Thea Denny hates the tenth grade, and her home life isn't easy. But she's passionate about making art — and about her math-genius boyfriend, Cam, a recent transfer to her upstate New York high school from California. One day Cam mysteriously vanishes — and then things really get weird. The stars on the school flag go missing, eerily cut out. Intimate videos of Cam and Thea start going viral online — videos they never took. The FBI gets involved. And Thea can hear the voice of Melody, a beautiful, disabled girl her age, whose illness has left her mute since birth. Cam once claimed to be the world's foremost hacker. . . . Is he trying to reach her, send her a sign — or is Thea losing her mind? (from Goodreads)Buy on Amazon | Goodreads
Amazon’s previous publishing endeavors have left me feeling mostly “meh.” Not that I’ve read a TON of their books. I haven’t been interested before now! However, now they’re starting up a YA imprint (Skyscape) and WE SHOULD ALL BE AFRAID.
At Book Expo America they gave away most of the Skyscape books coming out in the next few months– this is the first one I’ve read, and WOW. If this is what we have to look forward to then Amazon really will take over the world. THROUGH THE POWER OF YA AWESOMENESS.
This is one of those experimental books that people either love or hate. I happen to (mostly) love experimental fiction (Patrick Ness, William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf), so I was totally on board for the unusual narrative style. It skips around in time, it doesn’t have any quotation marks, and Thea’s voice really does sound like what you’d expect a real teenager to sound like. She says “like” a lot, she skips around in her sentences, thoughts meander from one topic to the next without much of a connection. It takes a bit of getting used to, but if you can make it through it becomes an AMAZING book.
The story itself is just as fascinating as the format. On the surface, it’s a missing person story. Underneath that, though, is a super creepy conspiracies story with possible scifi/fantasy elements and it’s AMAZING. JUST AMAZING. I haven’t been this excited about a book for a while!
Even if you took away the scifi stuff, it’d still be an excellent YA contemporary story. Thea and Cam’s relationship is a little more adult than what you see in some YA, but it’s presented in a very positive way (at least until the end, anyway). The romance is sweet and they help each other become better people and it’s great! (Except for the end, anyway.)
BUT that in no way means that the scifi/conspiracy/thriller part isn’t important, too. Because it is– it’s why Cam disappears and why Thea is having such a hard time once he’s gone. It’s a very cool plot, very creepy and almost X-Files-y, and I JUST LOVE THIS BOOK OKAY.
Except for the end. I hate the end! It is a cliffhanger ending and it tore my heart out and then gave it to a creepy FBI guy. Luckily there’s going to be a sequel, but it can’t come out fast enough for me.
Until then, though, I’m gonna push this on anyone who loves scifi and unusual books and protagonists who’re as real as any kid you’d find in an American high school. READ ITTTTTT.
Read: June 15, 2013
Btw, because this is an Amazon book, the Kindle edition is SUPER CHEAP. Only $3.99!
For more about the Saccades trilogy, check out the website. There’s art, photography, interviews, insights on the book, and more!