384p. Philomel. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-399-25776-6. ebook available.
Gr 8 Up—Knox is a "patron," a privileged and wealthy citizen of Mountain City. His only concerns are hacking, scoring with girls, and causing trouble while angering his bigwig dad. His proxy, a person who is contractually obligated to serve out Knox's punishments, is a gay teen. In exchange for working as a proxy, Syd is able to pay off his debts. When Knox accidentally kills a girl, 16 years at the Old Sterling Work Colony is too great a punishment for Syd to bear, so he escapes. An action-packed thrill ride ensues where Syd meets up with Knox, who helps him flee. As the pair dive further into their escape plan, new truths are revealed and a growing birthmark that preoccupies Syd turns out to be a secret message uploaded into his DNA by his father. Proxy is full of plot twists, and London creates a well-developed dystopian world. Initially, readers will have to overlook coincidental circumstances, such as the fact that Syd and Knox meet when their society forbids it and that they both play important roles in their world. However, the story's rhythm and complexities rush readers through these liberties, and London's novel will grab readers. Recommend it to students who are interested in tech-laden, dystopian science fiction.—Adrienne L. Strock, Chicago Public Library

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