Vicarious[BOOKS] ✫ Vicarious By Paula Stokes – Winter Kim and her sister Rose work as high tech stunt girls for Rose’s ex boyfriend Gideon engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sens Winter Kim and her sister Rose work as high tech 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 life in the process. Things you might want to knowThis is a duology but both books have complete story arcs and endingsI wrote this book from mid 2012 to early 2013 but then Life happened and Publishing happened and so Vicarious is actually being published three months later than the book I wrote in late 2014 Girl Against the Universe Spending so much time awaiting the fate of this story and tinkering with it off and on means that I’ve become very emotionally attached to these characters Because of that I likely won’t read many reviews so if you want me to see yours email it or tweet it at meVicarious features multiple Korean main characters and I'll be blogging about why I did that my research methods and my personal connections to Korean culture family members living and working in Seoul etc closer to publication ETA Here's the lead off post and schedule for my blog tour which includes a five post series on writing outside my perspectiveLike with LIARS INC I made a lot of tiny changes to the ARC Over 100 in fact most of which just tighten up the writing or give Winter agencyurgency a few of which correct errors with the usage of Korean honorifics or Romanization of Hangul For info see the discussion threads belowThis book is darker than anything else I’ve written The main character is emotionally volatile and there are allusions to and flashbacks of self harming behavior If you know me at all you know I’m not a fan of dark books that just get darker and darker until the reader is emotionally destroyed ; I worked hard in revisions to lighten this up a bit and I think both this book and the duology end on hopeful notes Just don’t go into it expecting something like The Art of Lainey If you want that read GATU instead 35 starsWell that was immensely intenseI just can’t believe human trafficking is something that exists and everywhere in the world at that Not only is it illegal but the thought of someone claiming another person’s life the way they want is absolutely repulsive and enraging and scaring and it shouldn’t existLuckily Winter escaped the men who kidnapped her and her sister Now she works for Gideon as a ‘‘recorder’’ In this futuristic world experiencessituations can be recorded with a headset for other people to buy and experience They can for instance swim with sharks vicariously through the ViSEs Vicarious Sensory ExperienceThis is a creative idea The execution is well done though I did find a lack of action when there should have been uite a lot of it The beginning and ending are actually my favourite parts because of how action packed and interesting they are What is in between is way slower but still worth reading since the mystery took over the action and that too is an attention grabber I liked how the author developed a mystery case in this science fiction book It worked uite well although I must admit I’m still unsure of how I should feel right now knowing I’ve been played with super hard Really really hard I mean that revelation DamnWinter is such a strong heroine Not only that she is also extremely likeable and somehow soft in the right places She is broken and I know usually broken characters turn into clichés with the ‘‘not able to love’’ thingy but in this case it made so much sense and it was so greatly developed that I didn’t mind itHowever I didn’t find the secondary characters as enticing as Winter They’re okay and they do have their little back story but it wasn’t enough to make them memorable to my eyes Something was missing In my opinion the plot could have benefited of another point of view though that would have messed the revelation up probably Original story fabulous heroine good writing and mind blowing twist Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google | Bloglovin’ See this review and like it on wwwbookbastionnetThis was my first Paula Stokes novel and I'm happy to report that she's found a new fan I found her writing style surprisingly engaging especially when it comes to plotting and keeping those pages that fall between the beginning and end interesting Sometimes the premise of a book can totally hook you and while the beginning and end has great movement the middle parts suffer to keep the pace up as characters work through whatever plot has enslaved them to its rhythmComparatively Stokes excels at keeping the pace moving with lots and lots of action and chapter endings that left me reeling Seriously this an author who is skilled at laying down some plot points that end up important than you think they might be later and each time it happened I was left wanting Thankfully I had this book with me when I was on a long ride out of town yesterday so I got to move through most of it at a fast clip that let me hold onto my sanity I just cannot deal with being kept in suspense Nothing makes me devour a book uickly than wanting to know what's going to happen next While speaking of pace and action I have to commend Paula Stokes on her ability to write action scenes Not all authors who attempt it can do it justice but Stokes has got a knack for it They move uickly yet remain vivid and well detailed Lots of the higher stakes scenes and action seuences moved like action seuences out of movies which I definitely appreciated I did have a bit of trouble feeling emotionally connected to the characters especially to Winter and Rose's relationship I felt like what happened to Rose was too uickly glossed over and Winter's reaction to it lacked the punch I thought it should have I think I would have preferred a time jump or something between Rose's disappearance and Winter's investigation into what happened to her because it was difficult for me to buy that Winter was actively grieving for her while she was searching for answers I know that human grief is a very difficult and complicated thing but sorrow was an emotion I think this book could have used a touch of in the earlier parts Also the ending totally threw me for a loop I definitely did not see it coming On one hand being surprised by a pscyhological thriller is a very good thing On the other hand though I couldn't help but feel like it was tiny bit manipulative both to the reader and the characters because of just how out there it ended up being The sci fi aspects of the book were uite fascinating though and I felt than adeuately made up for that feeling near the end I was reminded a bit of Black Mirror in some parts which is one of my favorite shows so I found myself uite engrossed in the story Those looking for diversity in their YA fiction should set their sights here Just be warned that some of the content is a little bit darker than a lot of YA I've read so I'd classify this book as best served for upper YA readers who enjoy that bit of darkness in their stories 45 Sci fiaction packed stars Thank you to Tor for providing me a free copy for review which has not affected my review in any way Review posted on The Eater of Books blogVicarious by Paula StokesBook One of the Vicarious seriesPublisher Tor TeenPublication Date August 16 2016Rating 4 starsSource ARC sent by the publisherSummary from GoodreadsWinter Kim and her sister Rose have always been inseparable Together the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States 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 priceWhen Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon Winter won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the neural 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 life in the processWhat I LikedWhat a twisted mind blowing novel Part sci fi part thriller this book was exceptional from start to finish There were so many layers to the story and to the protagonist and I couldn't stop reading I can't really pick out a favorite Stokes book but this one is in my top twoWinter and her older sister Rose have escaped the orphanage in South Korea and human trafficking in LA Three years after Gideon took her and her sister away from the trafficking Winter has adjusted well to her life She suffers from PTSD but she's better Gideon has created technology to capture neural impulses which enables the ViSE Vicarious Sensory Experiences user to experience the physical feelings of something like bungee jumping or kissing another person Winter has been doing stunts like jumping off bridges and running from the police Rose does something a little different and one night she doesn't return home A ViSE is found in their home and it's of Rose dying Winter is determined to find the killer but the clues are strange Something isn't adding up and Winter isn't sure what is real and what is notI'm going to be honest I wasn't sure I wanted to read this one I've seen the author talk about the conditions that Winter struggles with in this book such as PTSD and I don't usually like to read books with tough issues Books dealing with addiction rape prostitution and so on I prefer not to read it's too real and I'm all about the not so real escapism But I've read Stokes' other six books so I figured why not keep going especially when the publisher drops a galley in your lap Thank you Tor I'd also like to thank my friend Pili as this is my June '16 Pili Pushed choiceLet's start with Winter On the outside she seems like an intense somewhat colddistant Korean girl On the inside she doesn't like to be touched and she represses a lot of bad memories from her past She and her sister have had terrible pasts going from an orphanage to human trafficking used as sex slaves Winter is living with PTSD and she blacks out and sleep walks and represses memories subconsciously but she's been doing really well recently She lives with her sister and Gideon her sister's ex boyfriend like a brother to Winter Jesse Ramirez works for Gideon and he's Winter's friend He and Winter record stunts for GideonMy heart broke for Winter over and over At one point I honestly wanted to stop reading This really isn't the type of book I personally like to read especially since Winter's conditions were brought so heavily to the forefront of the book BUT It's incredible how well written everything about Winter's condition and life is how PTSD affects her in every aspect of living It blew me away and broke my heart and I have got to tip my hat to Stokes What an incredible and powerful story to writeWhile this book shows a lot of Winter's struggle with PTSD it also follows her struggle to find out what happened to her sister After seeing her sister murdered from a ViSE Winter is determined to find out She and Jesse visit various clubs that Rose used to go to and they try to hunt down clues and follow Rose's original recordings before her death As far as mysteries go this one was a good oneI was in NO way prepared for the ending the final twist I knew that certain things had to do with the ending and what really happened to Rose but the way it happened how Stokes brought it about wow My mind was totally blown I think I had chills at one point I was and wasn't expecting it mostly wasn't I wasn't expecting that magnitude of how crap ery I have no idea HOW Stokes is going to top that twist in book twoThere is romance in this book It's not terribly important to the book but it becomes a bigger part towards the ending both in a good and bad way I wanted to shake Winter just a little at the very end but then I reminded myself that she