Title: NARCOSIS ROOM
Author: Louise Cypress
Pub. Date: February 19, 2019
Publisher: Owl Hollow Press
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Total Recall meets Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies.
Sleep for three months and make your problems go away.
Ellie Savage is used to promises. Her dermatologist dad and her psychiatrist mom run the Narcosis Clinic, a medical facility famous for ultimate makeovers, where disturbing issues are resolved while patients are beautified. Clients like pop star Dean Mathews are grateful to narcosis for healing their deepest wounds. Ellie is her parents’ most ardent supporter until her dreams become a nightmare. Ellie discovers that her true self has been shredded to bits by the scalpel and the only way for Ellie to remember is to forget everything she thinks she knows.
“The relationship between Cole and Ellie is absorbing (it’s indisputably a mutual affection) while the twins’ dynamic–they’re supportive but playfully combative–is likewise effective. The plot eventually spins into thriller territory but shrewdly incorporates themes of parenting and self-confidence. Cypress’ prose throughout is colorful: a crowd getting into ‘a ginormous frenzy’ and Ellie walking ‘in a fog of convoluted memories and migraine medicine.’ Well-defined characters in a zigzagging medical tale rife with surprises.” —Kirkus
Jennifer Bardsley writes the parenting column “I Brake for Moms” for The Everett Daily Herald. You can find Jennifer on her website: http://JenniferBardsley.net or on her Facebook page: The YA Gal. An alumna of Stanford University, Jennifer lives in Edmonds, WA with her husband and two children.
Date read: 2/21/19
Rating: 4 stars
This book was pretty fast paced. Pretty much every chapter had something going on that changed the game, so it was really hard to find a place to stop so I could go to bed!
I have an issue with Ellie parents (okay, who wouldn’t). Like, why would they ever do all of that to their own daughter. I mean, yes, there were unfortunate circumstances that made a small part of it kind of necessary, and yes, it’s unfortunately very realistic that parents often aren’t happy with who their child truly is and it’s unfortunately not super uncommon for parents to try to force their children to be who they want, but Ellie’s mom took that crap to a whole nother level. Creepy McCreepy level.
Ellie was really annoying me with her “I just want to be normal” crap. Like obviously she was messed up, she knew her parents were doing it, she just wanted to ignore it, and I just don’t get that. I’m glad that she eventually got over that. Cole was great. I am so into how supportive he was of Ellie and their romance. It was weirdly fast/slow moving, but considering the circumstances, it makes sense.
On the other hand, I wasn’t so into Dean and Marley’s relationship. They only knew each other for a few days and already using the l word? Just… I’m not into that. As characters I did like them individually. I always love getting to see complexity in celebrity characters, and Dean had that. He was obviously a fantastic performer, but has issues when talking one on one with people. And I love Marley for eventually turning out to actually be a really great friend.
I don’t really understand that ending. I mean, I think I get what it’s trying to say is happening, but I don’t understand why. The main thing is I don’t think we got to know Olivia enough. But now I’m also thinking about what happened with Dean at the end, and it’s just a side effect. But also, we really just don’t know Olivia’s situation, so maybe a different/no epilogue would have been better? Oh, and Ursula’s little backstory could have used a bit more work. It just wasn’t enough to justify what she tried to do. And what even happened to her?
Final thoughts: Overall an interesting story with fun and real characters. Could have used a bit more to the ending, but the rest of the book was a fun and fast read!
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