Review: Schasm by Shari J. Ryan

August 20, 2014 3 stars, Book Review 22 ★★★

Review: Schasm by Shari J. RyanSchasm by Shari J. Ryan
Series: Schasm #1
on January 25, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 246
Format: eBook
Source: Author

*This book was provided by the Author for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

What happens when two worlds collide? Chloe Valcourt drifts between two worlds: the dark reality of her horrible parents and doctors versus the vivid fantasy of her imagination. A chance encounter with a handsome and vaguely familiar young man in her dream world hints at the possibility of hidden truths—and a life she can’t remember. As her drifts become a greater escape from the cruelty of the real world, Chloe finds herself lost between what is real and what is imagined, questioning her very existence. Can she remain in the lush new imagined landscape to find happiness in a realm of her own invention? Is she doomed to return to the harsh reality of the outside world forever? Or will she become trapped somewhere between the two…unable to return to either? A thriller guaranteed to make your mind spin, Schasm is a young adult novel destined to change how you view the power of your mind.


“It’s something like a daydream, only when I’m there, the world is as real as this one”

Schasm was a confusing rollercoaster, so let’s just start with:

THE GOOD : Upon reading this novel, I was intrigued by the idea of “drifting,” the ability to separate body and mind, where the mind “drifts” into another world. Great plot involving this as it seemed like a cross-breed of Bioshock Infinite and Inception. If you’ve never played the game Bioshock Infinite, there is a character named Elizabeth who has the ability to form different portals that lead to different dimensions and alternate realities. The game is brilliant. Each alternate reality is affected by the decisions you make. 

Instead of Chloe forming these dimensions in real life, she loses consciousness and uses her mind to travel to these locations (Paris being one of them). This is where it gets a little Inception-like…to the point where everything is a dream within a dream (especially towards the end). It’s very confusing trying to figure out what exactly is real and what is her fictional imagination. Those parts I found to be the most insightful and interesting.

THE BAD : I couldn’t connect with any of the characters. NONE. Chloe is a very bland character and her male counter-part made me want to gag. I hated her controlling mom, but I hated more that I couldn’t understand her mom’s decisions. There was no purpose for the way she treated her daughter (because she wanted to marry and have a normal life didn’t seem like much of a reason). If she was evil or greedy or wanted to abandon her child, then show it. It seemed like she didn’t care for her daughter at all with no reason behind it. Chloe doesn’t add any idea of why and only comments on how fake her mother is. 

Chloe has no hobbies. NONE. What does she do all day? Did she even go to school or was home-schooled since this drifting was such a problem? I know that she’s 19, but the style of writing and the way she reacts to problems make her seem much younger. (This story definitely had the paranormal YA romance feeling). The only thing I liked about her was that she thought her decisions through. She wasn’t the dumb heroine that just goes along with anything that comes her way (Kudos for that!).

And Alex..UGH…Just the romance in this story was a major cheese-fest. I went, “WHAT THE CHEESE?” multiple times.

“Did I take your breath away?” I ask.
His eyes look soft. “You always have.”

GAAAAAAAAG–to be fair this quote was toward the end of the book, but still, I felt like the romance popped out of nowhere. I know that they were friends before, but I think there should have been more focus on the time they spent BEFORE all the crap happens. Maybe even a few scenes on HOW he fell in love with her or WHY he fell in love with her. OR I could have done without the whole romance and them just being good friends and it would have been just fine.

Also, lots of typos and grammar errors (I usually don’t mention this, because I really don’t care), but it bothered me enough to mention.

THE UGLY : Questions upon questions upon QUESTIONS, UNANSWERED. What does Chloe do on her spare time? Drift? She’s 19, no college or job or school or hobbies? (There could be a reason behind this…maybe she’s been in a mental institution all this time, since she was 7–just a theory). What does her family do (no explanation of either parents employment)? How are they able to pay her medical bills? Those aren’t cheap y’know. No mention of any technological advances (phones, computers, internet–also made me question the time period). If she doesn’t know about art, music, or literature and film, how the hell does she know what Paris looks like in the 1940s?! And she knows French? How? ALL UNANSWERED.

There were a handful of times where I was thinking, wait how the heck did she get there? *Goes back to reread* This doesn’t make any sense? What? How are there two? *Goes back to reread* … it was all very confusing. But I kind of liked that it was that way. That’s the way the mind works. I’ll wait for the next book for a clearer explanation, but overall…not bad.

But that HORRIBLE cliffhanger almost made me give it a two-stars. I restrained myself.

22 Responses to “Review: Schasm by Shari J. Ryan”

    • Kat

      I was surprised there weren’t any, but maybe it was supposed to show how confined she was in her home. It bothered me none-the-less.
      Kat recently posted…Bound to AcceptMy Profile

  1. Wendell

    Great review! The concept of drifting sounds really interesting. Thanks for putting this one on my radar.

    • Kat

      Thanks! It was a bit on the interesting side. That part I liked the best actually, because it was a different take on mental illness.
      Kat recently posted…Bound to AcceptMy Profile

    • Kat

      All books can’t be great, sadly. At least everyone has their own opinions and some people may draw different connections to the characters in a story.
      Kat recently posted…Bound to AcceptMy Profile

    • Kat

      I wonder too really…in fact I would think that’s the best part about writing a character. Getting to know them and figuring out what they like to do and what they want in life. There was really none of that here and it was a little disappointing since the ideas were not too shabby 🙂
      Kat recently posted…Bound to AcceptMy Profile

  2. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    Characters make or break a book for me, so not being able to connect to ANY of them . . . yeah, no thanks. If I DO like the characters, then sometimes I can let unanswered questions slide . . . for awhile . . . but if I don’t like the characters . . . It’s like compounding interest, LOL. Great review, Kat. Thanks for saving me the headache.
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: If I Stay by Gayle FormanMy Profile

    • Kat

      Compounding interest is a wonderful analogy. I completely agree. There has to be at least a hint of something there for me to continue, but in this case there just wasn’t. I feel nothing 🙁

      Which means on to the next book!
      Kat recently posted…The TentMy Profile

  3. Lola @ Hit or Miss Books

    Man, that mother seems awful. And the fact that there is no reason behind her hating her daughter it’s even more horrible. And you didn’t connect with the characters, oh my! I don’t know how I could enjoy this book. Well it doesn’t look like it was too bad for you since the 3 stars. Sorry for the cliffhanger. Fab review, Kat. xx
    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books recently posted…Review: Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1) by Lori M. LeeMy Profile

    • Kat

      The ideas were great, that’s why I gave it a three. There are some great solid and intriguing ideas. The plot is a bit of a mindfuck and you know how I enjoy those, but yeah :/ Characters are a no-go, so I probably won’t be continuing. There is a reason for the mother hating her (it’s just not a very good one and I couldn’t really believe it–being a mom myself).
      Kat recently posted…The TentMy Profile

  4. Molly Mortensen

    Such a cool concept, sad that the execution failed. Hard to connect to character, cheesy romance and a confusing plot, no thanks. I appreciate your saving me from reading this one. 😉
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Red Rising NetgalleyMy Profile