Wednesday, August 22, 2012

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR & GIVEAWAY: Sykosa by Justin Ordoñez

Sykosa (that's "sy"-as-in-"my" ko-sa) is a sixteen-year-old girl trying to reclaim her identity after an act of violence shatters her life and the life of her friends. This process is complicated by her best friend, Niko, a hyper-ambitious, type-A personality who has started to war with other girls for social supremacy of their school, a prestigious preparatory academy in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. To compensate, Sykosa has decided to fall in love with her new boyfriend, Tom, who was involved in the act of violence. Propelled by survivor guilt, an anxiety disorder, and her hunger for Tom and his charms, Sykosa attends a weekend-long, unchaperoned party at Niko's posh vacation cottage, where she will finally confront Niko on their friendship, her indecision about her friends and their involvement in the act of violence, and she will make the biggest decision of her life—whether or not she wants to lose her virginity to Tom. YA fiction for the 18+ crowd.

Justin Ordoñez was born in Spain, raised in the mid-west, and currently lives in Seattle. He's nearly thirty years old, almost graduated from the University of Washington, and prefers to wait until TV shows come out on DVD so he can watch them in one-shot while playing iPad games. For fifteen years, he has written as a freelance writer, occasionally doing pieces as interesting as an editorial, but frequently helping to craft professional documents or assisting in the writing of recommendation letters for people who have great praise for friends or colleagues and struggle to phrase it. Sykosa is his debut novel.

"… gritty, intense and definitely not a book I'll forget anytime soon! It was so differently written. I wouldn't have expected to fall in love with the writing style but I did. It practically made me get under Sykosa's skin despite getting a dose of the perspectives of the other characters and there were parts that were so lyrical." ~ On Books

"Justin Ordonez’s debut novel, Sykosa Part 1: Junior Year, disproves the old saw that youth is wasted on the young. He adroitly delves into the minds and social lives of his titular sixteen-year-old protagonist and her peers, showing that young people wrestle with tough decisions just like adults do." ~Clarion ForeWord Reviews

"Sykosa makes for some compelling reading. Older teens and adults alike will enjoy Ordoñez's tale for its humor, realism and relatable protagonist."
~ Kirkus Indie Review

Everything is too complicated. It should not have to be. She goes behind the chapel. He goes behind the chapel. They make out. Simple, right? It’s not. Regardless, if even that must be complicated, then certainly the concept that she wants to go to Prom, thus he should ask her to Prom and then they should go to Prom is simple, right? It’s not. You see, he has this best friend, this confidante, this main focus, this everything—and her name is not Sykosa, but Mackenzie.
Or as you will soon find out: “M.” That’s what he calls her.
So, every day, she faces the fact that they are merely acquaintances. Two pigeons in a flock of nine hundred who dress the same, talk the same, and act the same. That’s okay. Pigeons are only pigeons because conformity is only conformity. It’s okay to be like everyone else so long as she is always herself. And that is the reason, because there is no other reason, why she makes out with this boy. Other than she likes it. Kissing is fun. She’s lying. There is another reason. Another trivial teenage doodad—when she talks to him, lame as it sounds, she feels like she is being herself.
Tom’s never understood this. He sees no issue in how she feels like a phoenix, but is only regarded as a pigeon—and not only a pigeon, but one pigeon in a flock of… Never mind, conformity sucks!

Links: Goodreads l Amazon l Barnes & Noble l Facebook l Twitter l Website

You can check out the rest of the tour stops at Goddess Fish Promotions

***Justin will be giving away a $50 gift card to one randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour.***


  1. Replies
    1. My pleasure! I'm really looking forward to reading Sykosa!

  2. Replies
    1. Glad you like the cover. It'd been a bit hit or miss but I love it!

    2. I love the cover as well. Really looking forward to reading it!

  3. Thanks so much for the excerpt! I love Excerpts!

    1. It's a bit tiny, if you want to try out more, has the first forty pages.

  4. The cover is so unique, I like it!
    verusbognar (at) gmail (dot) com

    1. Glad you like it! People like the cover today, I'm happy about that!

  5. Thank you for the excerpt.

  6. It sounds like a really intriguing story.


  7. Justin...It is an unusual cover. Is it a pencil drawing? What does it represent? Did you have control over it or was it "sourced out"?
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. It is a pencil drawing, though I don't know what type, or the paper it was done on. It was done by an artist in Seattle named D'artagnan Lawley. If you want to see the original, go here: (It is the fourth sketch). After that, I created many sheets of graphite smudges and had them professionally photographed (despite what I was told by many, the "plug-in" in GIMP did a terrible job and I couldn't use it), then layered them against the drawing.

      It represents "last year," the major plot device and mystery from the novel. It is discussed vaguely since Sykosa's emotional trauma and anxiety make it near impossible to discuss it, so this gives the reader an image to provide some context for it.

      I did have control over it. It's very much my baby. It got a bit pricey because I used a different artist, a professional calligrapher, for the Sykosa logo, and that took a very long time, and there were many, many adjustments and I could write a blog post about the process. It was worth it in the end, but these days, people are used to only spending a few hundred on a cover, and mine probably exceeded that by another few hundred.

      Hope I didn't get too technical or rant-y!

  8. Excellent reviews & I did enjoy the excerpt thank you.



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