proxy : a whirlwind of a book

over New Years, I slept a lot, ate a lot of fruit and dark chocolate (because those are quickly becoming my comfort foods), and read a lot of books.


seriously. I think I read three or four books over two days. *facepalms* way to start the year with the expectation that you'll stay on track with your reading goals, Ely. although, if our internet continues to flake out on us, I may just do that.

I love a Tale of Two Cities. I read it for the first time for my junior year English class. My copy is riddled with theme notes, highlights, and question marks. I wrote an essay on the topic of promises in this novel, and to this day it's one of my favourites (after my comparison/contrast to Gabriel Syme and Lucian Gregory in The Man Who Was Thursday). so when I picked this book from a book award shelf at my library, I was thrilled to realize it was a subtle twist on that story.

and by subtle I mean one of the main character is named Sydney Carton. *shrugs* at least the backstory for that is interesting and creativity.

I see what you did there

in a dystopic story of sacrifice and guilt, Syd is the proxy for your local rich brat Knox, who gets away with anything he likes. Syd takes all the punishment for his patron and in turn slowly pays off his debt to the government and Knox's family. it's not ideal, but Syd has no other choice. he lays low, makes sure he keeps out of even more debt, and tries not to appear on any radar of any sort. when Knox screws up and someone dies, everything changes. suddenly, all that Syd dreamed and worked for is on the line, and he's not letting the system beat him this time. In an unfortunate twist of events, Syd and Knox collide and end up running for their lives--but it turns out there's more on the plate than they ever imagined. secrets, lies, and mystery wrap around who Sydney Carton is and why some want him dead and others would do anything to keep him alive.

basically Syd this whole part of the book

I genuinely like Syd. He is a protagonist and anti-hero (I think? he kind of gave that vibe, but I'm not 100% sure about that) that I can get behind. he's quiet, quick on his feet, and humble--but he's not afraid to fight for himself when it comes down to it. he's also very self-aware and conscious of how the world he lives in works, and he tries not to abuse that. he goes the hard way round, instead of taking the easy road.

if Syd is private and humble, Knox is the complete opposite. this little jerk is flamboyant, rebellious, and grabs attention wherever he goes. the more you know him, though, you realize that a lot of that is a shield hiding the anger and sadness of an abandoned child given too much power. one of the traits I appreciate the most about Knox is that the way he experiences guilt is genuine. he hates it, it makes him uncomfortable, and he refuses to wallow in the feeling, but there's no way to escape it. he accepts it quietly--potentially the only thing he does quietly.


SO MUCH happens in this book. there's a reason I called this a whirlwind of a book. we move from chase to chase to chase, but it never feels rushed or overwhelming. and even if a lot happens, it's not in a way where it's all action and no plot. there is so much plot. character development happens in a believable and exquisite way. I don't want to give any spoilers, but the ending was rather perfect. a lot happened very quickly, but I don't think it was too rushed or chaotic. it also brought things into a full circle, and I loved that. it was just enough of a cliff-hanger for me to be very excited about the next book. I need to put that on hold.

there was two things about Proxy that made me wiggle my eyebrows and frown a little. The character of Marie was necessary, but she seemed a little 2D, in my opinion. I liked her, but she went from an interesting character to the "rich girl fighting injustice for those lesser than she" trope very quickly. Maybe when I reread this book, I'll like her again and see a little more than that cliche, but right now I can definitely say she's my least favourite character. Even Egan beat her on that one. The other thing is a wee bit spoilery, so I'm sorry if my vague wording is confusing. basically, I saw the theme of *highlight for spoiler* Syd's blood and thus the switch between Syd and Knox at the beginning and didn't pick up on it. I'm not sure how I didn't. I seriously kicked myself for that one, because it was obvious. If I'd been paying a little more attention, everything would've been a tad bit more uninteresting, because once you see that theme, everything falls into place. still, I didn't notice, so mad props to author for distracting me with enough chase scenes and explosions that I didn't see it coming.

overall, Proxy is definitely #1 in my favourite books of 2016 (ehehehehehe...). We'll see if it stays there, because I'm reading Believarexic and it's breaking my heart in the best way possible. I highly recommend Proxy, as long as you can keep up with it all. also, can I sign a petition somewhere for well-written present day adaptations of classics? Proxy gave me so many Legend feels. *adds that series to my ever growing reread pile*

do you have any favourite classical rewrites? please tell me!!!  have you read Proxy? if so, how did you like it? and if you guys haven't read A Tale of Two Cities, go do it. Now.

you have been charged by me. do it. 

have a great weekend, guys!!

*dance parties away*


  1. I don't read many classics unfortunately, but I am slowly fixing that. I haven't read A Tale of Two cities, I suppose it would be best to read it before this one, considering it's a retelling. Sounds interesting.

    1. you could probably get by reading Proxy first, depending if you're a fan of classics. my roommate particularly hated A Tale of Two Cities, but I loved it. it's kind of an acquired taste. what classics have you read so far?

  2. Hah, I, actually...didn't enjoy A Tale of Two Cities that much when I read it last year. But that may have been because I was forced to read it for school? *shrugs* This book still sounds totally awesome and I'm putting it on my TBR for this year.

    1. my roommate was in the same boat as you...she hated it with a fury. that was the first thing we disagreed about, lol. but I totally get disliking books because you had to read them for school. I was that way with Emma, by Jane Austen, and basically all the G.A. Hinton books. *shivers*


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