Cover Image: Ricochet

Ricochet

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I loved this book! I will be recommending it to all my young adult readers! Thank you for this opportunity to connect books to their readers.
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This one had potential....a sort of YA version of Blake Crouch's Dark Matter. But it fizzled out for me and I lost interest. We see Tati/Ana/Tanya/Tatiana in four different versions of life and I liked seeing what was different in each version - sometimes big things, sometimes small things. There were themes of little events changing the course of someone's life, which made for some intriguing variations. 
However, I found myself flagging at around 50% and I didn't have the impetus to continue.
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DNF
Priya usually believed tati when it comes to anything related to school and academics. They were both academic achievers as their teachers used to say. They’re  competitive and eager to excel. Their nicknames at school were Smart and Smarter - although it was unclear who was smarter - The A Team, and the Einstein Twins. They didn’t mind, they welcomed it.  Tati did a saliva DNA sample and sent it to a  ancestry testing site as she was adopted and knew she was Russian but she wanted to know what else she may find.When the results came back they were inconclusive. Tati asked Priya if she even loved her but Priya said Tati knew her parents were conservative. Tati said it was getting harder and harder for her to understand them. Sleepovers at tati’s house were very loving and happy but sleepovers at Priya's were regulated to the friend zone. She added when Priya  stays at her house …. She doesn’t even know what they are. She was sorry but it wasn’t right. Than Priya said how many parents would be cool with them sleeping with their  lover in their own bed? Under their parents roof? Tati knew she was mad , she’d pushed too hard. It doesn’t take a whole lot to trigger feelings of insecurity in Tati. The doubting voice that tells her Priya does like her parents’ narrow minded  social beliefs. It was priya’s excuse to keep them a secret at school. Among their friends. Priya wants it both ways - all hers when she wanted tati and free as a bird when she doesn’t. Than her rational fights back -Priya loves her as no one else does. Than Priya asks if it was happening a seizure? She puts tati’s head in her lap and strokes her head and coos to her.But she can no longer hear. The tunnel appears where it’s always been before- just above hre. Beckoning her. Ana -they say she had another seizure but doesn’t remember it at all. But she was at the nurse's office at school. Nurse Pat asked if she had been taking her meds. Ana admits maybe she had skipped it a bit lately as it made her so tired . Ana can’t focus on anything. Nurse Pat said this was serious. It was her life. If she was going to skip doses because of the side effects. She needed to try something else. There was a lot of options. She had spent so much of her life trying to enter the magic rabbit hole, which is what Ana called the tunnel that appears at the end of her seizures. It’s irresistible  and yet always just out of reach.  School is the only thing that loves her back as much as she loved it, except her parents, of course.  Thanwhen  Ana goes back to class and she sees Priya . They share a lot of classes being the “smart girls.” Ana knows Priya respects her and she always been really nice. Ana hopes Priya doesn’t see whats he is trying to hide-how she really feels about Priya. Than she tells her teacher she knows what she going to do for her final project. So Mrs. Falco- her teacher - asked if she would share it with the class. So Ana states she knows she is adopted and her birth parents were Russian,  had talked it over with her parents and they were going to do one of the DNA kits that breaks down her ancestry background. Than write a paper about the forces and events in history that would have brought  her ancestors that weren’t Russian in contact with her Russian ancestor. With a her view that merges geography, history, science, and statics. Priya asked if she was okay she had heard she had a seizure , Ana said she could usually feel when a seizure was coming and sat down. 
I just couldn’t get into this book. I tried but it just wasn’t for me. I don't care for F/F relationships and I didn't realize that was what this book had I am not sure if I just missed that . I feel bad rating it but I have to so… Also this got confusing with Tati’s four selves . the pace was also slow as far as I am concerned. The story also just didn’t keep my interest. I am sure there are many who will love this it just wasn’t for me
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How do I review this? Because I don't wait to give a single thing away. I knew very little about this book. All I knew about this book was the first line of the blurb. (When seventeen-year-old Tati sends a saliva sample to a DNA ancestry testing site her results come back inconclusive.) That's all I needed to know to make me wait to read this book. So, if that line draws you in, stop reading the review or the blurb and wait till you can read the book yourself if you need more than, please finish this review. 

