October Releases

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sykosa Blog Tour - Indie Review: Sykosa (Part 1: Junior Year) by Justin Ordoñez

Author: Justin Ordoñez
Series: (unknown)
Number in Series: 1
Format: Paperback
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Pages: 311
Publisher: TDS Publishing
Genre:Young Adult/Literature/Contemporary

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Synopsis from Goodreads

Sykosa (that's "sy"-as-in-"my" ko-sa) is a junior in high school. She belongs to an exclusive clique of girls called the "Queens." The leader is her best friend Niko. Their friendship has been strained lately because Tom—Sykosa's first boyfriend boyfriend—has gotten all serious about making her his pretty Prom princess. That is if he ever gets around to asking her. Before Prom, there's a party at Niko's cottage where parental supervision will be nil. He wants to have sex. She doesn't. He sometimes acts like that doesn't matter.

It matters.

Sykosa has a secret she has never told anyone about. Although, some people—Tom included—know anyway. It happened last year and it was big and she'll cry if she talks about it so she's done talking about it, okay? Never mind, it's nobody's business. Except it keeps happening, and it never stops. She doesn't want to deal with it. He does. She sometimes acts like that doesn't matter.

It matters.


     Wow! To say I don't know where to begin is an understatement. This book truly knows how to stand out. It is so unique and in-your-face, that it will take you by surprise. This may be pegged as Young Adult, but this is not the kind of book you would let them read. It is tragic and gritty and begs for attention.

     This is definitely a character-driven book. And our main character, Sykosa, definitely has a lot of character. She is so many things rolled into one and that is what makes her so compelling. Last year, her sophomore year, something terrible happened to her. She survived, but something came with her. Something she calls the "blackness". She feels a void, an overwhelming emptiness that can't be filled. She is struggling with her new found sexuality, keeping up her grades, and trying to keep herself and her best friend Niko sane. But the "blackness" is always there and she is barely keeping it at bay. Her best Things aren't all that great for Niko either. She is also having trouble. She may seem like a spoiled rich girl, but she is dealing with major issues herself. She is having a tough time after things that have happened with her mom (which is the key point of when things started going wrong with her) and trying to fit in with a certain click and boys.

    The plot of this book bounces around a bit. But it isn't the true focus of the book. Everything is the way our characters make it. More than the environment changing the story, it all comes from them. It is like reading a diary. But the story is a mixture of many things. You have Sykosa trying to define her "relationship" with Tom (the guy that saved her that day), her "blackness", her friendship with her disturbed best friend Niko and more. Sykosa is a really complex character and her story is proof of that. It is quite a unique writing style. But this leads me to a complaint.

   Don't get me wrong, I love the unique style of the book. Ordonez does a great job with this book. It is fast and modern. But the biggest problem I have with this book is the character transitions. The characters' point of view changes from one paragraph to the other. One second we see things from Niko's POV then we immediately are in Sykosa's mind. It is a bit clustered. There are even times when the book switches from first person to third in the blink of an eye. You get a little confused sometimes because you don't know who you are following. There are even a couple of times when we get into Tom's head and it is so random. We follow Sykosa for so long and he is just wedged in there from nowhere. So just beware of that.

   This book is truly difficult and raw. You really must keep an open mind when reading this. Like I said, this is definitely more for the 18+ audience. It is pretty graphic. I knew the book would be graphic, but I wasn't fully prepared for the full impact. It is a coming-of-age story for the modern age. It sort of reminds me of the tv show Skins, it deals with all the same controversial issues. And like Skins, it shows that life for some teenagers isn't like how it is shown on Nickelodeon. Things happen that lead to difficult situations that are just too big to handle. But I love how real the book feels. It doesn't shy away from the realism of it all. This book showcases those issues in full force. This is like nothing I have read before. It will grab your attention in more ways than one. So captivating.


*This book belongs to the following challenges*
BCC's 100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2012


About Justin Ordonez

Justin Ordoñez was born in Spain, raised in the mid-west, and currently lives in Seattle. He's nearly thirty years old, almost graduated from the University of Washington, and prefers to wait until TV shows come out on DVD so he can watch them in one-shot while playing iPad games. For fifteen years, he has written as a freelance writer, occasionally doing pieces as interesting as an editorial, but frequently helping to craft professional documents or assisting in the writing of recommendation letters for people who have great praise for friends or colleagues and struggle to phrase it. Sykosa is his debut novel.
Follow Justin Ordonez here:


  1. Great review, sweetie! I've got this book on my tbr pile and will have to read it sooner now! ;)

  2. Hope you like it. It is a pretty great read. Hope you get to it soon. Thanks for the comment hon. Talk later :)

  3. thank you for the great review! I'm glad that Sykosa connected with you. She's a pretty special girl!

  4. Kara - please do check Sykosa out!

  5. Justin, I've got it on my kindle, so I will check it out :)

  6. Diana, thanks for "getting" Sykosa. I'm glad you took on the challenge of reading Justin's book, and were able to come out of it with a deeper appreciation for exactly what he, as an author, was trying to accomplish. Bravo!


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