Book Reviews · Briannas Reviews

Vicarious Review – My Heart, aka YOU NEED THIS BOOK NOW


Summary from

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. But they’ve escaped the past and started over in a new place where no one knows who they used to be.

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 is devastated. She won’t rest until she finds her sister’s killer. But when the clues she uncovers conflict with the digital 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.

Ever since reading Girl Against the Universe, Paula Stokes has been on my radar *evil laughter* Honestly, I was excited to read her new book Vicarious because her writing is just so beautiful. I was looking at the library for a book to read and I saw Vicarious, I didn’t know it was out so imagine my surprise when I checked it out and started to read it.

I was hooked from page one.

*Since I liked this book so much I decided to make a mood board!*


What I Liked

  • From the very first sentence to the last word, Vicarious managed to keep me wanting more. I could not put it down! I mostly credit that to Paula Stoke’s amazing writing, because she is a seriously fantastic writer. I’ll talk more about that in my next point….
  • The characters. Oh my goodness, don’t even get me started. Paula Stokes managed to create characters who weren’t one dimensional dry paper towels, they had life to them. Winter, Jesse, Rose, Gideon, every character in Vicarious had a life, they had a past that shaped them. I REALLY loved that! I liked how the focus of Vicarious was more on Winter and Rose than romance, which is a LOVELY thing. I don’t really like romance all that much, not a big fan of the “mature” scenes. Vicarious mostly stayed away from that, hence the focus on Winter and Rose.
  • Which brings me to Winter and Rose, two sisters from Korea. There aren’t a lot of siblings in books I read, actually, I think most books I read the characters don’t have siblings, or don’t spend much time with them. Winter and Rose were very close, they balanced each other out and took care of each other. I really loved seeing that, it was nice 🙂
  • Vicarious was an action packed thriller. It seemed like every chapter left me gasping, I NEEDED more. I had to know what was going to happen, I needed to know!
  • For people who like diversity, here is a book for you! Vicarious was about as diverse as it gets, there were people of all kinds of races and backgrounds, people with mental health issues and so on. This made Vicarious even more realistic, more relatable. The characters weren’t perfect, they had flaws, they fell and struggled and got back up again. THEY FELT REAL.
  • The ending… my goodness the ending. There was like four major plot twists, one of which I guessed. I was a bit disappointing that I guessed the one plot twist, but when the twists kept coming it didn’t seem so bad. And typically, I guess ALL the plot twists.

BUT it is important to note that Vicarious deals with some very heavy topics. I like these kinds of books because I feel like I can learn a lot from them, but sometimes people don’t want to read these books. Please look at my Trigger Warning and Content Warnings.


Content Warning: this is an action packed book so expect some fight scenes including guns, knives, and fists.


This is my new favorite mood board, I LOVE IT WITH ALL OF MY HEART. I love the colors, and the mood fits the book perfectly! I’m really bad at paying attention to character descriptions, but I think I did a pretty good job finding pictures for all of the main characters… but I might be biased.


2 thoughts on “Vicarious Review – My Heart, aka YOU NEED THIS BOOK NOW

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