We start off by following Tati, a high school student starting of a project for school that has to do with her DNA. We soon learn that something is up when things start being weird. We learn about Parallel universes and mee Tati. I loved how we, the reader, learn about these different universes. I also like how we can see how one thing can totally change a person's life. 

Knowing that I only need that one like going in I didn't know and the Parallel universes or that the four need to team up to take out scientist aka their father. And I'm glad I didn't know those things because for me those were twists in the story that made it that more enjoyable. 

The only thing that would have made this better was something that happened at the ending, I just needed more info.

This was a wild pager-turner that shows the power of our choices. It's such a good read and hope many, many people enjoy it!
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Unusual, in that it's told from the viewpoints of four different versions of one 17-year-old girl, living in alternate realities. 

Two are living in America, with loving adoptive parents. Tati has a pretty idyllic life, apart from the fact that she has random and medically inexplicable seizures. Ana doesn't have it quite so good, but her life is OK. She has the seizures too. 

So does Tanya, who escaped from Russia with her increasingly mentally unstable mother, and isn't allowed to leave their run-down house. And so does Tatiana, who lives in luxury with her scientist father and aunt in her native Moscow. 

When the girls begin to cross between worlds, it sets off a suspenseful sequence of events in each of the realities, and nothing will ever be the same again for any of them. 

I was enjoying this up until the ending, which I felt short-changed most of the characters - especially the ones that had been most protagonistic. But it wasn't so disappointing as to drop a star, and for other readers it may work better than it did for me.
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I thought this one was a very cool. Ana, Tati, Tanya, Tatyana all have seizures and all have odd parallels that spring up in their lives - but are they really oddities or something more nefarious? Berla rolls this one out slowly but steadily and she kept my curiosity piqued throughout. The characters were different enough to keep all of their stories feeling fresh and entertaining and I loved the way little pop up details would ring similar - and manor ones ring incredibly dissonant - throughout. The revelations and conclusion came a little quicker than I would have liked but that's not a criticism so much as an observation on how I didn't want this one to end too quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely be looking for more from her!
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*thank you to Flux Publishing and to Netgalley for this free copy in exchange for an honest review*

Ricochet is a sci-fi story set in (what I’d say is the near future) where somehow 1 girl has had her DNA spliced into 4 separate persons: Tati, Ana, Tatyana, and Tanya. 

First thing that I find a bit problematic is that some characters share interactions with people of the same name, along different timelines (Tati and Ana both attend a school with a Priya and Andrew in attendance, but they aren’t the same people). This was a bit confusing but it made it hard to know who’s timeline I was in. 

Tanya and Tatyana don’t seem to have anything in common, and so their stories were easy to separate out. 

I feel like the ending was a bit rushed, but still a good tale nonetheless
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Tati. Ana. Tanya. Tatiana. Four girls, in four different worlds, linked by seizures, DNA and a science experiment started long ago. When Tati (and Ana) send their spit out for DNA analysis as part of a class project, the results that come back set them both off on a journey that will unravel secrets in their past and help them find one another.

An interesting sci-fi thriller, fast-paced and readable. Berla does a good job of giving each girl a different voice (even though they're all the same girl). Does the science make any sense? No. Does it matter? No. The storytelling gets a bit sloppy at the end (I wasn't entirely sure who was alive, and who was dead, and in what world), but definitely entertaining.
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*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review*

When I started reading this book, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I don't normally read sci-fi, but it sounded like an interesting premise. The beginning was slow for me, but it picked up after a few chapters. Unfortunately, this book hasn't drawn me into the genre any more than before. The world building and writing are both solid, but the characters all blended together for me. I think it would be a tricky feat for anyone, trying to portray what's essentially the same character, but in four different ways that make each memorable. Overall, I'm glad I gave the story a shot, but it just wasn't for me.
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This book was good. I am only giving it three stars because for about the first 10 chapters I was very confused on what was going on. And you really need to pay close attention to the names on every chapter. Once I caught on to what was going on and who was who it was a very good book. I will definitely read more books from this author because this author writes very well.
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**Received from netgalley for free in exchange for a fair review**

This book explores the multiverse from the points of view of 4 versions of Tatiana, all going by their own nickname. 

