Another review for Tonya Kuper's Anomaly, as a part of YA Bound Book Tours!
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…
(Spoilers will be in bold)
I really liked this book. A lot of twists and turns and unexpected events happened throughout this novel.
The story begins with Josie, who has just had the worst day ever, with her boyfriend dumping her on her birthday, and she's just wanting this day to end and move on with her life. She's a nerd who loves science and Big Bang Theory. Her parents are scientists, so their love for science gets passed down to her. She lives with her handicapped mother and little brother Eli. Her father is absent, Josie believing that he is away at some science business trip. Addition to that, she is the same age as her brother Nick when he died two years before.
And in comes the dark and mysterious Reid Wentworth on his motorcycle, long hair, and deep eyes.
That's when the narrative switches from Josie's point of view to Reid's, and the story trades places between the two characters. I thought that was pretty clever, because with some books, they do the double-pov, but it doesn't come across as well. But in Anomaly, it pulled off nicely.
Josie and her best friend Hannah sneak out and go to this party, where they meet Reid and his friend Santos. Reid pulls Josie away to explain that she and him are Oculi, a powerful human being able to manipulate reality. She has the power to Push and Retract objects from her mind and commit them into reality, also called Anomalies.
I, not being much of science fan, and accordance to all the scientific terms and words thrown in, had a bit of trouble understanding how Pushing and Retracting worked until Josie started her training with Reid and Santos on a mission to give this serum to the Vice President of the Science Awards Show. (Forgive me, I can't remember the exact name of the company).
And for her to find out that her parents were also Anomalies, that her mother lied to her all her life about her father's absence, brought me to tears at some points because I could really feel Josie's pain and confusion.
I cried even more when:
- she found out how Nick really died: from going crazy and got shot and fell in his car off a bridge. He also went against the Resistance [the rebellious group dedicated to living their own free will] to the Consortium [ the Anomaly/Pusher/Retractor's government dedicated to controlling them].
- When Josie screamed at her mother, "Neither Eli nor I will ever replace Nick, but we're alive. Act like it!" Tears streamed down my face during that entire scene of confronting her mother.
I liked the chemistry between Josie and Reid; it started as a brother-sister complex to growing into something more. And it helped that Reid knew Josie from his close friendship with Nick. Come to find out, Reid was with her even before they met; he disguised himself as Nick's best friend Cal, but when Nick died, Reid showed his true, authentic self to Josie. I thought Josie would be upset and angry at Reid for not telling her the truth, but she didn't. Her feelings actually intesified! Also, I liked how they didn't exactly say they loved each other, just really liked. I found that really refreshing to see a YA science-fiction story with romance in it that doesn't have their main characters in love right away. I feel like sometimes they fall in love very quickly and don't take the time to enjoy each moment between "like" and "love". So even though they had to dial down their growing feelings for each other because they had a task bigger than the both of them at hand, in the end, they still had a bond.
The ending!! OMG that ENDING killed me!! And I say it killed me because Josie's mother had her believe that she and Eli left her to fend for herself with this serum mission. The sheer sorrow and sadness Josie felt choked me up because she really believed that her family left without even saying goodbye. But to quickly get over that to finish the mission was inspiring to read. Santos' reveal as a traitor to the Resistance, and him being killed by Josie's extreme power was incredible, as well, because she finally realized the amount of capacity she had. But for her to find out the real way how Nick died was sad, too. And I didn't think she would forgive Reid, but she did because she knew deep down that he'd done it to protect her and her family.
In conclusion, Anomaly was a very good book. There's going to be two more books in this series, so I can't wait to read more of Josie and Reid's adventures. :)