November 28, 2014 by mmileti
Anomaly (Schrodinger’s Consortium #1)
by Tonya Kuper
Release Date: 11/25/14
Summary from Goodreads:
Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…
Worst. Birthday. Ever.
My first boyfriend dumped me – happy birthday, Josie!- my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…
Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.
When hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…
I always get excited when I come across a young adult (YA) novel with a female protagonist who is both strong willed and extremely intelligent, and Josie definitely fits into this category. Anomaly contains elements of both YA paranormal and science fiction with a basis in our current understanding of scientific principles, and I loved that Josie was the character Kuper used most often to explain this science to the reader. It always disappoints me to come across a YA novel where the female lead is in constant need of rescue, or is said to get “good grades” without any evidence to support that she ever studies or picks up a book (usually because she is too busy pining over the “hottie” in class). In most cases, nothing can make me abandon a novel faster than these traits, but Kuper’s strong female protagonist was the most endearing part of the story, and I found it incredibly refreshing to read about Josie’s talent for complex ideas and theories, and her dedication to knowledge to be extremely admirable.
The male protagonist of Anomaly is Reid, and though much of the story is told from his perspective it seemed like his character was present mainly to augment Josie’s story. The reader gets little more than a glimpse of Reid’s life and his secret past that ties him to Josie until near the end of the book. He is an intensely mysterious character, and though he adds a lot to the story, I saw him as more of a secondary character despite the fact that many chapters were told from his point of view. Though his character was not as fully developed as Josie, his numerous secrets added a significant level of suspense to the novel, and his complex relationship with Josie managed to bring a typical YA element into the story to balance the more cerebral science fiction aspect.
One facet of Kuper’s storytelling that I found a bit strange was her combination of intricate scientific principles to build and explain her magic system with an abundance of teenage slang and pop culture references. The language that Josie and her friends use definitely makes the book more relatable to a younger audience, but in my opinion it is a little overdone in light of the novel’s more intellectual foundations. I am sure many readers will find this aspect of the story to bring some humor and familiarity to the plot, but I found that these references (and the sheer number of them) made me feel a bit old and out of the loop… and I’m only 26. Although, I have not owned a TV for years, so perhaps my particular opinion on this subject will be in the small minority. Either way, I found the blend of these two very different elements often made the story seem as if it had two distinct styles of writing, and I would have enjoyed a more consistent method of prose.
Anomaly is the kind of YA novel that sure to remind many readers why they fell in love with the genre in the first place. The presence of a smart and independent heroine goes a long way towards making the book engaging, and Reid’s mysterious past will ensure pure engrossment in the plot. Though Kuper’s writing style often seemed erratic, her ability to make Josie seem incredibly young and extremely wise at the same time will ease many readers into the more complex elements of the plot. I would recommend this novel to fans of YA who enjoy a magic system that is intricate, explained in great detail, and is based in science, and also to anyone that enjoys a strong female protagonist.
My Rating: 6.5/10
I received a copy of this novel from YA Bound Book Tours and the author in return for an honest review.
About the Author:
Tonya Kuper’s debut, ANOMALY, the first in the Schrodinger’s Consortium young adult scifi trilogy, releases November 2014 by Entangled Teen. She lives in Omaha, NE with her two rad boys and husband, is a music junkie, and a chocolate addict. Star Wars & Sherlock fan.
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