Published by Tycon Books on 22nd August 2013
Genres: Issues, Mental Health, New Adult, Romance
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
When reality utterly fails you, there is always the comfort of the land of dreams. Chloe Valcourt, a tormented nineteen-year-old young woman, has for twelve years hovered between a daily life dominated by an abusive mother and an imagined alternate world that exists only in her mind’s eye. Can she keep track of which is real—and whether or not she is real, too? Schasm is the mind-bending young adult romance by Shari J. Ryan that mines the heart of darkness, where one young woman seeks light in her own shimmering daydreams.
A psychological condition has captured the body, mind, and soul of Chloe, and thrust her into the hands of probing doctors at the continued mercy of her tyrannical mother. As she struggles to break free of the grim life into which she was born, she continues to suffer the daily assaults from her mother and the dispiriting weakness of her dejected father. When Chloe unexpectedly finds herself drawn into a new, warm life abundant in love and romance with a kindhearted man named Alex, the escape at last gives her a happiness that she's never been allowed to feel. However, when hidden truths reveal a life that she cannot remember, Chloe finds herself lost between what is real and what isn't.
Blending extreme daydreaming, alternating realities, and multiple personalities, Schasm is a gripping tale that treads the thin line between a harrowing reality and the captivating terrain of an imagined world. As Chloe plays too close to the edge of insanity, her multiple realities clash, leaving her to question everything, including her own existence. Anyone who relishes a flight of fancy with richly drawn characters and surprising twists of plot will be immersed in the strange new world of Schasm, where nothing is at it seems.
REVIEWED BY LIZ
*I received an eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review*
5 Remarkable Mind-Tripping Stars
Shari Ryan is a Genius! Brilliantly written. I loved every single letter, word, and page created by this fabulous authoress. A DEFINITE favorite read of 2013.
MC, Chloe has a wild out-of-the box imagination, or so the author would like you to think. See she has these “Realistic Dreams”. I say this because, well to put it in simplistic terms, Chloe is drawn to Alex, which many believe he is imaginary, completely in her messed up mind. He’s not real, he’s imaginary . . . . Right? She supposedly has this psychological condition that lands her in an institution.
I guess there’s a possibility that one day I’ll be able to have a life where love doesn’t appear and disappear every time I open or close my eyes
CHLOE (EMMA ROBERTS)
Chloe has been through hell and back for many years, most of her life, due to her cold-hearted, evil ridden mother. Her dad is useless as he is “controlled” by her mother. Chloe’s escape from her real life is in her dreams that consume her once she is sound asleep. She travels to another place in time, like a Jumper. The mind is fragile, but at the same time so complex. The amazing mind blogging thing is if Chloe is injured in her “Realistic Dreams”, she wakes up with everything that has been inflicted on her.
I see him standing by the window, looking out. He’s wearing a white button-down dress shirt, gray pinstriped slacks, and shiny brown leather shoes. I think I just learned what the phrase take my breath away means
Alex . . . Alex is everything to Chloe even if he is just an illusion of her fragile mind. He is the only thing that makes her happy and feels loved. He is her life line, and her other half.
I just want to evaporate into the sand with utter embarrassment after this beautiful-looking guy just saved me from drowning in only a few inches of water
ALEX (GREGG SULKIN)
Schasm . . . I admit, first thing I did was look up the definition of this intriguing word.
It’s non-existent, just like Chloe’s Alex. This mind-trip is unforgettable and steals your last breath when you think all is calm. You become part of Chloe and Alex. You might think you have understood the complexity of what is going on, but in one millisecond, you start to doubt yourself and feel like you are completely off the wall and on the brink of Insanity.
I believe Alex is a real human being . . . DO YOU?
He’s so . . . . . . . Beautiful.
I dare you to take this wild ride and find out yourself. Pray that no one commits you to an asylum too. By the time you reach the very last page, you will feel a profound loss. Your mind will never be right; your heart will lose a beat or a few million. You will NOT forget about Chloe and Alex… hoping everything will be okay….
