Book Review: Sykosa

Synopsis according to Goodreads:
"Sykosa (that's "sy"-as-in-"my" ko-sa) is a junior in high school. She belongs to an exclusive clique of girls called the "Queens." The leader is her best friend Niko. Their friendship has been strained lately because Tom—Sykosa's first boyfriend boyfriend—has gotten all serious about making her his pretty Prom princess. That is if he ever gets around to asking her. Before Prom, there's a party at Niko's cottage where parental supervision will be nil. He wants to have sex. She doesn't. He sometimes acts like that doesn't matter.

It matters.

Sykosa has a secret she has never told anyone about. Although, some people—Tom included—know anyway. It happened last year and it was big and she'll cry if she talks about it so she's done talking about it, okay? Never mind, it's nobody's business. Except it keeps happening, and it never stops. She doesn't want to deal with it. He does. She sometimes acts like that doesn't matter.

It matters.

I wanted to love Sykosa. The premise spoke to me, I like the fact that it's a YA set in current reality (instead of making everything a metaphor because it's supernatural), I like the fact that it involves a Catholic Parish school and the main characters are Asian (both very far from my experience), and I like that the author is young, new, and from Seattle.

But I didn't love the book.
Parts of it I did- there were a few witty turns of phrase, and some aspects of Sykosa's thoughts/obsessions/observations about her relation to her BFF and her mom struck me as very accurate to my own experience as a teen, and unique in the world of YA. The two main characters are nicely complex, as well. And clearly there's an all-too-often-occurring nod to the roles we play when something is implicitly "owed".

Most of it, though, I struggled with:

In summary, I think it's a good concept and a good start, and maybe needs some refinement and tweaks to make into the kind of book I would prefer that it was.

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