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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

NICOLE'S REVIEW + Novel Nails #15: Proxy by Alex London

Title: Proxy
Author: Alex London
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: June 8 2013
Publishing House: Philomel
ISBN: 9780399257766
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked


Knox was born into one of the City's wealthiest families. As a Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want - the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death.

Syd is a Proxy, his life is not his own.

Then again, neither is Knox's. Knox and Syd have more in common than either would guess. So when both boys realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knox's father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys' resolve, and shine a blinding light  onto a world of those who owe and those who pay. Some debts, it turns out, cannot be repaid.

        (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


Just when I've been about to turn my back on dystopians this book comes along and manages to rekindle my love for the genre. With wonderfully nuanced characters and crazy plot twists I found myself engrossed in a world where the rich (Patrons) have everything and the poor are burdened with debt. 

Enter Knox, born to one of the wealthiest families he wants for nothing. He has money, looks and a Proxy to take all his punishments for him. He's all up for causing chaos because he knows he won't ever be blamed. But when Knox crashes a car and kills his passenger, his Proxy is set to die in his place. Syd, the Proxy, won't stand for it and runs. Caught in this tangle of lies and deception, Knox and Syd form an unlikely truce because to get out of this alive, they'll both need their wits about them.

Proxy is told in the alternating voices of Syd and Knox. Knox is your typical rich boy, spoiled, uncaring, entitled and always after his next conquest. Let me add that he's also an excellent hacker despite blundering about in school. He's the type of character I usually hate but London's characters aren't one-sided and being a spoiled brat isn't all Knox is. He's got issues with his father and the events that led to the death of his mother and his growth later on in the story is admirable. So while I did want to punch him in the face I as wanted to give him a hug and tell him that things'll get better.

Syd is Knox's Proxy. Every blunder and every mistake Knox commits, Syd is there to take punishment. Being a Proxy is a way for the poor to pay off their debt (school, medical bills, the like) and Syd was just the unlucky boy who got picked. Did I mention that he's also gay? I love how London didn't make such a fuss about Syd's being gay. It's not an Issue book, it's definitely a sci-fi/dystopian where the protagonist just so happens to be a boy who likes boys. Syd's also a special little butterfly - there's something in his blood that might just put an end to the social divide but he's going to need the help of the rebels to figure it all out.

London has created such a great book. It's got social issues, the divide between the poor and the rich is glaringly obvious; well crafted actions scenes and a bunch of cool tech that I wouldn't mind playing with. His characters are multidimensional, not flat paper dolls to be jerked around. The plot's all twisty and focuses on the unwitting friendship (sort of) between Syd and Knox. The ending was a surprise. I never expected the book to close on that note and I'll admit to feeling a little bereft after finishing the book. Do I recommend this book? Yes. YES. Pick up Guardian while you're at it.


For PH residents, Alex London is coming to the Philippines on Aug 30 for a book singing event. I can't wait to meet him. Seriously. You all need to read this book. The copy I have right now is from Fully Booked but I'll be snagging copies (YES, COPIES) from National Book Store. Buy your books there. See you at signing!

"Novel Nails" is a feature of the blog that showcases nail art inspired by books and their covers. Nail art will be created by either Michelle or Nicole and will be featured alongside their reviews.

This week's feature is Proxy by Alex London. I snagged a copy of the book as soon as it came out and it's shiny. It was the perfect opportunity to use my newly acquired bottle of OPI.
If you want to check out my other bookish manicures, visit my tumblr HERE or my instagram HERE

Nail polish used: 
OPI Push and Shove (It is so gloriously shiny)
MAC Flaming Rose

No fancy freehand designs this time around. These nails are way easy to do and who knows, I might be sporting these during the signing.

I didn't use any fancy tools to create this design. I just put on two coats of Push and Shove then whipped out Flaming Rose (but you can use whatever shade of red you'd like to use) and outlined my nail.

Closer look. They're as shiny as the book and I love my nail shape.

With the book again. Okay so it must be a trick of the light because the cover isn't yellow like that. Look at the first picture!

Look at these bad boys under the sun. I'm blinded.

Would you guys consider recreating this mani and will I be seeing you at signing? Tag @thetwinsread OR @novelnailsdesigns on Instagram and we can talk about books and nail polish. Glorious nail polish.


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