Author: Jeanne Ryan
Reading Level: Young Adult
Released: March 3rd 2015
Review Source: Dial Books
A chance at the ultimate makeover means deadly consequences in this Sarah Dessen-meets-Robin Cook thriller
Aislyn suffers from crippling shyness—that is, until she’s offered a dose of Charisma, an underground gene therapy drug guaranteed to make her shine. The effects are instant. She’s charming, vivacious, and popular. But strangely, so are some other kids she knows. The media goes into a frenzy when the disease turns contagious, and then deadly, and the doctor who gave it to them disappears. Aislyn must find a way to stop it, before it's too late.
Part medical thriller, part social justice commentary, Charisma will have readers on the edge of their seats.
Charisma /kəˈrizmə/: compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.
What would you give up for a dose of CHARISMA?
I could’ve used a dose of Charisma while in high school. The fact that I used to inner cry while conducting a presentation in front of the class and stammer every five seconds. Yes, I would’ve loved to use a dose of Charisma, maybe two or three.
Given the opportunity to help with her shyness, Aislyn, who is extremely shy and suffers from panic attacks, did not hesitate nor asked questions. She dreamed in succeeding in life. She wanted the freedom. Not only to talk to a guy she had a crush since forever, but to also help her exceed in her education. She did not wonder what were the causes when a doctor suggested her to take a drug called “Charisma”. With no parental consent. An illegal act. But Aislyn had to gain so much from this. She did not think of the consequences. Especially when she realized the effects were immediate. She became the person she always wished to be. She was sociable, more confident and now she had the chance to speak her mind. A great mind that is.
But everything in this life is not free. One must always pay the consequences. Unfortunately, this drug would soon cause an epidemic. A very serious one that leads to death. Now that she had to seek medical help, this doctor disappeared, leaving no trace.
I wasn’t sure where this book would lead to. I do have to say I was impressed how soon I became consumed in this world. I loved getting in Aislyn’s mind. I felt connected with her. And I wanted her to succeed. She is intelligent to hide from the world. However, sometimes we have a lot to be thankful for. No matter what our personalities are. Whether we are likeable or not. We simply have to be thankful.
I really enjoyed Charisma. It’s entertaining and educational. It deals with gene therapy, which is a very controversial topic in our society. Most of all, I loved how real it felt. I do recommend this book to lovers of suspense and thriller.
These days, I still love Hawaii, but have found my home under the moody skies of the Pacific Northwest.