The Tatianas slowly discover one another and begins to unravel what is going on around them, solving mysteries of family ties, crazed medical experiments, and heartbreak. 

This book started out slow, in my opinion. This isn’t necessarily bad as you get to know each of the Tatianas and what her life is like. It takes nearly half the book but once things kick off, events really get moving along. For as much build up as there was of the girl’s lives I almost felt like the ending was too fast and that it did a disservice to two of them. The ending is satisfying if bittersweet but I enjoyed it.
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I’ll admit, the concept of the book appealed to me. And I won’t lie–Ricochet was a pretty okay book. That’s the problem. It was just pretty okay.

I get that Tati and her other selves are supposed to be the same person, but they all had different upbringings, so I feel like their narrative voices should be different, since they all react differently to situations. Tati, the “main” character, and Ana have the most similar lives, with minor differences, and they both live in the States. Tanya and Tatyana live drastically different lives and both live in Russia.

My main issues with this book can be summed up like this: unrealistic storytelling. When you’re reading a sci-fi or fantasy book, you want to be sucked into the world so that you suspend your disbelief. I was never sucked in. I always felt like a passerby in the story. The girls all had the exact same narrative voice, and the switching of POV was confusing because of that.

The relationships between the characters were never really genuine–I didn’t believe that Nurse Pat cared about Ana, or that Ana was sad about her (adopted, not the evil scientist) father’s death. I didn’t believe that Tatyana actually hated her father eventually (this father is the evil scientist).

And the author tried to include some LGBTQ+ in there, by having Tati and Priya date, and then having Ana crushing on her universe’s version of Priya, but the romance wasn’t believable. Tati and Priya just seemed like two cardboard cutouts. I wanted depth, and this book honestly didn’t have a lot of that.

I also didn’t like how the time periods seemed so discombobulated. Obviously, rural Russia and suburban US would be totally different, but I’ve been taking Russian for two years, and the differences the writer gave seem a little too drastic.

What did I like about the book? Well, it was a quick and easy read with an intriguing premise. There weren’t really any plot holes, and the way the ending resolved itself was rather nice. The book presented some interesting ideas, and I liked how it tried to include some information about seizures (although, disclaimer: a seizure will usually not send you into a tunnel where you find an AU version of yourself–or three AU versions. Just saying). It wasn’t a bad read, but the writing was a little one-dimensional, and it left me wanting more.
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The beginning was a tad slow. It did pick up for sure, but found certain parts to be confusing.  When I think of parallel universe I think it's me, but the opposite of me. It was weird having two of the characters almost living identical lives, so I would mix up who was who.
However, I think a lot of YA will love this book,it was very well written and has some great little twists.
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This books was a totally amazing read. I am not that much into sifi, but I enjoyed this one .it deals with parallel universes and does that well. The narration was good, especially while describing the scientific events or facts. science fictions sometimes lack the poetic appeal of a book which I look for, but this book didn't have that problem.  I liked the ending. It would make a good movie also.   
Really lucky to receive the arc from netgalley.
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This is a hard one for me because I don’t typically review books that I’m not crazy about. I went back and forth on wether to DNF this book a few times. It wasn’t all bad though and I had hopes it would get better. I absolutely loved the premise! It sounded very Orphan Black to me which I loved. The problems I had with the book was that it just wasn’t very well fleshed out. The characters didn’t feel fully developed. You didn’t get enough time with any one of them. I also felt like there could have been so much more to the story. It really could have done well with another 100-200 pages. I thought it was interesting that the person responsible was their father and so much more could have been done with that. Overall I’d give it 2 stars. Also, I’d like to say, just because I wasn’t a fan, doesn’t mean you wouldn’t like it. Like I said, the premise was a really good one if you’d like to give the book a try for yourself.
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Fans of Orphan Black will enjoy this one.

***I received this ARC courtesy of Netgallery in exchange for an honest review***

A 5 star book downgraded to 3 stars because of that ending. 

This was a very terrific book. I absolutely loved the premise but the ending left me wanting more.

Tatiana has been experiencing seizures since she was a kid, despite being on several medications. She has been tested and tested over again and their is no medical basis for her seizure. During her episodes she sees herself in a white tunnel. After she turns nineteen, she suddenly sees a girl that looks just like her, and she explores the belief of the alternate dimensions.

