I start reading Sykosa, and at first, I just think its this nice little book about this nice little Japanese-American girl sitting in class at this nice little school thinking about painting her fingernails. Seriously - that is how the book starts.
And, then... And, then author Justin Ordonez, starts dropping subtle hints that something is wrong. Something happened to Sykosa - but, what? This book really snuck up on me. Because during the time that I was reading it, I would find myself thinking about it when I was driving or doing other things. I would be mulling it over, trying to put the pieces together.
Puzzle Piece 1 (from page 11): " Last year. It’s hard to discuss, and like a lot of things that’re hard to discuss, it’s pretty much the root of every issue in her life."
Puzzle Piece 2 (from page 20): "...she thinks of all the scars that are on his right hand..."
Ordonez masterfully drops just the right number of clues - enough to keep you hooked - but, not enough to let you figure out the mystery of what happened to Sykosa too soon! Meanwhile, he is also spinning a good coming-of-age story about a girl and her friends. Sex and drugs and family relationships are explored and explained in, what I think, is a really realistic manner. (However, this is NOT a book for minors.)
I liked this book! Once I got into it, it had depth and complicated characters, and that mysterious thread running through it.... What happened to Sykosa?!
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