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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  198 ratings  ·  82 reviews
After an attack on earth, all reflective surfaces become weapons to release monsters, causing a planet-wide ban on mirrors. Despite the danger, the demand rises, and 17-year-old Marty Callahan becomes a distributor in an illegal mirror trade—until he’s caught by the mayor's son, whose slate is far from clean. Both of them are exiled for their crimes to one of the many aban ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Page Street Kids
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Naomi Hughes Hey there! Thanks for asking this. So the answer depends on a lot of things, mainly how sensitive the kid in question is to horror-esque material and …moreHey there! Thanks for asking this. So the answer depends on a lot of things, mainly how sensitive the kid in question is to horror-esque material and whether they're ready for some of the heavier themes (morality, obsessions, etc.) presented in the story. But as a very general guideline, this book is aimed at an audience of high schoolers but is also possibly okay for some junior high readers who are cool with scary stuff, and is probably a little too creepy/mature for kids younger than that.

If you're a parent and unsure about this, my recommendation would be to read the book first yourself and then make your own judgment call, since you know your kid best. And if you're a kid yourself who's wondering if this is okay to read (or, for that matter, if any book is okay to read!), then I would say to start reading if you feel fine about it based on the book's description, and if anything makes you uncomfortable, know that it's totally cool to stop.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Naomi Hughes
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Hey! I'm Naomi Hughes, author of Refraction. I wanted to use this space to add a bit of detail that I wasn't able to put in the book itself.

First, yes, this book is ownvoices for OCD. In part because of that, writing this story was one of the most intense journeys of my life, and also possibly the most rewarding. I hope it's as meaningful to you as it was to me!

Second, I wanted to include a note on some potential triggers that are present in the story. Although some of these are general (like de
Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Thank you to Page Street Kids and the FFBC for the finished copy and for including me in the instagram tour for Refraction!

I actually read it in two sittings, the synopsis is not exaggerating at all when it says faat pacing! I was hooked from the start to the end, for a few different reasons.

First off I liked the characters. After an alien invasion, any reflective surface can now spawn vicious shadow creatures, so mirrors become illegal. Marty deals in illegal mirrors which are still prized for
Yna the Mood Reader
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Refraction: the way light bends and breaks and scatters when it’s caught by a prism, or by a lens. Or in this case, by the tiny droplets of liquid that make up the fog that’s drowned the world.

📚 Series:  No.
📚 Genre: YA SciFi.
📚 POV:  First person.
📚 Cliffhanger: No.

⚠ Content Warnings:  Death. OCD Triggers. Graphic descriptions of being murdered and dying.
⚠ Read if: you want to read a SciFi with an #ownvoices OCD rep.

I usually steer away from SciFi but this book drew me in because o
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight


I know that this doesn't come out until next month, and I usually am hesitant to review stuff that far out. But when I started reading it and found that it involves mental health in a non-contemporary setting, well. I knew it had to be done! Because not only is the main character's OCD a part of the story, it's a fairly significant part. And it's like... finally, you know? Because yo
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After an attack on earth, all reflective surfaces become weapons, releasing monsters and causing a planet-wide ban on mirrors. Despite the danger, Marty Callahan become a distributor in illegal mirror trade—until he’s caught by the mayor’s son, and both are exiled, now having to fight for their lives in the abandoned cities overrun by fog. But then they realize their thoughts influence their surroundings, and their greatest fears begin to manifest.

The Mist meets Bird Box meets Doctor Who meets
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-read

In a dystopian world where aliens came and launched an attack on earth using a strange fog and mirrors to set forth horrifying creatures on the population, only a few places survived. Mirrors have now been banned but of course, there are always those who rebel against these laws and bans, such as one 17-year-old Marty Callahan who distributes mirrors illegally, until the day he’s caught by Elliot, the mayor’s son and they are both exiled into the fog, at the mercy of unnatural beasts.

Marty was a
Katya de Becerra
My official thoughts:

On an isolated island shrouded in malevolent fog, your worst fears crawl out of mirrors. Nowhere is safe. The entire world is not safe...

