts falling apart and when one of her visions sends her over the edge, she is thrown from a bad into an outright disastrous situation.

The country then comes under siege and an all out war is starting to break out.

~ The woman gabber on, the crazy lady shouts to herself, and the clown-faced girl breathes in my face. I cover my ears and shut my eyes and hope with all my might that I'll wake up and this will have been some horrible dream

When all hell breaks loose, Jo gets help from an operative called Felix (who has his own motives). Jo has to come to terms with her actions, herself and her new identity and then, whilst on the run, she finds another unlikely ally in a young girl named Evie.

~ I have to believe him. How, I don't know. But I can't go out like this. I can't live out the rest of my life engraved with an identity that does not define me. I am not a monster.

I can not give to much detail to avoid spoilers, but please do not be fooled by the first part. It will make you believe it is a completely different story. To me, it was not as strong as the rest of the book and felt a little disjointed. That is mainly due to the lack of pace and direction. However, the story in fact goes much deeper. Half way through, I couldnt put it down and was attached like a magnet.

Jo is not the easiest character. She is mistrusting, has no qualms about leaving people behind and slightly reckless. She has a rock-solid shield and yet she is likeable and engaging. I had quite a few times where I wished to smack her on the head, but she also gives a deeper message about survival and strength.

Felix, on the other hand, I adored straight away. He is an insistent smart mouth. You can not help but wonder about him. Even though we get a glimpse into his motives, there are still quite a few questions left to be unravelled. Whilst the two have a nice chemistry going on, it is not forced and done in a smooth way.

~ He grabs my arms and the blood from my wrist dribbles to the floor. "You didn't have to. it came from your heart. You didn't just draw with chalk. You drew with your blood. You've shared pain, and sharing your suffering has lifted the weight from your shoulders.

It's magical to have a book reverberate through your head, even when you are not reading. Tick most definitely did that for me. Not only do the characters grow, so does the writing and plot. The author shows great potential in multiple areas. I also believe that Allison's background in screenwriting has had a definite impact on this book. The scenes would be magnificent on screen.

The last ending of Tick had me in tears. Allison managed to capture a great deal of emotion there. I am definitely putting the next instalment (currently titled ‘Vice’) on my radar.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, I would. It’s a great read. A note of warning needs to be given though, there are some scenes in this book that may not be that suitable for a younger audience, or people with a weak stomach.
Profile Image for Bob.
2 reviews
May 11, 2015
I gave my copy of “Tick” to an avid reader I know after I'd finished it, telling her that it was aimed at young readers, but transcends both category and genre, and I thought she'd like it. Four days later, she called me a “brat” for leaving her hanging and swore she wouldn't give me the book back until I give her a copy of volume 2.
“Tick” is a cliff hanger. But unlike so many stories that leave the reader wondering how a tense and convoluted situation will be resolved, this story left me far more interested in the part that Jo, the story's protagonist, will play in that situation as it continues to unfold. I was immediately drawn to her: an intelligent, resourceful, and stubborn high school kid, emerging into womanhood through the back door of acceptability, refusing to follow the pack, pursuing what makes her unique in an Orwellian future that some would say is already coming over the hill, where it's safer not to pursue answers to the questions that drive individuality.
Jo, however, cannot help but ask them. She is haunted by the mystery of her father's suicide, and has resisted the temptation to define herself through the eyes of others. Instead, her meaning exists somewhere in the maelstrom of an internal dialog that ponders most of her external experiences, and “Tick” is the story of her search for answers in those experiences. In that sense, it is very much a book for young readers, with all the angst and tension that defines the category. But there is a darkness and a passion to her maelstrom. They are reflections of the forces of fear and anger battling for control of the world she's growing up in, and they are mirrors that catapult the reader into a journey that will be enjoyable to anyone who has matured by brushing up against the edges of "normalcy", and anyone who has thought about the moment when the certainty of conviction crosses over into the dogma of violence.
In another author's hands, it could have been a ponderous burden to read and understand the complexity woven into “Tick”, but Allison Rose trimmed all the extraneous fat from the story line, crafting a fast paced adventure that maintains an engaging focus on Jo's quest. If there is a weakness, it is that a little fat is not a bad thing: but there was only one place in the novel where I would have liked the story to slow down a tad so that its development could catch up to it, and I could savor the transition a bit more.
I have never been the kind of reader who could make the claim that “I couldn't put the book down”: I measure how much I like a book by my eagerness to get back to it, and my ability to make time for it. “Tick” was a success on both scales, and now I too, am stuck waiting for volume 2.
Profile Image for Meedah.
206 reviews7 followers
May 6, 2015

