Broken Symmetry by Dan Rix

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Kindle Price: Free!

Official Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Blaire Adams can walk through mirrors.
It’s called breaking symmetry. To her, a mirror feels like a film of honey. She can reach through it, grab things…even step inside.
On the other side she lives every teenager’s fantasy: a universe all her own, zero consequences. She can kiss the hot guy, break into La Jolla mansions, steal things…even kill. When finished, she just steps back into reality and smashes the mirror—and in an instant erases every stupid thing she did. Gone. It never happened.
But breaking symmetry is also dangerous. First there’s the drug-like rush she gets when passing through the glass, like a shot of adrenaline. She suspects it’s degrading her body, making a new copy of her each time. A reflection of a reflection, each one a little hazier. Then, of course, there’s the risk of getting cut off from reality.
When she narrowly escapes a military quarantine zone with the San Diego Police Department hot on her heels only to discover her escape mirror littering the floor in shards, her worst fear is realized. Now, trapped in a broken reflection, she must flee through a mind-bending maze of mirrors, going deeper into the nightmare as she struggles to grasp a betrayal, uncover the chilling truth about her ability, and somehow find a way out of a dead-end universe that “never happened.”
Somehow, she must find a way home.

My Review:

I wish I could have thoroughly enjoyed this. I really do.

A while back, I read a book about time travel/leaping (A Time to Reap) and I sincerely enjoyed it. I gave it a four-out-of-five stars review and recommended it. Time travel can get complicated very quickly because it’s a very complicated subject. Likewise, the concept of traveling within mirrors is a complicated subject as well. So why did A Time to Reap receive 4/5 stars, but Broken Symmetry received 2.5/5?

The low rating has three reasons. One: I didn’t understand it. Maybe complicated topics lose me as easily as I lose my chapstick, but I was able to keep up in A Time to Reap. In Broken Symmetry, a lot of things were lost to me. Why? Because it was poorly explained. As a reader, I learn along with Blaire; what she knows, I know. At least, that’s how it was supposed to be. Somehow, Blaire is able to understand what Damien (I’ll go over the characters later) tells her without much trouble, but I was left behind. As they walked through the plot, I was left on the other side of the mirror, still trying to figure out how to get my hand to go through. It was frustrating and unfair because it left me having to decide if I wanted to re-read the same paragraphs three times or continue on and hope I’m not missing valuable information. In the end, I was able to make it through the story without understanding it all, but that didn’t make it any less frustrating. Unlike in novellas, short stories, or novelettes, there was plenty of time to really explain how this “mirror jumping” business worked. Instead, Damien would smirk, tell Blaire something in one to three lines of dialogue, and Blaire’s mind would shrug and understand it. On the other side of the page, to my brain, Damien was explaining quantum physics to me and Blaire, who is a quantum physics expert, and as she nods along, I’m still reading the first paragraph of the Wikipedia page. How fair is that? At least there wasn’t an exam.

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Summer Unplugged by Amy Sparling

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Price: Free!

Official Rating: 2/5

Synopsis:

“Bayleigh is addicted to her cell phone and her mom has had enough. After catching her sending a less than lady-like photo to a boy who barely knows her, Bayleigh’s mom sends her away to her grandparent’s house for the summer–sans cell phone, laptop and Ipod. Bayleigh thinks the summer will be torture without social media…that is until she meets the boy next door.”

My review:

I had high hopes that this would be a cute romance book about a girl who gets sent to her grandparents and finds love. However, the book took a different turn.

Bayleigh is an immature teenager, and this book is a perfect example of a teenager way too attached to technology, an unhealthy relationship, and poor common sense. I cringed at the way that Bayleigh responded to certain situations and decisions, but I understand that her responses were realistic. (spoiler) A few examples were Bayleigh giving into the peer pressure to send her boyfriend a photo of herself in her bra, Bayleigh feeling betrayed and angry that she is grounded to her grandparents’ home placed “in the middle of nowhere”, and Bayleigh’s (a bit desperate) interest in the hot guy that lives next door to her.

I didn’t enjoy the book until a while after I finished it and I realized what might have been the purpose of this book. Although, I wish that Bayleigh had connected with her grandparents. I would have liked to see her attitude change from “boy-crazed” to “enjoying the simple things in life”. Speaking as someone who has lost both of her grandfathers, I would have enjoyed the book more if Bayleigh had had gradual character development that not only helped her realize her self-worth, but to also realize that the precious time she has with her grandparents (and other family members) is just that, precious. I feel like while she did realize her self-worth, she missed the whole point of being grounded. She still managed to spend time with a boy, (spoiler) and I doubt her Mom would have appreciated finding out that she got drunk with him after a few days of knowing him, and didn’t really learn anything from being sent to her grandparents. Instead, she’s hung up on the fact that Jace won’t be with her once she goes back home  (spoiler) which turns out to be resolved when he ends up living thirty minutes away from. Sent from home because she was being inappropriate with her boyfriend and disrespectful, comes home with a new one, albeit, a seemingly better one.

Would I recommend it? Possibly. I would recommend it as a book for people to read to raise awareness on how peer pressure works and realizing how much you’re worth despite what someone you feel is close to you is saying or doing to try to convince you of otherwise.