author : alex london
pages : [hardcover] 384
memorable quote : Destiny is just the inevitable result of choice, from the choices that came before us to the choices we make. They are a river that can only flow in one direction.
favorite characters : syd & knox
Knox was born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. 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 Knox and Syd 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.
I heard a lot of buzz and good things about this book before I picked it up and I have to say that I think this series starter really lived up to my expectations, even if I thought it could have been left as a standalone when I finished it and wasn’t entirely sure there was going to be another book until I looked it up on Goodreads. Proxy was a really interesting premise, taking the idea that someone can be punished for another person’s mistakes and that would be considered the ‘punishment’ for the person who actually did something wrong. The injustice of this system boggled my mind and there were parts of the book that really made me question how something like this could actually work. But Knox and Syd seem to believe the city is one of the last surviving civilizations so I suppose refugees would do just about anything to survive, even if it means they will no longer have control over their lives.
I absolutely loved reading about Syd and sympathizing with him, especially because it seems like people are constantly telling him that he’s feeling too sorry for himself. His life has always been horrible. Living with the other poor people, there’s never enough food and they all live in filth and squalor. Comparing that to all of the high-tech gadgets that even Syd has makes it obvious that these people could easily be helped and cared for if the rich, the Patrons, cared to make them equals. Syd is just trying to survive and he doesn’t really see any hope in defeating the system. I love that he’s a completely unlikely hero. Unlike most YA books of this genre, there is no love interest for him. I hope some romance is included in book two, though because of the ending in this one I really can’t imagine where things will go next!
Speaking of that ending . . .
I never saw that coming. And it worked perfectly, and it made me sad and happy and gave me all of the feels that a great books should. So I’m 100% reading book two, even though I don’t know where things could go. I loved the second half of Proxy more than the first, probably because of the escalating action and plot twists, so I’m excited to read more from Alex London.