Proxy by Alex London
"Knox was born into one of the City's wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want—the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death.
Syd is a Proxy. His life is not his own.
Then again, neither is Knox’s. Knox and Syd have more in common than either would guess. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knox’s father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay. Some debts, it turns out, cannot be repaid."- summary from Amazon
I will admit that I picked up this book because I heard it had a gay main character in it; I am not ashamed to say that that made me pick it up faster than I otherwise would have (I was also meeting the author at a signing, so there's that too...). But the gay factor is just a matter-of-fact aspect of Syd's character, and it's not mentioned too much past the beginning pages of the novel. Like with Scott Tracey's Witch Eyes trilogy, it's refreshing to read a book with a gay character that isn't about coming out, finding love, or anything like that (those obviously still have their place and I love reading, and writing, them, but it's nice to have stories that focus on other things too). That also doesn't stop me from writing a piece of Syd/Knox slash fan fiction.
London has created a very interesting world, and it really reminds me of the Legend series by Marie Lu (who blurbed this book). It's not necessarily similar, but they both kind of have the same gritty atmospheric quality to them. They're also both very action-packed and deal with teens running for their lives. I really enjoyed going back-and-forth between the two boys' perspectives and it was great getting to see into their heads and learn more about them that way.
Overall, I'm really glad I picked this book up and I'm so excited to read the sequel, Guardian, out this May, and see where the story's going after that crazy ending.
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.