Genre: YA, Sci-fi
Released on: November 25th, 2014
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Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…
Worst. Birthday. Ever.
My first boyfriend dumped me—happy birthday, Josie!—my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…
Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.
When hottily-hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…
I have to start with this: Listen to Fineshrine by Purity Ring – that song is what I had on replay while reading this book. And it fit so beautifully for me, with the beat, the melody, it all tied up this novel with a nice little bow.
With that song helping set the overall mood, I was ready to dive into this novel. And boy, oh boy, it was such a riveting ride. I’m a huge fan of novels that can incorporate an accurate account of science with the “fiction/fantasy” aspect of the plot. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the science portion of things helps explain something that seems so out of reach, but either way, I love the science side of this novel. It definitely makes the situations and circumstances of the plot seem much more real. I’m convinced there are actual Oculi in the world now. Find me, please.
That aside, I was also very much captivated by the main character of Josie. She is such a strong and logical character; she just makes so much sense to me as a thinker and as a person that I was like, “Josie, you my home girl.” There were moments in the book where I was ready for her to break down and crack like any other female protag would, but she didn’t. It was so refreshing to see an intellectual and analytical female tackle these issues. Josie remained strong, but when she did have her moments of breakdown, she handled them with poise and still had the good heart in her to keep fighting that good fight. I admire that so much about her.
Reid just tugged at my heart strings the whole time. His history involving the Harper family, especially Nick, just kills me every time (no pun intended). However, it wasn’t always smooth sailing for Reid and me. There is something about his unwavering faith in the Resistance that just downright scares me. Maybe it’s just my own gut reaction, or my sixth (or possibly seventh) sense that is on high alert here, but something isn’t adding up with the Resistance business. And Tonya, I will keep your tweet in mind and sit rather impatiently for book 2 >:) But I do think my unease over the Resistance often times bled through toward Reid. It made me weary of him and what he would do should things with Josie go south. It definitely makes the book much more suspenseful. So, kudos, Tonya! But really. Book 2, please. However! Once we reach the end of the book, I can honestly say that I trust Reid a lot. Despite my weariness toward the Resistance, Reid is a top notch guy and I love him. Reid and Josie are just bubbling liquid fire (I don’t even know if it’s possible, but that’s Josie and Reid – accomplishing the impossible).
The plot is super, super interesting. Like I said before, the science in this book is so alluring and captivating. And this book is very science heavy! Not to the point where you can’t understand it, so don’t worry there! It all makes sense when you read it. It doesn’t feel like a science teacher going on and on about particles and laws of motion. So, plot wise, I’m all in. Of course by the end, my questions only increase. But I think that’s a sign of a good first book! The first book serves to present the overall plot and get us situated in this world. On that front, I’m completely immersed. The training is so much fun to read because, again, we are inside Josie’s analytical mind, watching as she comes up with ways to get through scenarios. It’s all very fascinating!
Writing style… Oh, Tonya. Wonderful. I feel so connected to the writing, like it’s really working with me and not just talking at me. That may sound weird, but I guess I’m trying to say that I can relate to the writing style and voice of the character. The pop culture references are always welcome, and definitely help to lighten the mood when need be. I love that Josie is nerdy in that regard; it makes me feel super cool knowing I can understand the references! And there’s not too much of it either, which is a great thing. Most of the time, a novel will either shower their prose with pop culture references that it gets annoying or they just completely miss the mark. Tonya Kuper hits that mark and then some.
Overall, this was a fun and exciting read. I had fun being part of Josie’s journey and part of Reid’s struggles. I had fun being nerdy with Josie, and longing over a loved one with Reid. I had fun watching the two of them become something infinitely stronger together.
I can’t wait to see where their journey takes them next.
Tonya. Book. Two.
I’ll be first in line for that beauty.
MY RATING: 5/5