had every right to react the way she did In general the romance is sweet And a little sad Winter had and has a lot going on but I felt bad for Jesse It's complicated As is practically everything in this bookI am zipping my lips There are a ton of things that I feel like I could accidentally spoil which I don't want to do You'll WANT to have your mind blown by this book and it's ending trust me Maybe it's just me but I was so bug eyed reading the rest of the book after the big climactic twist I didn't mention anything about the world building or genres this novel as science fiction and thriller elements Science fiction because of the ViSE tech which is pretty cool It's kind of like virtual reality? But not really? Basically you can experience the real feeling of bungee jumping while viewing it but it feels real because someone actually did it and recorded hisher neural impulses as heshe was doing it If that makes sense? And then this book is somewhat of a thriller too Overall I liked this book Yes I'm not a fan of YA books with such a big tough issue focus They're just not for me and yet I still enjoyed this book very much And a high five to Stokes for the diverse characters who didn't seem like they were simply filling an archetyperoleWhat I Did Not LikeEhh little things niggled at me nothing to make me feel negatively towards the book I've already mentioned that I'm generally not a fan of books with tough issue concepts but I still liked this book and thought Stokes did a great job writing the tough issue aspects I didn't like that Winter didn't apologize or get the chance to apologize at the very very ending This won't make sense to you since you may not have read the book but I personally think the author could have ended the book with a short scene including Winter apologizing to a certain someone She NEEDS to do this and I really hope she does in book two Part of me wants to make excuses for her behavior because she's been through a lot but then I also remember that she is a teenage girl and overreacted A lot Issues or not she crossed a line But I'm hoping this is addressed in book two Just a general thought I hate it when a guy messes up and has to beg and grovel and basically die before the girl forgives him but if the girl messes up she doesn't have to apologize or grovel This is wrong and romanticizes the idea of relationships Boys do NOT magically forgive you without you apologizing or talking about it Nope This is a pet peeve of mine in fiction both in YA and adult novels It drives me crazyWould I Recommend ItI'd recommend this book It's worth the read especially since it felt like there was a part of the story that would appeal to this crowd or that crowd Sci fi fans thriller fans tough issue fans etc The issues I had with this book are fairly minor ignore the fact that the previous section seems long and pretty much specific to memy preferencesRating4 stars I'm excited about the seuel for several reasons I need a seuel to this crazy ride and it's the conclusion to the series I do love this duology trend in YA Less annoying waiting and forgetting all of the details of the series by the time the next book publishes 45 starsThere really aren’t that many YA books that embrace the harsh realities of the world we live in Even when writing a sci fi thriller Paula Stokes is courageous enough to do so She doesn’t embellish she refuses to sugarcoat and she throws the ugliest bits right in our faces While I wouldn’t debate its appropriateness for younger teens I still struggle with determining the lines for my kiddo I applaud Stokes for taking us where so few YA authors have gone beforeVicarious isn’t easy to put into words Anything is a potential spoiler so it’s best to go into it blindly Nevertheless several things can be safely pointed out First and foremost Stokes’ characters are tiny works of art Winter Kim is as serious as they come severely damaged by her traumatic childhood She is focused driven and slow to trust She trains hard not only for her job as a digital stuntwoman in her guardian’s company but also to keep herself safe and make sure that the past traumas never happen again With a Korean protagonist that actually spent her formative years in Korea I assume that Stokes had to tread carefully However even with my limited understanding of Korean culture I felt that the spirit of it was captured perfectly The magic was in the little things like Winter’s worldview her respect for her elders her absolute devotion to family During her work hours Winter breaks into heavily guarded company headuarters bungee jumps and swims with sharks In her private time however she prefers solitude and is rather conservative unlike her sister Rose who is a social butterfly prone to risky behavior Many of you will be curious about the romance and I can only tell you that it’s complex heartbreaking and that it works Through Winter’s connection with Jesse Stokes explored some of the psychological conseuences of sexual abuse the inability to achieve intimacy and the reluctance to trust anyone Jesse’s tentative approach was sometimes healing and sometimes damaging and finding the balance was incredibly hard for them both This is where Paula Stokes shines with her profound understanding and sensitivity but also openness and direct approach There is no tiptoeing in her writing and nothing is left unsaid As mentioned before it’s best not to talk about the plot except to say that it’s lightning fast and full of twists that will make your mind explode It’s been ages since I’d held such a page turner in my hands and it will likely be ages before I find another one that can measure up The light science fiction elements were blended in smoothly the Vicarious Sensory Experiences being something our culture definitely strives for Vicarious left me