May 11, 2013: I was very taken with this story. The thing that comes to mind most as I think over the first eleven chapters that I read is that it rings very true, and it seems to be a very deeply felt tale. The story follows a young woman who’s by turns neglected and terrorized by her drug-addicted mother, and bullied by the popular group at school. The way she moves through her environment, assessing threats and trying to determine what she can safely do and have to avoid is heartbreaking. It rang especially true to me how the protagonist, Alexis, simply soldiers on no matter what happens to her. The only thing she doesn’t know how to deal with is someone being nice to her. The author chose well to make this a first-person narrative, because of the additional sense of immediacy we get as readers.
The only thing I’d like to have seen improved in the story was the sense of the future. The story is set far enough in the future that space travel is common and people seem to live on other planets. That being the case, as an example, I was surprised when Alexis uses as an excuse that she doesn’t have a computer at home. The way computers are becoming miniaturized and internet access is being demanded everywhere, I forsee that it won’t be so long until a full-sized computer could fit into someone’s earring or tie tack (and will probably be given as freebies, like USB drives are today) and basic internet is more like the TV channels everyone is able to get with the appropriate gear (publicly available, with commercials), with more/better bandwidth available at a price. I could see where she might want to stay late at school to use their improved equipment or better bandwidth, but I imagine she’d at least have some sort of basic function computer, even if maybe her internet reception was spotty. At any rate, I like a lot of things about the author’s vision of the future, the inflation and space travel included, but I’d like to see the author let his imagination go a little more for some of the rest of it, especially the day-to-day stuff.
At any rate, I can recommend this story to any reader, especially to anyone who likes strong character studies or stories about abused kids. Even if it doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, I urge you to check it out, because this story is well worth a read.
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