Lys is about to give up, when the mysterious Jeremiah Mason appears. He assures Lys that she's not crazy, she's addicted to a rare and deadly drug she swears she's never used. He offers hope, in the form of his recovery facility.
Afraid of who she will hurt next, Lys agrees to go. At the old hospital, Lys finds that the other addicts have even more frightening Needs than she does. She and Kamau, a tall, handsome seventeen-year-old from Africa, discover that Mason has not been honest about their condition. When Lys starts seeing visions, she and Kamau are thrown headfirst into a world of unbelievable powers and dangerous possibilities.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)|
Read an Excerpt
By Jo Schneider
Jolly Fish PressCopyright © 2014 Jo Schneider
All rights reserved.
LYSANDRA BLAKE chose to dwell on the peeling corner of the flowered wallpaper instead of why she sat imprisoned in the psych ward. Yet another tear balled in the corner of her good eye. She rubbed her cheek on her shoulder, expanding the already dark, damp spot on her pink hospital gown. Closing her eye, Lys took a breath, allowing the drugs the doctors gave her to do their job and keep her numb. She preferred the feeling of floating on the ocean, gently bobbing over the waves, to facing the fear, pain, and horror of the last week.
It didn't help.
Another tear came, and she tried to wipe it away, but the Velcro straps that bound her wrists to the bed stopped her. Red, raw rings circled her arms where the straps bit into her skin despite the padding around the edges, and each time she moved, she felt the unforgiving plastic dig in deeper, as if they meant to latch onto her bones. Out of spite, she jerked her arms around. The pulling didn't help, but she did it anyway. She knew she should be grateful — restrained, she couldn't hurt anyone else. But somehow that knowledge didn't make being tied down like a caged animal any easier to bear.
The door to her mental ward opened with a squeak. "Lys?"
Lys turned her head to see her dad walk in. Wrinkles covered his usually immaculate suit, his tie hung loosely around his neck. His dark hair poked out as if he'd been running his hands through it. "How's my little girl?" he asked, scratching the stubble on his chin.
She raised an eyebrow. "Little girl?"
"Well, I can't call you old," he said. "That would make me ancient."
"You are ancient," Lys teased, more out of habit than actual humor. She didn't feel much like laughing at the moment.
"The ingratitude," he said, waggling a finger. Lys noticed that he left plenty of space between them.
She tried to ignore it. "Teenagers," Lys said, shaking her head in sympathy. The grin on her dad's face grew more natural, less forced. His eyes held sympathy and love. Two emotions Lys knew she didn't deserve.
Her insides churned, and Lys averted her gaze — she didn't mean to look at her father's eyes, but she felt drawn to them like moths to a flame. Even though she knew it was a bad idea, even though she knew it would lead to the Need which would lead to her trying to rip someone else's eyes out.
She didn't want to think about that. "So, what's a nice guy like you doing in a place like this?" she asked, focusing on the gold chain of his tie tack.
The top half of him leaned forward, as if to move, but his legs remained riveted in place. She saw his chest rise and fall with the intake of a breath before he walked over and pulled a tissue from the box on the bedside table. "I heard they have killer food here." He sat down in a chair, and after another breath, he slowly reached out toward her face and dabbed her tears away. "Do you have any recommendations?"
Lys held perfectly still, afraid that she might frighten him away. He hadn't been this close since she'd arrived. "Well, I'd have to say the green Jell-O. I just can't help myself — you know what it does to me." The words came out clunky.
This elicited a small snort. "And here I thought it might be the peanut butter bars."
"They only give you those if you're good." The tight ball in her chest unraveled a tiny bit. Lys didn't think that having to be physically restrained qualified her as being good, but having her dad sit next to her allowed a tiny ray of hope through her despair. Hope that couldn't last. Would she ever get to leave this room again?
"This sucks," she whispered.
He nodded. "Yeah, it does."
Why was this happening to her? She'd been living her life — shopping, hanging out with her friends, going to high school — and then she'd ... what? Gone crazy? Psychotic? Berserk? Reason told her she was crazy, but if she was crazy, could she trust reason?
"Honey." He put his hand on her forehead, his fingers trembling slightly. "Honey, look at me." His voice was serious. "Please, Lys, we need to talk."
Lys shifted her gaze to the wall where she caught a glimpse of her long, dark hair and pale face in the mirror. She glared at herself. "I'm tired of talking."
"I know." Her dad hesitated. "But things have changed. There's a man in the other room. He says he might be able to help you."
"Another doctor?" Lys asked. She'd had about as much as she could take from them.
"No," he said. "They still don't know what's going on." Pain laced his voice. "But this man says he knows what happened to you."