It was a bit slow to get into and it was also confusing. There were four girls in total and they all had variations of the name "Tatiana" so there was Tatyana, Ana, Tati, and Tanya, keeping them all figured out was hard even though there was a header at the beginning of each chapter. Also the secondary character also appeared in the alternative universe, so in one universe, Tatiana's birth mother would be Ana's birth mother's sister. Again it got confusing after a while.

The end I absolutely hated. I actually feel like this book could have been made into a series. It had the potential to be more but instead the author (view spoiler) Seriously. Terrible terrible idea. It just felt rushed, her dad and even Vadim could have featured more in it even though I would have hated it, it would have made the story more authentic.
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Ricochet was such a fun read! I loved the concept, it's something pretty unique that I haven't seen before in YA. And that cover.... just stunning. The pacing was fast, this was the kind of book you get through in two-three sessions because you're so eager to see where it goes. Learning about how different the four Tatiana variants were due to slight differences in their backstory was so interesting; the fact that they could even be entirely different nationalities because of one event really emphasised how much our choices matter. Looking at the acknowledgements and seeing that the author had contact with actual Russians to help with the characters was nice; there seems to be a big rise in Russian fiction in recent years and I've hated how most authors never actually learn anything about the culture. The class income gap and the stark contrast between the rich and the poor were quite accurate.

I did have a few problems though. In general, it just felt like the book wasn't developed enough. The ending felt very rushed and though I liked it, I felt that the storyline deserved two or three books instead of one. The plot didn't really go anywhere until the last 15% of the book, where it suddenly all happened at once. The love interest of the protagonist never got the time that she deserved, it seemed a real shame to have a wholesome lesbian relationship like that and just not take it anywere. Anthony was criminally underdeveloped. They were well-written people but lacked substance. There just wasn't enough time to get to know the characters well enough. There was no time to build up a sense of epicness because the story was over just as it began to get really interesting.

I also found the fact that all of the variants of Tati had pretty much the same name VERY confusing. I didn't catch onto it right away and spent the first half of the book mixing the characters up with one another constantly. Those beginning chapters feel kind of disjointed.

Despite the negatives though, I still believe Ricochet is worth a read if you're in the market for some light and fast YA entertainment with good LGBT rep that doesn't make being gay the central storyline.
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2.5 stars 

The book centers around the idea of parallel universes, with one girl, Tatiana, split into four versions of herself.  Each version suffers from something like seizures, which are revealed to be tunnels between the girls so they could (potentially) visit each other.  Tati has what the American audience would probably consider a pretty decent life: a girlfriend who loves her, (adoptive) parents who love her, amazing grades...not a care in the world beyond whether her girlfriend dropping the "I" from "I love you" means something *eyeroll*.  Ana and Tati's lives are the most parallel of the four girls, except that Ana hasn't asked out her crush yet and her dad is sick; on the other hand, she seems to have a better support system of friends than Tati.  Tanya's life is very different, living with her birth mother in Germany, hiding from her birth father.  She is sheltered from the rest of the world, only having contact with a kid name Victor.  Tatyana is closest to her, also sheltered from the rest of the world, but this time by her birth father, who experimented on her/them, and in luxurious surroundings.

With four versions of one girl, one might expect a little discussion of nature vs. nuture, but it isn't discussed at all.  Tanya is really the only POV that has a unique voice compared to the others; she also has the most agency despite being the only one who never visits anyone else (this may have been purposeful, since it is stated at one point by Tatyana's father that she is different from the others and easier for Tatyana to visit...though this is never expanded upon).  The Tatianas neither feel similar enough to be the same person in four different situations nor different enough to be four unique characters, and it was frustrating to have this premise and somehow be neither of these things.  Most of the POVs were so close that if I started in the middle of a chapter, I spent a while trying to figure out which girl's POV I was in.  This was especially true for Tati and Ana, whose situations were similar enough that I couldn't necessarily count on the people around them or their situations to clue me in, especially in the first half.

