Schasm Tour Stop! 2


 

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 dispiritingweakness 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.
Once in a great while you read a book that transports you to a place that you’d never thought you’d visit, simply because it’s a place that’s so dark, you don’t really want to go.  I fought a bit to get into this book, mostly because I was scared where it was going to take me.  But once I fell, I fell hard…and I couldn’t stop until it was all over.

 

Chloe Valcourt has had a difficult life.  She suffers from a mental condition similar  to schizophrenia where she enters into alternate realities and daydreams.  Her mother is emotionally and physically abusive to her, and keeps Chloe locked up only to be let out for doctor’s appointments.  In one of these realities she meets Alex.  He claims to suffer from the same malady as Chloe.  They find a confidant in one another, and quickly fall in love.

 

I won’t lie, this book totally plays with your mind.  I finished reading it a few days ago and had  to wait to write this review just so I could digest it.   I wasn’t sure what was real and what was fantasy, and I have to admit I’m still not sure.  That doesn’t detract from the book for me at all, because I enjoyed the serious mindf*#k that his presents, and it scores points for its originality.  I guarantee
you have never read anything like this.

 

The imagery of this book in incredible.  The author has a way of writing that places  you in Chloe’s shoes, unable to distinguish what is real and what isn’t.  I almost felt at one point that I was as crazy as Chloe seems to be, and I stopped trying to understand what I was reading and just went with it.  I think, like me, you won’t be able to put this book down.  4.5 stars!

The open snow-covered field is mesmerizing to look at, and as I stare at it while whizzing by, the snow begins to melt into a blur and turns into the texture of sand. The sand leads my eyes to a blue ocean, rather than the white sky, and the branches of pine trees curl outward as they turn into palm trees. I experience a brief sense of excitement, thinking I’m heading to my happy place, but it quickly becomes  overshadowed as I feel myself choking on water that’s now flooding through my mouth. With an attempt to clear my lungs and throat, I try to force myself to cough up the liquid, but instead of freeing my lungs I end up inhaling more, forcing me to choke even harder. I can’t breathe, and my vision is becoming so blurry that I’m unable to see anything other than some strange curvy lines. My once soothing thoughts are now turning into a panicked frenzy, and all I can do is try to breathe through the breaks of choking. But it seems useless since I just end up inhaling more water. I try to open my eyes again, but instead I become overwhelmed with a burning sensation similar to having soap in my eyes. This is ridiculous!  After what seems like an eternity with no air or sight, I regain  some of my vision. I quickly try to focus on what’s going on around me, but before I can make anything out, the scorching sensation returns again. A feeling of impending blackness comes over me as I succumb to the sensation of drowning, and I feel weightless and numb.  My body has stopped struggling, and I find some comfort lying on  whatever soft surface I appear to be on. As the  weakness continues to take over, lethargy begins to set in until I unexpectedly feel two arms underneath me. One arm slides under my legs and the other under my neck. I’m lifted up with ease and carried a few feet from where I was and then placed back down again. By turns, pressure is being applied to my chest and air is being blown into my mouth as my lips are soothed by a smooth,  dispassionate sensation. I feel the rush of trapped water racing up my lungs, through my esophagus, up through my throat, and out of my mouth. The movement fortunately allows me to gasp for air,  and after a few free breaths, I feel it’s safe to open my eyes. There’s a guy in front of me, and he’s dripping wet, kneeling over my body with a concerned look as he tries to catch his own breath.
“Are you okay?” he asks in a soft-spoken voice, his mouth  still only inches from mine.

I attempt to respond, but the only thing I can manage to do is cough up more water, right in his face. He swiftly lifts my head up off of the ground, forcing my airway to open a bit more, and it thankfully seems to help with the choking. After another grueling minute of coughing up more water, I look around and see that I’m sitting just a few feet away from the ocean. I also notice a surrounding crowd of people gawking at me with alarmed looks.

 

Shari J. Ryan has always dreamt of becoming an author and finally decided it was time to pursue her lifelong aspiration by writing her debut young adult novel, Schasm. She has long nurtured a  passion for art, reading, and writing, and those hobbies have become a mental escape from her busy life. In the past year, she has put her heart and soul into the creation of her novel, which has taught her that it is never too late and nothing is too hard. The author graduated with a  bachelors of science degree from Johnson & Wales University and has written hundreds of articles for various online publications. She is married with two sons.

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