"How can he?" Lys whispered. Fear gripped her heart, and Lys didn't know if she'd ever be herself again. If she could ever look at her mom without remembering the euphoria that filled Lys when she attacked her.
"I don't know." Her dad sat forward in the chair, rubbing his hands together. He paused before letting out a deep sigh. "But you know what I say about gentlemen callers."
The words jerked her out of the stifling despair and back into herself. "Dad." Lys managed an eye roll. "Seriously? Have you seen the doctors in this place?"
He held up a finger. "Never turn one down just because you don't like his shoes."
She couldn't help herself — a smile creased her lips. She almost felt normal. "Does he really have bad shoes? Because you know how I feel about that and missing teeth."
Her dad shrugged. "His teeth looked intact. Not sure about the shoes; your mother buys mine."
The mere mention of her mother caused her heart to drop into her stomach. The image of her mom, clutching her bloody face and screaming would never fade. Ever. At least her mother would keep her eye.
Her dad pressed on. "His name is Jeremiah Mason. He says you emailed him a few weeks ago, and came by to see if he could talk to you."
Lys frowned. "I emailed him?" She shook her head, trying to clear away the cobwebs. When had she emailed a man she didn't know?
"Something about a research project based on addiction?"
Furrowing her brow, Lys tried to think. She couldn't remember emailing anyone. But huge chunks of this past week were mired in dark fog. She shook her head. "I don't remember."
"He says he can help."
Could he help her, or was he just another person to tell her sad tale to? Lys didn't want to hope. Hope bred nice thoughts, which led to her wondering if she might have a normal life again. Would she ever be able to meet her father's eyes, or anyone's for that matter, without having the Need to rip them out rise up in her like a storm?
He went on. "I've called everyone I know, trying to see if they can tell me what happened to you." Their eyes met — Lys's gaze drawn to his. "Mr. Mason called the house yesterday, and he says he can help. He is the only person who has said he can help."
Lys had to look away. She found herself struggling against her bonds. Her fingers flexed, itching to reach up and encircle his eye and take it for her own. They came out easy, once you got behind the ... No! Not her dad. She would not hurt him. She managed to swivel her head toward the camera in the corner. Was this Mr. Mason observing her from the other room? Watching her? The thought made Lys struggle harder. How dare he look at her! She should be the one to see everything. She should be looking, not him.
The thought was absurd, and Lys knew it. That didn't stop her from thinking it — feeling it. She gritted her teeth and took a breath, once again imagining the ocean.
Lys's dad waited until she stopped struggling. "You don't have to talk to him."
"Dad," Lys said, swallowing hard. "Everyone thinks I'm crazy. And I'm starting to believe them. I don't want to hear it from anyone else."
"Oh, honey." Her dad reached out to put his arms around her.
"No!" Lys cried. She recoiled from the advance like a magnet pushing off another magnet. He couldn't be that close, even if she longed for him to be. Sitting in this room for days had given her too much time to think. If he got closer, Lys knew she would try for his eyes. Her dad stopped. "Don't, please," she said.
He sat back, reaching out to hold her twitching hand, his fingers rubbing hers. "Mr. Mason specifically said that he thinks there is another explanation — something the doctors don't know about."
"Like what?" Lys asked, her mind going through the possibilities they'd already presented: schizophrenia, a psychotic disorder, acute anxiety, post-traumatic stress something, or other ...
"I don't know. He said he wanted to speak with you before he would tell me."
Lys pulled on her restraints again. How could she go on like this? Strapped down to a hospital bed, never knowing when she would be consumed by the Need. This was no life; she was dead already. If this Mr. Mason could help her, if he could do anything at all that would make life go back to normal, she would speak to him. She had to.
"I'll talk to him," she whispered. "Good," he said. "But if he makes you uncomfortable at all, give me a nod. I'll be in the observation room."
"We're going to get through this." He gave her hand one last, steady squeeze.
Lys watched her dad retreat through door, leaving her alone in her prison. For the hundredth time, she glanced around the small room. It looked more like an apartment than a mental ward, no doubt in an attempt to make the chained-down patients feel "at home."
Unfortunately her room at home didn't contain paintings of puppies, cheap linoleum floors, badly hung wallpaper, or harsh, fluorescent lighting. Nor did it smell like thinly disguised ammonia. She really missed her own bed.
While she mused, Mr. Mason came through the door. Tall and thin, he wore an expensive suit, much like the kind her dad usually bought. He strode toward her with confidence in his steps. This man looked a little older than her dad, maybe fifty or so. Lys tried to keep her gaze down, but it wouldn't obey. Her eye met his — they were an aquamarine color that reminded Lys of turquoise. The white skin in the crow's feet around his eyes provided a stark contrast against his tan face. The smell of pine came with him. Maybe they'd just cleaned the hallway.
