Friday, August 19, 2016

Blog Tour - Character Facts & Review: Vicarious (Vicarious #1) by Paula Stokes

Vicarious Blog Tour banner
Hi guys! Welcome to my stop on the Vicarious Blog Tour! Today, I'll be sharing five facts about Winter along with my review!
Vicarious by Paula StokesVicarious
(Vicarious #1)
by Paula Stokes
August 16, 2016
336 pages

Goodreads Summary:
Winter Kim and her sister, Rose, have always been inseparable. Together, the two of them survived growing up in a Korean orphanage and being trafficked into the United States.
Now they work as digital stunt girls for Rose’s ex-boyfriend, Gideon, engaging in dangerous and enticing activities while recording their neural impulses for his Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs. Whether it’s bungee jumping, shark diving, or grinding up against celebrities at the city’s hottest dance clubs, Gideon can make it happen for you, for a price.
When Rose disappears and a ViSE recording of her murder is delivered to Gideon, Winter won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the neural recordings her sister made, Winter isn’t sure what to believe. To find out what happened to Rose, she’ll have to untangle what’s real from what only seems real, risking her life in the process.
Paula Stokes weaves together a series of mysteries and the story of an unbreakable bond between sisters in this unforgettable high-tech thrill ride.

Five facts about Winter Kim

1. Winter collects snow globes. The first one she ever got was plastic, a cheap toy given to her at Christmastime by the staff who worked in the orphanage where she lived as a little girl.

2. Winter uses exercise as a coping mechanism to lessen anxiety. She works out and practices martial arts quite frequently. She also runs stairs or does pushups when she feels stressed-out and unable to focus.

3. Gideon kept Winter isolated for a couple of years after bringing her and her sister, Rose, to St. Louis to start over. He chose to homeschool Winter via a rigorous online curriculum because she was agoraphobic and struggled with PTSD. As Winter became stronger, Gideon trained her in survival skills and involved her in his business of recording and selling Vicarious Sensory Experiences, or ViSEs.

4. Winter loves snow, and holiday decorations. There’s something about the grayness of the city blanketed in white, shiny boxes wrapped and placed beneath trees, and store windows decked out for the holidays that feels almost magical to her.

5. Winter wants to trust her ViSE recording partner Jesse Ramirez, who is open about having feelings for her. But Jesse would be the first person besides Rose and Gideon that Winter has let into her life since starting over. That’s a big step for her, and she’s not sure she’s ready.

Vicarious was a surprisingly dark read but Ms. Paula Stokes sure knows how to write a thriller that keeps you on your toes. This book was such a riveting experience. So chock-full of unexpected. It was one shock after another towards the end.

So I had a bit of a hard time getting into Vicarious at the beginning. That started to change as I had a chance to understand Winter better. The darker content of the story definitely set the mood for a sobering one. Add in the search for a killer, I couldn't wait to find out what this book had in store. It's also awesome to see an Asian culture depiction done right. I may not be Korean but trust me when I say, from my experience (binge-watching K-dramas, socializing with Korean friends, etc.), Paula does a wonderful job.

I cannot imagine the horrors Winter went through but knowing she always had her sister by her side made it much more bearable. Their bond was unbreakable. Having sisters myself I understood that. Their support means the world to me. I also loved seeing Winter's unwavering belief in Gideon. Even with no blood relations, she treated him with respect and trusted him with her life.

The romance was quite a driving force in the story. For obvious reasons, Winter shies away from intimacy. This doesn't stop Jesse as he genuinely cares for her. It was sweet even if they hit some rough patches. He always had her back.

This ViSE technology is amazing. Just imagining the possibilities is mind-blowing. While reading the book, I felt like it was truly a real thing in our world. I applaud Paula for her thorough research and detailed explanation. Another instance where Paula's accuracy shines through is when Winter goes Snuba-ing. Having tried Snuba myself, I can say Winter's experience is very authentic. It was exactly what I experienced.

There's a huge plot twist in Vicarious that I cannot say anything about. Not a peep but just know I had a "holy s**t, no way" moment. It was elaborate and remarkably well-executed. A gamer changer that pivoted the book in another direction.

The ending provides a satisfying conclusion, wrapping up all the loose bits but at the same time presenting you with more to look forward to in the future. I'm dying to know what will happen to these characters. For now, I'll settle for guessing the title of the sequel. Does it also start with a V?

4 Cats
*I won an ARC of this book from the author. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.

Paula StokesAuthor bio:
Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts. She’s the author of several novels, most recently Vicarious and Girl Against the Universe. Her writing has been translated into eleven foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.
Tour Schedule:
Mon. 8/15 - Introduction + tour schedule                      
Tues. 8/16 - Writing outside my perspective: Part 1
Wed. 8/17 - Review + interview with Paula 
Thurs. 8/18 - Writing outside my perspective: Part 2
Fri. 8/19 - Review + five facts about Winter  <- You're here!

Mon. 8/22 - Writing outside my perspective: Part 3
Tues. 8/23 - Review + five facts about Jesse
Wed. 8/24 - Writing outside my perspective: Part 4
Thurs. 8/25 - Review + five facts about Rose
Fri. 8/26 - Writing outside my perspective: Part 5


  1. And you did guess the title right! =D

    1. I couldn't believe it! I don't think I've ever been this lucky but it just sounded so right so I had to guess it XP

  2. It would be pretty ironic if a girl named Winter would hate snow, right? Hahaha read and loved the book as well, and I totally agree- ViSE technology is so cool!


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