With four characters to introduce, the book begins slowly, and we're through two rounds of each character's POV before things start feeling like more than introduction...but that's a fourth of the book, which is a long time for your only conflict to be seizures (and made-up BS about whether your girlfriend loves you because she doesn't want to show PDA in front of her conservative parents who might disown her, which you explained to the audience before whining about it...).  This might have been okay, but once the action actually starts up, a lot of development is simply told to us.  Rather than seeing Tati and Ana develop a relationship once they've met, they both tell us about the relationship: how important it is to them, what happened over their meetings (which are described as if they've been meeting for months, even as other characters are living out a single day over several chapters), how it's transformed them (rather than showing us the transformation), plus they often repeat to the audience information they learned in those meetings even when it was information we experienced firsthand.  There's one chapter that consists of Tati telling *us* what Ana told *her* that she (and we) experienced, telling us how she's suddenly become less insecure now that she's met Ana, and telling us why she has the skill to visit Ana when the other girls don't have it.  

A lot of the story's development comes from others volunteering information to the girls.  Tatyana gets a letter that explains things to her, plus her dad's explanation.  Tanya is told her background from Victor's mom.  Ana is given information from government agents trying to stop the project that their father was heading. Tati gets information from someone her parents hired to find out her background.  They have small moments of agency, but for the most part the girls are led by other characters through the story (Tanya a little less than the others).  One needs look no further than Tatyana's list of things she needs to do to see how little she does--she looks for freedom from her aunt for 24 hours so she can investigate, not an escape from her father who has done this to her.  When he locks her up, she gives him attitude, but agrees to go along with what he wants.

Likewise, solutions to problems seem to show up out of nowhere, even when the girls supposedly had skills or knowledge beforehand.  Tati describes why she can easily visit Ana, but the background behind it had never been brought up before.  Tatyana talks about her love for Rosie (a previous housekeeper), but the smallest mention of the previous housekeeper had been made before, nothing that would imply a special connection.  There are more examples, but they may be spoilery. 

Meanwhile, elements are dropped that, in retrospect, don't make sense.  Tati is convinced that her blanket was always blue, but it is now pink, a color that she apparently hates, and a dog's collar switches color for her.  This is never explained.  It suggested, to me at least, that Tati was shifting from one universe to another, with minor differences between those universes.  But that is not what happens, and it never is explained why she would have a blanket that was a color she hates and why she wouldn't remember that being true.

On the other hand, it was fun to take the clues that each of the girls were receiving and try to guess what had happened to each to get them to where they were.  Is X person the same as Y person in another world?  What changed to make these girls' lives so (or not so) different?  This was a fun aspect of the mystery behind them, like trying to see the whole puzzle from small pieces.

The climax, while full of action and containing three of the four girls, feels very rushed.  Ana steps into it like an outsider, but she's the POV we're in for the action, so the entire climax feels very surreal, as if being observed through two sets of lenses: ours and Ana's.  Ana even gives us a safety net: she tells us she can just go back through her tunnel if things go wrong, thus lowering the sense of danger for the POV we're in.  Why not show us this part of the story from the POV of the girls who are really living it?

All in all, the book wasn't what I had hoped it would be from the description.  

*I received a copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
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I voluntarily read and reviewed and advanced copy of this book, received through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I had big hopes for this book. The idea of it was intriguing but I got lost in the details. It felt like a very long introduction of the characters without a real problem to solve or antagonist to face. 

The pace was slow, but the end was rushed and quite confusing, since it really didn’t because it really has not developed a real problem in history. From the beginning, a certain character is introduced as the “supreme antagonist”, without delving into the details that make him the protagonist's enemy or how he plans to carry out his "evil plan". The same thing happens with the protagonist, only this time is more complicated, since we are faced with several versions of the same character that coexist in different realities. Even though this was an interesting idea, I feel that it was not taken advantage of enough. The whole book is based on a narrative of a few days in the life of these characters, without really delving into what makes them different them. In spite of the fact that the end of the book is implied that it is the circumstances external to them that make them what they are, I would have liked to know them more, because I do not think this was enough to make them become who they are and who they might be in the future.

It was very confusing to read since the parallel universes were very difficult to keep up with. Also, it was not really engaging, it took me a long time to read it and most of the time I wanted to give up,
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This was a fun, fast paced story to dive into. While it was a little predictable, it was well written and thoughtful. I enjoyed the world building but could have used a little more character development.
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