Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Review: Schasm by Shari J. Ryan


Shari J. Ryan

Blurb: What happens when two worlds collide? Chloe Valcourt drifts between two worlds: the dark reality of her horrible parents and doctors versus the vivid fantasy of her imagination. A chance encounter with a handsome and vaguely familiar young man in her dream world hints at the possibility of hidden truths—and a life she can’t remember. As her drifts become a greater escape from the cruelty of the real world, Chloe finds herself lost between what is real and what is imagined, questioning her very existence. Can she remain in the lush new imagined landscape to find happiness in a realm of her own invention? Is she doomed to return to the harsh reality of the outside world forever? Or will she become trapped somewhere between the two…unable to return to either? A thriller guaranteed to make your mind spin, Schasm is a young adult novel destined to change how you view the power of your mind.

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal, Thriller

Publication Date: January 13, 2014

Pages: 246

Series: Schasm (book 1)

My Rating: 4 stars

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What makes Schasm so awesomely awesome is that it manages to be a paranormal book and at the same time have basically none of the stupid tropes that paranormal books usually have. The book half convinced me that this affliction Chloe has is totally real; that's how well this book was written.

Chloe's backstory is half of what makes this book so good. She's been kept locked in her house by her mother, except to go to the mental hospital, since she was very young due to her ability to 'drift.' It isn't simply a plot device; her mother's treatment of her is actually a main part of the story, and it is done fantastically well. There were times where I absolutely hated Chloe's mom (a.k.a 90% of the story) but there were times where the author cast a bit of doubt on her mother's intentions--were they really evil, or is there some different motive that her mom has? I liked that the author chose to do that, because it made the book so much more mysterious.

Alex was actually a really good love interest. I really liked him; he and Chloe were good for each other. It seemed like there was a huge reveal after a huge reveal after a huge reveal with his character; once I thought I knew the whole story, a cloth was withdrew from another secret about him.

Chloe is an awesome main character. Aside from the fact that she has a great backstory, her emotions are more realistic, rather than fake and Mary Suish like many paranormal heroines. The fact that she has to deal with mental hospitals and her demanding mother made me feel for her; the happiness she finds with Alex and Celia made me oh-so-happy for her. I could relate to her on an emotional level, which is really saying something since she and I shared basically zero life experiences.

Honestly, the book felt so real. I knew that this was technically a paranormal romance, but sometimes I had to remind myself that the drifting mentioned in this book was not an actual thing.

The story never really had a dull moment. Chloe drifting to Paris during breakfast in the midst of all the dreariness really captured me from the beginning; from there it was a grand adventure of mystery, mental hospitals, romance, Paris, and much more.

The cliffhanger at the end of the book was the one thing I had predicted, however. That kind of bummed me; first, I was not expecting a cliffhanger; I was expecting a very happy-ever-after sort of ending. Second, I kind of knew that at some point in this series what happpened at the end of the book would eventually happen. There were way too many clues throughout the book. But that was basically the one small complaint in the sea of praise I have for this book.

Definitely recommended, especially for people looking for something a bit different. I was very pleased with Schasm, so much so that I've already went on to read the sequel, and usually I'm a sequel procrastinator, so that should be proof this book is good!

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