Refraction is a first contact story like no other, and it packs a punch! Seen and experienced through the eyes of the narrator with OCD, the horrors of this intricately woven world become particularly tangible. With tension escalating and shocking revelations coming on every page, Refraction is an edge-of-your-seat tale of unlikely allies
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really have been off of YA lately just because I have my own teens at home, and the angst there is enough for me! LOL! However, I do read one once in a while if something strikes me, or it’s from an author I like. The plot of this book really struck me, and I had to read it. I’m very glad I did! This tale, from beginning to end, was very hard to put down. I love how the author weaved in OCD, but not in an in your face way. It made it that much more real. Twists and turns kept me guessing which ...more
So, I fully admit that I'm going to be one of the few people underwhelmed with this book. So many people love it.

I did love the idea of an OCD main character facing an SF/Dystopia world. That adds such a layer of tension and drama! I would love to read more characters like this.

I also loved our boys. I admit that I kind of wanted them to be romance rather than bromance, but I did really like them. Excellent characters!

But I did not love our world. I never, ever bought into it. I actually had sto
Amanda (MetalPhantasmReads)
This idea sounded awesome, but sadly this wasn't a favorite book. I liked the descriptions of the aliens in the fog, the OCD rep was well done and the general synopsis made it a quick read. But this book lacked some atmosphere to feel danger for the characters, very weak world building and the characters were only surface level. Some sentences even didn't read nicely if you read them aloud. But for teens that are getting into sci-fi and want a short book, this is one to recommend but I have read ...more
Sheila Goicea
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review. Also, thanks to Page Street Kids and The Fantastic Flying Book Club for sending me a finished copy!


All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.

Content Warning: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Death, Gore, Injury

Refraction is a fast-paced Sci-Fi thriller packed full of surprise and character depth. I was pleasantly
Paige Dan
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 21-sequoyah
This is the book that made me realize I can no longer say ‘I don’t really like science fiction.’ Wholly original, it’s a real window into the horrifying world of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Join black market mirror dealer Marty on his quest to find his brother after the fog arrives on earth, spawning Beings that shred humans in moments.
Monsters that spawn out of mirrors, fear that turns us all into the true monsters, and finding goodness where we least expect it. Oh, and aliens. To say I’m a
J.L. Slipak
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

A science fiction... nice!

The premise caught my attention and I had to read this book.

First, why must every book be broken down into this grouping or that grouping, this category or that category; showing this trigger or that trigger, has this mental health issue or that mental health issue. Can we just love the damned book for being a great freakin science fiction? I mean come on... I have anxiety and depression, I'm medicated, m
REFRACTION is a highly readable/devourable book that is certainly a page-turner. In the post-apocalyptic future, a small island appears to be the only place to have survived an alien landing. A strange ship showed up in the sky and mirrors are the tools through which aliens have sent Beings to destroy humankind. The island has survived by outlawing mirrors.

Marty has hopes that his brother is still out there somewhere, and he is determined to get to him. He illegally deals in mirrors to gather th
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Refraction has been on my TBR ever since I heard of it. Having read Afterimage, Hughes' debut, I am such a big fan! If you love books that almost feel like a mirage, that are hard to pin down, then check out Refraction! I loved the idea of mirrors as soon as I read it in Refraction. The idea that a surface designed to show you a reflection, an image of the world, is actually used
Dec 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Listen, I read this book in one go on my phone while my house fell around my ears because it was too good to stop. I read it again in hardback and threw it against the wall because it was too good to stop!! It was wholly original and unexpected, I thought I'd see the BIG THING coming but I was totally wrong-- which was a great feeling!! The writing is so tight and well paced. My mind couldn't shake it for weeks after that first read and lines STILL pop in my thoughts from time to time. Do yourse ...more
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, book-tour
See this review and others at Whispers & Wonder

Refraction is Naomi Hughes’ recently published blend of YA Science Fiction and Horror, and is a gripping tale of conquering fear. It’s an account of monsters – both as external physical threats, as well as more personal perils of the mind. At its heart, this is a deeply sentimental story about a crass boy’s unwavering journey to find his brother in a shattered and haunted world, but in the end discovers the goodness that lives in his heart. Along th
Savannah (forest_reader)
I never read sci fi. Never. In fact, Refraction by Naomi Hughes is the first sci fi book I've picked up in 2019. And I absolutely loved it. The description on the back of the book drew me in right away. Monsters coming out of mirrors? Fog and monsters taking over the world? A character in an illegal mirror trade? It sounded so intriguing and unique that I had to give it a try. I'm so glad I did.