Update 5/6

The Review Queen

I Was Fortunate to win this through Goodreads First Reads, right from the start i was hooked. You think you'll like a book but then you actually like it and it's amazing and has great plot and character and it makes you so glad you read the book. I LOVED EVERYTHING. i didn't put the book down until the last sentence, Jo is now in my top fave characters. I Felt crazy thinking she was crazy, i mean who doesn't fantasize about killing someone but her visions were gruesome and i loved it. I Had a feeling thing's weren't right but still i was surprised.

I Still want to punch Felix because i can't stand secrets and not knowing what's going to happen with my life yet someone else does. God was he infuriating and i still don't know how i feel about him, i loved and adore Evie, i mean she's so carefree yet this 11 year old girl is the best shooter with a rifle.
The ending just when you think you have answers and somewhat peace, nope it's not over and you are left with more questions. I Enjoy books that keep you guessing then end in cliff hangers but at the same time i hate it lol
I need the second book like yesterday!

Profile Image for Mariah.
34 reviews19 followers
May 13, 2015
This book brings apocalyptic to another level.
I enjoyed how fast-paced and vivid the story was. I had a love-hate relationship with the main character Jo, she was both selfish and selfless. I personally like when an author takes the time to make up their own words/slang that adds to the story, which Allison Rose works to her advantage. I love the concept of some people having ticks that effect them differently and the take over a technology company. All in all, this book has so many great elements that combine to make an entertaining story that makes you want more. I'm left waiting for the next book in the series!

*I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*
Profile Image for Caitlin.
139 reviews6 followers
May 1, 2015
I won this book through Goodreads First Reads. This book was fantastic! Great characters. Great plot. It was a great take on the dystopian genre. I look forward to reading more in this series and from this author.
Profile Image for Cayt Landis.
93 reviews4 followers
June 1, 2015
Tick by Allison Rose tells the story of a teenager named Jo Bristol. Jo is a relatively normal high school student who wants to be an artist. Or at least she seems that way to everyone on the outside. Inside, Jo has a secret, a tick; she sees visions of herself violently killing those around her. These visions and their implications disturb her and Jo must keep her real self a secret or risk being "adjusted". When her visions increase and begin to seem like they might become reality, Jo has to find a way to control herself and continue on with the life she wants to lead.

I loved Tick! It was a really great book! I was in just the right mood for a dystopian novel, so this hit the spot for me. Jo's world is a futuristic America where corporations have essentially taken over the government and where people are constantly being scrutinized for brain abnormalities. If these abnormalities are found, one might be subjected to adjustment, where the abnormality is fixed. Simultaneously, a terrorist group opposed to the ruling class is constantly trying to hack the system. Security has been beefed up, the poor are even more unfortunate than they have ever been, and the world has changed for the worse. The world built in this novel is fascinating. I love futuristic worlds that are still recognizable as our own. The changes and advances made in Jo's world could easily be made in ours in a few generations. That idea makes the concept of adjusting brains super creepy.

Jo is a strong character. She has a lot of self doubt. Firstly, she worries that her tick means there is something seriously wrong with her. Secondly, she's an artist and doesn't think she can do anything with her life, not being able to put herself into a position where she can focus on her art. She is a conflicted girl who grows stronger as the book goes on. She becomes a serious badass by the end of the book and the transformation from typical quiet teenager to badass is fun to see and totally believable. She doesn't start off being the type of person who can do anything and knows it, which is nice. There's a lot of good character growth involved.

