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Vicarious by Paula Stokes


by Paula Stokes

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This novel's kind of a Monet: when you take a step back its really beautiful but if you lean in, its a hot mess. When I got to the end, I was like, "Oh, that was really clever," but I was never really engaged by the story. The execution keeps falling over itself trying to get out of the way and so it all seems awkward and stilted. The first few chapters really shouldn't be there at all; the cover art shows the scene where the novel should have begun (and the cover art should have been a collage of multiple scenes, imo). Most irritatingly, there are these intermittent descriptions of inane events (such as showering or getting dressed or eating) that serve no purpose other than to disrupt enjoyment of the narrative flow. (Knowing that our narrator dried herself with a towel that was fluffy and white in no way improves the story for me. She's clean, I get it! Let's move on with the story that I was almost engrossed in!) ( )
  fionaanne | Nov 15, 2017 |
I 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 it.

One 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 more of St. Louis.

I 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 be.

The 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 more fun when you are not able to guess how everything will end.

There 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 more than I did. I am not sure at this point if I will pick up the next book in the series or not. ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | Sep 14, 2016 |
This near future science fiction story stars Winter Kim who is a fascinating character. Winter and her older sister Rose were abandoned by their mother in Korea, "adopted" at ages 12 and 13 to America, sold into the sex trade, and rescued by one of Rose's clients. Winter suffers from PTSD because of her experiences and the trauma of their escape.

Currently living in St. Louis with their rescuer, Winter with her partner Jesse wears a ViSE recorder and takes part in danger activities to make recordings that are sold to those who want to experience things without the danger or sweat. Her sister Rose tends to make recordings that are more provocative. She goes to dance parties, clubs, and other hook ups.

When Rose disappears and a ViSE is discovered that shows her death, Winter is determined to learn who killed her sister. She'll have to watch all of her sister's ViSEs in order to try to find clues. She doesn't know if the killer is someone from their old life in LA who wants the girls back or if it is someone current in Rose's life.

This was a fascinating read. Winter is an engaging character who was badly damaged by the past events of her life. I had a hint of what might be really going on but was still surprised at the twist near the end of this one.

Fans of science fiction mysteries will enjoy this suspenseful title. ( )
  kmartin802 | Jul 19, 2016 |
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Winter and Rose work as digital stunt girls and record all of their exhilarating adventures for a company called Vicarious Sensory Experiences. But after Rose goes missing, a recording of her murder is sent to the company and Winter is determined to find out who the killer is, no matter what the cost. 336pp.… (more)

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