reeling struggling for hours to return to the real world I feel very comfortable recommending it far and wide knowing it will turn all its readers into ardent fans The only thing left is to count down the days to the next book hoping not to die of suspense in the process This review can also be found at Carole's Random LifeI liked this book but not nearly as much as I had hoped I would I live in the St Louis area so when I saw the cover of this book I just had to read it I put all of my other books aside when I picked this one up from my library and starting reading it right away It turned out to be an okay read for me I am glad that I read it but I wasn't blown away by itOne of the reasons that I read this book was the setting and I do have to say that I was a bit disappointed by the parts of St Louis that made its way into the book There is talk of some St Louis clubs and to be honest I have no idea if they are real or not since my days of hitting the club are long over There are a few other things mentioned but with a few changes this book could have really taken place anywhere That's probably actually a good thing for most readers but I wanted of St LouisI never felt invested in any of the characters Winter Kim just didn't feel real to me and that made it hard for me to relate to her on any level I should have been feeling her pain since she has been through a lot of terrible things that she is still having to deal with but I just didn't feel it Jesse was probably the character that I liked the most in the story but I still can't understand how he could be as perfect as he seemed to beThe mystery was pretty good There was a lot of stuff going on in the story so there were not any boring moments I did guess the big twist pretty early on in the story even though I had hoped that something else would happen to prove me wrong Books are really just fun when you are not able to guess how everything will endThere were a lot of things that worked well for me in the book and there were a few things that didn't work as well I was entertained by the book but I found it pretty easy to set aside I do realize that I am not the target audience for this one and I am sure that my teenage daughter would probably like it a bit than I did I am not sure at this point if I will pick up the next book in the series or not Initial ThoughtsI am going to need a day or two to think about this one before I can write any kind of review Paula Stokes is full of surprises When her debut The Art of Lainey burst onto the scene ticking off all the right boxes for Contemporary YA I thought for sure that I had discovered a new go to author for the genre Imagine my surprise when her sopho novel Liars Inc was full of mystery; a thriller featuring diversity in multiple ways I knew her next contemporary novel would be stellar but Girl Against the Universe surpassed my wildest expectations So when Vicarious fell into my lap I knew only one thing I would not be disappointed And I was absolutely right Stokes's latest is a far cry from any of her previous novels And I suspect to a large degree it's wildly different from most other YA novels out there even within its genre Winter our heroine owes everything to her older sister Rose and foster brother Gideon who helped her escape North Korea and later trafficking in California Now Winter works for Gideon recording dangerous activities to create ViSEs With a ViSE not only can you see from the eyes of the recorder watching as they bungee jump or escape the cops but you can feel their neural impulses the adrenaline the fear the excitement While Rose spends her time in clubs dealing with her past the only way she knows Winter trains making herself impenetrable and working her body to withstand even the most deadly of actions But when a ViSE of Rose's murder turns up in Gideon's office Winter is determined to find and avenge her sister's death no matter the costWinter is a completely bad ass protagonist She's focused and no nonsense so while some may dislike her serious nature I appreciated her upfront honesty about her own personality Her past is a vicious monster and not just the fact that she escaped from North Korea There's also the immense debt she feels she owes to both Rose and Gideon for making sure she escaped the trafficking situation they were caught up in in California The combination of these two make Winter's past a depressing part of the novel But Stokes is careful to accompany Winter's darkness alongside plenty of action not to mention lighter scenes and even humor from other secondary characters Winter's relationship with her sister isn't perfect after all Winter doesn't understand why Rose uses her sexuality and is constantly seen with different men but she adores her older sister as well Even though Rose dies early in the novel I still felt as if I knew her character and most importantly her relationship with Winter very well One of my favorite aspects to this story though is the romance It takes a backseat throughout the novel but it's a slow burn that utterly won me over and had me swooning from the beginning Jesse is a friend of Winter's someone who also works for Gideon and has had a tough past of his own But he genuinely cares for Winter and watching as he breaks down her barriers and convinces her of his affection despite her past and the demons she carries is a highlight of the story Their friendship is rock solid the trust between them a pillar for Winter to find support upon in the face of her sister's death I also love that their relationship isn't always easy not for Winter and certainly not for Jesse But it's so rewarding and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it develops in the seuel Vicarious is a thriller from start to finish I found myself flipping these pages wondering at who