The story follows Marty, an illegal mirror trader who is trying to find his brother who he hasn't seen
Paige Green
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Author: Naomi Hughes

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Publication Date: November 5, 2019

Publisher: Page Street Kids

Recommended Age: 14+ (OCD, suicide mention)

Synopsis: After an attack on earth, all reflective surfaces become weapons to release monsters, causing a planet-wide ban on mirrors. Despite the danger, the demand rises, and 17-year-old Marty Callahan becomes a distributor in an illegal mirror trade―until
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Naomi Hughes’ new scifi novel Refraction, all reflective surfaces become weapons to release monsters, causing a planet-wide ban on mirrors. What begins as an adventure full of frightening monsters further evolves to psychological horror, and a meditation on how to keep our humanity in the face of the unknown.

Refraction is an #ownvoices book for OCD, and reading it has really helped me understand more about the nature of the disorder. My review and blog tour stop can be read in full here: ht
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting sci-fi novel. Not like anything I have read. I enjoyed it a lot except for the swear words scattered throughout the book. Otherwise it is clean. Great YA novel.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, arc, 2019-release
This was different from what I expected, but I relly liked it!

Full review:
Chelsies Reading Escape
The main character Marty is taking some big risks by doing whatever it takes to make his way back to his brother, including becoming a dealer of illegal goods. Separated from his brother after an alien attack, Marty needs to find a way off the island where he was staying with his aunt while his brother was studying abroad. I wasn't a fan of how indifferent he was towards the death of the aunt who took him in when she didnt have to. This indifference was contrasted by how deeply he cared for his ...more
Zaneta  @ I'm Fully Booked
Thank you to NetGalley for providing and eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Refraction is a book I wanted to love, after all it's sci-fi, and lately that is enough of a reason for me to pick up a book. The synopsis tells you very little. In a world where deadly monsters are created in reflections, a teen with OCD becomes a black market mirror dealer and risks his and others' lives to be able to find his brother. It sounds interesting and unique. It sounds like a recipe for a suc
I was hoping for a little MORE after Hughes' debut, but this was still just alright. Check out my full review at Forever Young Adult. ...more
Rhona Mitchell Tennant
I absolutely adored Afterimage so it didn’t take me long to order Refraction. On a side note, both books are gorgeous! The cover art, design by Rosie Stewart is stunning and fits each story perfectly. They also look brilliant on a shelf together which warms my little book dragon heart.

(view spoiler)
Leelynn (Sometimes Leelynn Reads) ❤
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley, Page Street Kids, and Fantastic Flying Book Club for this free copy.

Do you know how much I wish I had freaking exciting books like this when I was growing up? Seriously though. I was not expecting to have a near heart attack kind of hyped up experience from reading something like this, and I was completely wrong!

First, I wanted to say that I really appreciate H
Maxine Robinson
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
The premise for this book is top notch. I love in books when the world goes to shit, it really brings out the best and worst in people. Some just try and get by, some help those around them and some are out for themselves. Marty falls into the last category. He is a selfish arse, who just wants to get to his brother, unfortunately he is on the other side of the world.
Elliot is the mayor’s son who is willing to cross the line to catch the bad guys. Unfortunately for him that makes him a bad guy i
Jacqueline Sanders
Refraction is an (older teenage)/YA sci-fi novel that’s entirely original and will pull you in from page one. I’ll be honest, when I first read the synopsis of this and also heard that the main character suffers from OCD and anxiety I had to grab it. Having a slew of my own mental health issues including anxiety with OCD tendencies I wanted to know someone with my condition(s) could live and survive in a dystopian type world. Naomi Hughes shows Marty’s illness in a way that feels real and maybe ...more
Moon Shine Art Spot ~ Lisa
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mid teens, alien lovers, young adult, sci- fi
Recommended to Moon Shine Art Spot ~ Lisa by: NetGalley- Advance Reader’s Copy
I fell asleep reading REFRACTION - Naomi Hughes- and promptly jumped right back in to finish it the next day! Awesome, original, fast paced sci-fi read provided for review purposes. I can’t wait for my teen to read it next.

With the earth covered in fog after an alien ship looking like glass is shot, all mirrors and reflective surfaces are banned / outlawed on the island where the mayor rules without mercy for sellers and buyers. Reflective surfaces are portals which bring in horrors and death t
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Hi! I'm Naomi Hughes, writer of quirky young adult sci-fi and fantasy. I live in the Midwest US, a region I love even though it tries to murder me with tornadoes every spring. When not writing, my hobbies include reading (of course), traveling, and geeking out over Marvel superheroes and certain time-traveling Doctors.

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