Bob's Reviews > Tick

Tick by Allison Rose
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really liked it

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.
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Reading Progress

March 25, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
March 25, 2015 – Shelved
Started Reading
May 2, 2015 – Finished Reading

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