could have killed Rose where she was at the time of her death and the people she spoke to As Winter interrogates those in her life she uncovers secrets about her sister that she never even suspected and the influx of clues and leads not to mention dead ends makes for an exciting read Add in the complex personalities of Winter and Jesse's utter charm and I'd have been sold But Stokes also has another trick up her sleeve the ViSEs And damn they are cool I love how the ViSEs were an integral aspect to Rose's death but also we get to see them filmed and in action later in the novel Clearly they're going to be playing an even bigger role in the seuel and I loved the futuristic tint that the ViSEs provided to this world which is otherwise identical to ours The best part about Vicarious are all the twists and turns that you won't see coming I was shocked and reeling by the end of this novel and though it is a part of a duology with this portion of the story wrapped up I want the seuel now Yet for all its seeming perfection I will say that I had a few sliiight issues with Vicarious Namely that I found it to drag a little in the middle There are a lot of back to back seuences with lots of action whether it be Winter tracking down her sister's body or haunting the places she freuented or visiting people that only Rose knew There are also a lot of really intriguing ViSEs that we get to see ViSEs that Winter finds of Rose and her adventures But then somewhere in the middle I found myself flipping the pages and wondering when the action would pick up again I think that with so many fast paced scenes the slower moments feel a little too slow Thankfully it doesn't seem that way for too long and Stokes regains her momentum stunning readers with action shots ViSEs and plot twists Thus all in all I'm totally impressed and utterly in love with this book It is clear that Stokes's research is impeccable and her incorporation of diverse characters their heritage and their struggles is admirable Even if you're not looking for diversity in YA the mystery the plot twists and the thrills will keep you glued to your seat And for fans of deeper connections complex personalities and tough relationships Stokes delivers on that as well Vicarious has something in it for everyone read it at least so that I'm not counting down the days to its seuel by myself ; Pre Review Vicarious boasts a diverse host of characters alongside a thrilling mysteries that is absolutely chock full of plot twists that will leave you reeling Though this book doesn't end on a cliffhanger I want desperately to know what happens next Needless to say this was good We have a heroine who is basically Black Widow A romantic interest who I imagined looks something like this And then there are scenes of this And this And even this Soif you're not pre ordering this one yet or adding it to your TBR or rushing out to buy it I don't know what else I can do to convince you that this is so so different from anything Stokes has written before and it's fantasticIn the end you'll be like this Wow Wow Wow I don't even have words There were parts that I didn't care for the human trafficking history obviously but it was handled well and this story was amazing I had no idea what was happening the entire time You guys are in for one hell of a ride killer plot with a wickedly good twist ending yall don't even know what's coming Let’s make things clear from the beginningI loved The Art of Lainey it was romantic and cute and so much fun but this one here this is even better So dark so twisted so amazing Such a fantastic read I can’t wait for book two and I can’t recommend it enough I love love love itIn the beginning I felt a bit of confusion there was a point when I started wondering if this wasn’t in fact the second book in the series because there was so much talk about past events I wasn’t yet aware of but that might’ve been only my tired brain trying to sabotage me I’m in desperate need of sleep as I got over it soon after and I simply couldn’t let go of this book until the very ending and long after as I kept thinking about itWHAT I LOVED ABOUT IT The revelation and the steps the reader has to take in order to reach itIt was twisted it kept me on the edge of my seat it made me wonder contemplate; finding new pieces in the puzzle was both frustrating and exciting and the bigger picture amazed me though also filled me with dread The romanceIt is subtle but sweet It is not demanding though it is always there at the reach of their fingertips one kiss away from flourishing The VISE Vicarious Sensory Experiences technologyIn Romanian ‘vise’ means ‘dreams’ and I guess it’s only fitting for this virtual reality concept I liked what Winter and Jesse had to do for a living yes I am aware it’s not uite legal all that adrenaline rush how their experiences translated to other people I liked what these VISEs also meant for the reader like a door to the past how they helped uncover the mystery how they revealed other mysteries in the process The impact those old horrible experiences Winter and Rose had to get trough left on her mindThe deep wounds Her mental struggles The physical struggles even Again her relationship with Jesse seen from this particular point of view The ties between Winter and her sister There are some other things I loved I just can’t explain them to you as they might imply minor or major spoilers too so I guess I will leave them to you to discoverCONCLUSIONI loved everything about VICARIOUS It is dark enigmatic action filled insanely beautiful to top it all off I’ve had a blast reading this book and I can’t recommend it enough Read the full review at ReadingAfterMidnight

Vicarious Epub ¿ Hardcover
  • Hardcover
  • 336 pages
  • Vicarious
  • Paula Stokes
  • English
  • 23 May 2016
  • 9780765380944