The writing is fast paced and full of action and suspense. There's not a dull moment, once the story starts to flow, and you can't put the book down. I read it in just about one sitting and I never once had a bored moment. The story gets more and more serious and consequential as it goes along and, by the end, I was practically begging to see what's going to become of the characters that I've grown to love. There is a darkness to this story that is compelling. Jo is a somewhat damaged girl with a tick that makes her feel like a freak. As the book goes on, it really only gets worse for Jo. There are a lot of heavy issues in this book, from mental health to national security, and I'm fascinated by it all.

I would recommend this book to anyone who's looking for their next dystopian novel. This leans toward the futuristic and realistic side of things, rather than fantasy, which is great. This will be a three part series, so get the first one now and you too can eagerly wait for the second book, like me!



Giveaway Time!

Allison Rose has agreed to host a giveaway with me for her book! We will be giving away one physical copy and two ebook copies of Tick. Please enter below and tell your friends. This giveaway will run for one month.

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Visit Vicarious Caytastrophe for this review and many more!

Profile Image for Erin.
9 reviews
May 18, 2015
I won this through Goodreads First Reads.

Tick is about a teenaged girl named Jo who has great artistic talent but also possesses a tick, a misfire in her brain that causes her to see visions of herself killing people. At the start of the story her tick is manageable, she blacks out, has her vision, and no one is wiser to what she has just witnessed; but, as the story progresses, the tick becomes unmanageable as she begins acting out her visions in varying degrees. This takes Jo and the reader on a psychological journey battling her instincts while also fighting against a terrorist group called Alias-X who is waging a war against the government.

I appreciated that Jo was a strong protagonist who is dealing with serious problems, both external and internal, yet she isn't whiny about it. She makes the best decisions she can and tries to fix problems instead of just moaning about them.

I was engaged with the story from the beginning and would find time flying by .

I wish there was more interaction between Jo and Felix. I adore Felix; he is witty and gives the feeling that he could be Jo's rock in the midst of all the turmoil. The two of them have a great banter that is set up from their first meeting that I really enjoyed reading. I can't wait to hopefully learn more about him and Lone Wolf in the next book.

I also wish there was more backstory to FutureTech, the ACTA, and Alias-X. How did it get started? Why did it get started? If they are different from the government then how does that shared (not shared?) power work? I was a little confused by that whole situation, but not so much that I still couldn't follow the story or get a feel for the characters and their dilemmas.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sunshine Somerville.
Author 17 books114 followers
July 1, 2018
Starting this book, I thought it would be a typical YA Dystopian SciFi story, and I was happy enough with that.  But every time I thought I knew where the story was going, it took a swerve and headed in a new direction.  I was NEVER bored with this book, and there were so many twists that the plot pulled me in and kept me reading.  The characters are great too, and I was impressed with the author's ability to stay so focused on showing us everything going on in Jo's mind.

And about Jo.  I imagine a lot of readers will find her difficult to empathize with after a while - she is not at all a pure, good hero.   But Jo's transformation from average SciFi teen to...everything else she becomes was, for me, the best part of the story.  This is about Jo fighting her demons.  About surviving.  About finding redemption.  I felt like her reactions to everything she goes through as the world falls apart were absolutely natural and believable.  I also loved how important art was to her sanity and how it added depth to the story. 

It's hard to avoid spoilers and say anything else about the story, but I will say - HOLY CRAP the ending.  I very much look forward to reading what's going on in the next book.  
Profile Image for Samantha Dragon.
83 reviews40 followers
June 2, 2015
I won this book from first reads. I loved it, I thought it was such an original book. I think that the reason that I loved it so much was that it wasn't a romance novel. A lot of young adult novels have lots of romance in them and I'm not really a fan of romance. I really liked Jo, I love the idea that art can make a real difference in someones life. I cant wait for the second and third books.
Profile Image for Kristen.
324 reviews7 followers
January 25, 2019
This book was 430 pages of pure confusion. They never explained why she was having these delusions or what the weird slang was or even how the society worked. I powered through this because I was too far in to quit, but oh boy it was a disaster.
Profile Image for Roberta R. (Offbeat YA).
371 reviews35 followers
August 26, 2017
Rated 3.5 really.

Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA.

Pros: Not your usual dystopian. Never a boring moment. Romance plays a very small part in the story (which I think should be the case with a sci-fi book).
Cons: Main character is not easy to empathise with. Near-future L.A. and lead's relationships would have benefited from a little backstory.
WARNING! Very graphic violence and gore.
Will appeal to: Those who like action, conspiracies, stories about redemption, and tough girls who can cry nevertheless.

First off...DISCLAIMER: I won this book in a giveaway. And I did befriend the author on Twitter after that. She even commented on one of my posts. This didn't affect my review in any way.
I was sold on this book after I read the blurb. I so wanted to read the story of a girl who fights in order to stay who she is and preserve the very thing she values above anything else. Also, the art theme, in all its forms, is very dear to me. I ended up reading a book that soon took a different route than I expected, but it was gripping and entertaining in its own way. The only thing that prevented me from giving it a higher rating (apart from not getting the story I thought I'd read, but it's not like I meant to punish the book for that ;)) was the fact that I found Jo a bit hard to empathise with...but I suppose it couldn't be avoided, given what happens to her and the predicament she finds herself in. I reckon the author didn't give birth to Jo with the intent of creating a character you could connect with in the usual way - by putting yourself in her shoes. (That's just my opinion though). But since I tend to need to do that with my characters, it had an impact on my rating, if small. On the other hand, I highly appreciated the work and thought that went into crafting this story, and the fact that it didn't shun going to very dark places - and I'm sure most people would be more than willing to rate it four stars and more :).
Don't get me wrong, Jo is not your average love-to-hate character. Not the petty queen bee who takes pleasure in bullying schoolmates, or whose main interest is painting her nails à la mode, but who is forced to become a better person as the story proceeds. She's not perfect by any means, but just wants to be able to paint, and fights in order to preserve her vision. Too bad that there are other kinds of vision that plague her, and soon swallow her whole life, spitting out a nightmare. Things get very rough for Jo, but those around her pay a high price for that. One begins to question what tells her apart from your usual killers who claim they don't take pleasure in offing people, but simply can't help doing it again and again...until...Jo starts a path of redemption, and we get a final revelation (though still very mysterious) that makes us understand there's a lot more to her "killer instinct". [...]

Whole review here.
Profile Image for Jacqui.
228 reviews3 followers
May 2, 2016
This is a sci-fi fantasy novel set in a dystopian future, suitable for young adults and up.

The world is highly regulated and people are constantly being scanned for any brain anomalies. The fear is that any anomaly could be a precursor of a terrorist, so surgery is performed immediately to rid the person of the abnormality. However a major side effect of the surgery is that it robs the person of their creativity and unique spirit. This is why Jo, an avid painter, is constantly on the lookout for drones and authority in general. Jo comes from a family with proven mental illness and has been having visions since she was small. Violent visions of her harming others. This tick is so serious that she often battles to distinguish the vision from reality. When anarchists hack into the mainframe of the controlling company, life gets turned on its head and Jo's visions threaten the lives of everyone around her. Who can stop the chaos?

I really enjoyed this book. Jo is a strong character and yet very flawed. I liked the way that a lot of things are not tied up neatly and that chaos does sometimes win. The violence in the visions and the jail was just crazy enough to be believable. It was a very interesting take on a possible future; where people are so ruled by fear that they would give up individual personalities and live like robots. Jo is the hero and the anti-hero. Even with her flaws her desire to help those she cares about is monumental. The editing and formatting were great so no headaches there. Great character and world building and an adrenalin Mad Max: Fury ending. I can't wait for the next one in the series.
Profile Image for Carolina Molino.
49 reviews1 follower
April 28, 2017
Other than 3 or 4 typos/errors I enjoyed this book a looootttt. I did feel some of the pacing was off and was much more dramatic than I anticipated. But I cannot wait for the second book!
Would've finished it sooner but alas I had work interference!
Hope it's out soon!
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