"Lysandra?" he asked, smiling. "I'm Jeremiah Mason." He sat down in the chair next to the bed.
She struggled to pull her eye away from his face as he studied her. He didn't have a notebook like most of the doctors had, and he didn't look at her like a complicated puzzle to be solved. No, he wore a different expression on his face. Curiosity. And he didn't hesitate to meet her eye. Surely they'd warned him not to.
Ripping her gaze away, she spoke. "Everybody calls me Lys, like bliss," she said.
He nodded. "Lys, I run a facility that may be able to help you. I'm going to need to ask you a few unusual questions."
"No one else is listening, I've asked them to turn off the sound in the observation room, and I won't tell anyone what you tell me." He leaned forward, talking slowly. "But if you're not honest with me, I won't be able to help you. Can you do that for me?" His low voice grated on Lys's nerves.
"Sure," Lys muttered. She kept her gaze on her knees. She didn't like being talked to like she was ten. Her parents never talked to her like that, even when she was ten. Maybe this guy would be worse than the doctors.
"Good." He put his elbows on his knees and clasped his hands together. "Have you ever had an out of body experience?"
Lys blinked. "No." What kind of facility did this guy run?
"What about hallucinations or demonstrating more-than-average feats of strength?"
Mason nodded, and an "I don't believe you" tone came out in his words. "Do you use drugs or alcohol excessively?"
"No." She wanted to mention that she didn't dress up in costume and run around her neighborhood either, but he didn't give her the chance.
"You need to be honest with me, Lys. Your parents told me that addiction runs in your family." She felt Mr. Mason's eyes boring into her skull.
"No," Lys snapped. She'd endured too many stories about her Aunt Dell's fall into addiction and subsequent death to get heavily involved with either drugs or alcohol.
"Is there anything that you haven't told your parents about what happened? Anything at all?"
"No!" Lys yelled this time. Angry, she turned to look at him. Mr. Mason smiled. His eyes were that strange aquamarine color, and simply having them look at her made Lys feel the Need.
Reason shut down, and her whole body started to tremble — full of explosive energy that would only be released if she did one thing. Her hands struggled against their bonds, and in her mind, she begged him to come closer. It would only take a moment. She could do it with her teeth.
He watched her, not flinching away as she lunged for him, her face just inches shy of her target.
Rage boiled up inside, and she took in a great gulp of air so she could scream, but the scream didn't come. Instead she choked down the pine scent from the hall. It caught in her throat and broke the spell. She coughed and gagged, the feeling that she might vomit,1 interrupting the Need.
She took another breath and sat back, trying not to throw up.
"Tell me about this unnatural appetite that drove you to attack your mother."
Appetite? Lys clutched at the sheets on her bed, balling them up in her fists. She didn't answer. How did he know?
"When did it begin?" Mr. Mason asked.
The words spilled out before she could stop them — like he pulled them out of her. "Not until I ripped the eyes out of a frog in science class."
The scene would forever be burned into her conscious like a brand on a cow. She could still taste the formaldehyde fumes that came off the frog. The flickering light in the corner above the teacher's desk, the squeak of Billy's sneakers on the linoleum floors — it was all still in her mind's eye.
One second the frog was lying there, cut open, and the next Lys could have sworn it was staring up at her, watching her. For some reason this infuriated her. Lys had never felt anger like that before. She'd never wanted to hurt something so badly.
"How did it feel when you took the frog's eyes?" Mr. Mason asked.
"Good," Lys answered, licking her lips. He wouldn't get it even if she told him.
Better than she ever thought anything could feel. Better than getting to pee after holding it all night in a freezing cold tent. Better than waking up after a bad dream and finding herself safe in her bed. Better than her first kiss. Better than she ever imagined sex would be.
"Really good," she said.
"So good you'd kill to feel it again?"
"Yes." The answer came out of Lys's mouth before she could stop it. Then the realization hit her. Lys would kill to feel it again.
"Did the same thing happen when you attacked your mother?"
Guilt punched Lys in the stomach. All her mother had done was bring her some soup for dinner. The scene flashed through her memory. The soup, her mom being worried and insisting that Lys look at her. The spoon. Her mother's beautiful, blue eyes.
"Lys," Mr. Mason prompted. "Why did you attack her?"