Oh did I mention… you have to wait for Book Two… Palpitations are an understatement. . Take the risk; face this alternating reality with all you have. This will blow your mind to smithereens.
“Chloe, are you awake?” she yells up the stairs. “Do I need to come up there?”
“Yes, Mother,” I shout back. “I woke up at seven o’clock on the dot, just like I do every morning.”
My parents have made it clear that I have been a burden on them ever since I turned seven years old. Oddly enough, it was around the same time when I was diagnosed with this so-called condition.
My parents and doctors apparently think I have some kind of psychological anomaly that can be compared to schizophrenia. Although from my perspective, my symptoms don’t even come close to the symptoms of schizophrenia. So really, I don’t think they have any idea what’s up with me.
The doctors are good at always reminding me that my circumstances could be a lot worse than they are, and I should be thankful that they aren’t. But thankful or not, the doctors have still made it clear to my parents that I’m incapable of taking care of myself, and that’s the real kicker.
My capabilities have never bothered me like they bother my parents. Actually, I don’t even think anything is wrong with me, except for the fact that I’m not as normal as everyone else. And because I’ve been going to the same doctor since I was seven years old, second opinions aren’t an option when it comes to my mother. One person says I have an incurable condition, and that’s the word we’re evidently going to rely on forever. Well, that’s only until I figure out how to escape for good.
My skills are actually pretty useful in life. If I had to categorize my own condition, I’d place it under daydreaming. But I guess it’s more like extreme daydreaming, or mind-drifting as I call it. When I dream or drift, I find myself somewhere else better than where I am right now, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
However, I don’t think it’s the extreme daydreaming that threw my parents and doctors for a loop. They became overly concerned when I tried to convince them that I was able to inhabit a different kind of life within my mental escapes. I guess I just didn’t think it was a big deal to have this ability, but clearly they did.
Because of this, my parents will always treat my condition as if it will ruin my life. Along with that, they think they’re doing right by me by allowing me to live at home, rather than forcing me to live at the asylum. Am I supposed to appreciate them for that? Yeah, it’s great that they haven’t decided to send me off…yet. But they still treat me like a sick patient, just the same as the doctors do. So what’s the difference? They’ve even turned our house into a prison in an attempt to keep me from the outside world. My mother acts like I’m a threat to people, yet I’ve never hurt anyone. If anything, I can’t trust anyone in or outside of this house.
I’d like to think that I’m a pretty normal nineteen-year-old girl, but I guess the word normal goes away when you have capabilities that others don’t. I just wish I could have the chance to experience what life has to offer. But sadly, none of that is possible while I’m essentially handcuffed to my bedroom door and only let out for meals and doctors’ appointments. I’ll never have the opportunity to get out of here and take care of myself. Regardless of the fact that I’m of legal age to be on my own, I’ve been told that if I leave here, I will automatically become a ward of the state. I would officially become institutionalized, probably for life.
Finally taking the plunge, I shove my feet onto the arctic floor. It’s so cold! It’s even colder than it was yesterday. Who needs coffee? The chill from the floor sparks up to my neck, and it feels like electrical currents are bolting through my body, causing every strand of hair to stand at attention. I hate this place!
Afraid to see the mess caused by the static electricity, I sit down at the vanity that was given to me on my seventh birthday, and I look in the mirror to see the dreadful disarray that I have to deal with for the day. As usual, I notice the gray rings around my bulging eyes, which accent my perfectly monochromatic complexion. The only color that exists on my face is the redness of my dried and chapped lips. I snarl at my own reflection. I ruffle my fingers through my hair and push it all up in a pile on top of my head, while trying to figure out what to do with it. Although I guess it really doesn’t matter, because according to my mother, there’s no reason to get all dolled up just do go down to the asylum where my doctors await me.