Search This Blog

Sykosa by Justin Ordoñez

Monday, August 6, 2012
Sykosa (that's "sy"-as-in-"my" ko-sa) is a junior in high school. She belongs to an exclusive clique of girls called the "Queens." The leader is her best friend Niko. Their friendship has been strained lately because Tom—Sykosa's first boyfriend boyfriend—has gotten all serious about making her his pretty Prom princess. That is if he ever gets around to asking her. Before Prom, there's a party at Niko's cottage where parental supervision will be nil. He wants to have sex. She doesn't. He sometimes acts like that doesn't matter.
It matters.
Sykosa has a secret she has never told anyone about. Although, some people—Tom included—know anyway. It happened last year and it was big and she'll cry if she talks about it so she's done talking about it, okay? Never mind, it's nobody's business. Except it keeps happening, and it never stops. She doesn't want to deal with it. He does. She sometimes acts like that doesn't matter.
It matters.
"So that was Sykosa, Part I for me: gritty, intense and definitely not a book I'll forget anytime soon! It was so differently written. I wouldn't have expected to fall in love with the writing style but I did. It practically made me get under Sykosa's skin despite getting a dose of the perspectives of the other characters and there were parts that were so lyrical."
-- Ajoop @ On Books!
"**** - Ordoñez expertly captures the inner worlds of both genders with ease. He accurately depicts their moment-to-moment vacillations between confidence and uncertainty. The major and minor players represent complex human beings with intricate motivations. Ordoñez also pinpoints the essence of 'mean girls' with his insightful treatment of how Niko's fair-weather friendship affects Sykosa."
-- Jill Allen, Clarion ForeWord Review
"Sykosa makes for some compelling reading. Older teens and adults alike will enjoy Ordoñez's tale for its humor, realism and relatable protagonist."
-- Kirkus Indie Review

Goodreads Summary

Sykosa is a very frustrating and intricate young character.  She has had some sort of past trauma, but the reader never seems to really know what.  That past trauma dictates how she responds to her relationship with dreamy Tom, her boyfriend.  Sykosa is at that awkward age where she is on the cusp of adulthood.  She wants her relationship to go as deep as possible, but is unsure how to proceed and if she even wants to proceed.  Sykosa tells the reader her story in a raw, unadulterated voice.  She doesn't hold much back and delicate issues such as drugs and sex are touched upon.  Her character is very candid, almost as if writing in a diary.  The reader will likely have no problem connecting to her, but will have to make up his/her mind as to if he/she likes her. 

The book doesn't stay in the present, but flashes back to show the reader glimpses of chosen scenes.  Again, the reader doesn't really learn exactly why Sykosa seems afraid of intimacy and moving forward in her relationship, but the reader may get a fair idea.  Sykosa is in high school and the author does capture that environment and many characteristics one imagines high school students have.  Overall, the book was very interesting, but a little confusing.  This book is recommended to young adult/adult readers.

3 1/2 Stars

Find this book:
Barnes and Noble

Justin's Ordoñez's web site:
Justin Ordoñez's blog:
Justin's Ordoñez's Facebook:
Justin's Ordoñez's Twitter:
Justin's Ordoñez's Goodreads:
Sykosa Goodreads:
      Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:
Sykosa blog tour site:

    Justin's Ordonez's Bio:

Justin Ordoñez was born in Spain, raised in the mid-west, and currently lives in Seattle. He's nearly thirty years old, almost graduated from the University of Washington, and prefers to wait until TV shows come out on DVD so he can watch them in one-shot while playing iPad games. For fifteen years, he has written as a freelance writer,          occasionally doing pieces as interesting as an editorial, but frequently helping to craft professional documents or assisting in the writing of recommendation letters for people who have great praise for friends or colleagues and struggle to phrase it. Sykosa is his debut novel.
      Price: $12.95 paperback, $2.99 ebook
      Pages: 320
      ISBN: 9780985424312
      Publisher: TDS Publishing
      Release: March 2012
        Amazon paperback buy link
        Barnes and Noble paperback buy link
Kindle buy link

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.


  1. Krystal, thank you for reviewing Justin's book and for taking the time to get to know Sykosa.

  1. I also thank you for reading Sykosa! I'm always flattered when someone does, no matter what! I think some of the points you made were very valid. Sykosa can be a book that if it connects with you, it's a really special expierence. If it doesn't, it might not. It's true to my expierence as a young person, and to my group of friends, so that's what I tried to stick to!

  1. Lili said...:

    I have never heard of this book before, but it looks way interesting! And it's written by a male author! That within itself is like an anomaly these days.

    Thank you for sharing (: