I’m so excited to be here today sharing my love for another Paula Stokes book! I’m such a huge fan of hers and her newest title is definitely one of my favorites. Paula also sent over an awesome post on Jesse, who you will quickly fall in love with once you read this book. ;P
Vicarious by Paula Stokes
Published by Macmillan on August 16th 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, General, Science Fiction, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
Source: eARC from Author
Buy the Book • Goodreads
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have escaped the past and started over in a new place where no one knows who they used to be. Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose's ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it's bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city's hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you, for a price.
When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter is devastated. She won't rest until she finds her sister's killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital recordings her sister made, Winter isn't sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she'll have to untangle what's real from what only seems real, risking her own life in the process.
Paula Stokes weaves together a series of mysteries and a love story between sisters in this unforgettable high-tech thrill ride.
I got to read an e-arc of this book pretty early, it has been several months ago, and I thought it would be fun to share my initial Goodreads updates and thoughts for this one. I honestly don’t say much when I update on Goodreads very often as I read unless I’m just REALLY into a book, and I was REALLY into this one.
Vicarious is seriously such a page turner. It’s one of those books that once I read the first page there was no putting it down. The beginning pulled me in completely and my intrigue was already insanely high it was so hard to put down after that. I remember having to force myself to go to bed the first day I started it because I just wanted to know what was going on…but priorities…(adulting…bleh)
Those were my initial thoughts after I finished and Vicarious made me go SAY, WHAT?! quite a few times. There was such a huge twist that I 100% did not see coming AT ALL. I’m usually pretty decent at at least having a bit of an idea what is coming, but I was COMPLETELY blind sided on this one. I read the part where everything starts to unfold several times because I just was in shock. Hell , I’m still in shock. I actually picked up the book today before finishing this post because I wanted to just kind of refresh myself and I’ve gotten into a full blown re-read because I’m going back through and just now noticing all the little hints I missed before. LOL They are there, I was just so engrossed in Winter’s story I completely missed them.
Now getting past the fact that Vicarious is hell-a twitsy, it’s also dark and deals with some tough topics. The main character, Winter, has PTSD from growing up in sex trafficking. PTSD and sex trafficking are both deep topics, and are very sensitive topics to write about but Stokes did a very good job with them both. I’m always amazed at how I can tell all the research that is put into Stokes books, and I could definitely tell these these topics were well researched so that they could be handled realistically. I also really like the diversity aspect of Vicarious and how it didn’t feel like it was just there to be there, but actually had a purpose.
There is a tad bit of romance sprinkled through out Vicarious also. Winter is definitely stand-offish, with good reason, but she does have feelings towards Jesse and I really liked the way that was handled. I also really like the way Jesse’s character is written and just genuinely how good of a guy he is, and how respectful. I also like that this romance isn’t here to “fix the MC”, I REALLY REALLY hate that trope and wish it would burn a thousand deaths. The romance really isn’t a big part of the book, but it’s there and I WANT it to be a bigger part in the next one! LOL
I would definitely recommend this book to ya and adult thriller fans, I did feel that this story reads like upper YA to me, not because of anything steamy or anything to that nature, I think it may because of the seriousness of Winter’s life and how dark it is, but definitely good for adult fiction fans also!
Five what-the-what emojis
Five Facts About Jesse
1. Jesse Ramirez grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but moved to St. Louis after being medically discharged from the US Army. His parents didn’t want him to enlist, and he felt by getting injured that he had both let them down and proved them right.
2. Jesse first officially met Winter Kim in Krav Maga class, where he offered to spar with her because her distant demeanor made him think she was conceited. He wanted to humble her by beating her in a fight. (He won, but Winter accepted defeat with grace and vowed to work that much harder next time, leaving Jesse feeling bad about misjudging her.)
3. Jesse has worked several different jobs, including landscaper, paintball referee, army MP (military police), dishwasher, line cook, and ViSE recorder.
4. One of Jesse’s biggest fears is that something bad will happen to Winter while they’re doing one of their stunts.
5. Jesse grew up without pets, but after spending time with Winter has developed a fondness for cats, especially her cat Miso. (Miso means “smile” in Korean, btw. She didn’t name her cat after Japanese bean curd ;D)
8/15 Introduction + tour schedule
8/16 Writing outside my perspective: Part 1
8/17 Review + interview with Paula
8/18 Writing outside my perspective: Part 2
8/19 Review + five facts about Winter
8/22 Writing outside my perspective: Part 3
8/24 Writing outside my perspective: Part 4
8/25 Review + five facts about Rose
8/26 Writing outside my perspective: Part 5
Have you had a chance to read Vicarious yet?
Do you plan to?