"She made me look at her!" she said, surprising herself with the intensity. "She made me look at her, and when I saw her eyes all I wanted to do was take them. I had to have them!" Lys stopped. Saying it reminded her that this was all real. She'd tried to take her mother's eye out with a spoon. Would her mother ever forgive her? Did she deserve forgiveness?
"Lys," Mr. Mason's voice cut into her thoughts. "What were you trying to do to yourself?"
I was trying to end my pain! Lys wanted to scream.
After coming to her senses, and seeing her mom bleeding on the floor, Lys had tried to take her own eye. If she couldn't see anyone else then she wouldn't ever feel the Need again.
A giant weight settled on her chest. She could hardly breathe, and she began to shake. "Please, just go." She looked straight at the camera. "I want you to go."
Mr. Mason leaned forward, his face moving into her view. "What do you want right now?"
Excerpted from New Sight by Jo Schneider. Copyright © 2014 Jo Schneider. Excerpted by permission of Jolly Fish Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Not bad but not great either. It's a forgettable book.
Lysandra is 16 years old and has developed the desire to takes people’s eyes out. No one can figure out what is wrong with Lys and so she is locked in an asylum. In walks Dr. Mason and says that Lys has been exposed to a drug that she has no knowledge of taking. She takes her away to his private facility to others that are in the same boat as her. Lys is not crazy, she has magical abilities that at awakening but cause the destructive behaviors. It seems a long time ago people had magic abilities relating to the five senses. Those that didn’t created technology to make up for it. That technology eventually overtook the world and those with magical abilities started to find those abilities repressed. But that doesn’t mean that Lys and the others are safe. Dr. Mason is not telling the whole truth so they escape and find themselves being hunted down by those that want to stop magic users. I liked how this is a fresh take on magic and how it has a set of rules that you don’t normally see. Initially I really liked the story as it was developing. The problem I had was that after that it started to fall a little flat. There was not a lot of character development which left me not really caring about the different characters. The pacing of the book seemed off toe which started to be a bit distracting. This book feels like it could be the first in a series but I’m not seeing a sequel. It’s not a bad story but I think that it could have been revised a little to make it pop better. I received New Sight a long time ago free of charge. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
Lysandra Blake is sixteen and has a desire to pluck people's eyes out of their head. No one knows why she has this compulsion. Doctors have no answers. The best guess is she'd been exposed to a drug called Pop. Lysandra just wants the desire to stop. She injured her own mother and can't look at anyone without the overwhelming desire taking over. Then a doctor approaches her father and tells him he can help her. He does some brief tests and decides to take Lysandra to his facility. Once there she meets others who have different desires that can be as destructive as hers. The difference is, one of them understands why they have these desires. It's going to take a very long time to get this all under control. WOW is all I can say. Ms Schneider writes a solid plot and introduces characters who appeal to everyone. I was a little creeped out by the plucking eyes thing, but once you get past it, you will settle into a book that sweeps you away. I felt the fear and the anxiety these teens felt. I could imagine what it would be like to constantly be in fear. I can't wait to read more about these industrious teens. I found no issues here. I gave this one 5 cheers out of 5. ~Copy of book provided by author in exchange for a fair review~
Jo Ann Schneider’s debut novel New Sight, is a little hard to pin down. Not knowing much about it when I began it, after the first few chapters I thought, “Ah-ha! Sci-fi!” and settled down for thriller about futuristic drugs and big brother. 16 year old Lys Blake has an uncontrollable urge to rip people’s eyes out and a new club drug is suspected. Cool. But the plot soon turned and I found myself reading a lot of exposition about magic powers, technology, and cartels out to suppresses and control ancient gifts relating to sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. When it comes to literature, I’m more of a right-brained reader and New Sight is definitely a left-brained read. I’m the kind of person who skims the directions and jumps in. More thoughtful, methodical thinkers—left-brained readers—will enjoy how New Sight sets up the series and will be eager for the next book. And now that I’ve got all the details down, I will, too!
I'm a sucker for a good book about magic and this one did suck me in once it hit a certain point in the plot. Poor Lys. That girl went through hell a few times and back again. Getting institutionalized because people thought she was crazy when it was really all linked back to the addiction of magic. I mean, hello... the girl wanted to rip people's eyes out. LOL I loved the twists and turns that the story took. There were a few intense moments when I couldn't turn the pages fast enough but overall, it was a nice, easy pace. I enjoyed the characters, though I felt like they could be a little bit more well-rounded. At times, the felt a little flat but it wasn't so bad that I disliked them or felt like putting the book down. The visual descriptions! Love! I was swept away by the author's descriptions of the past/history and how it moved to the present. I loved how descriptive the author was - it was like I could've reached out and joined in the craziness. Sometimes, authors are too descriptive to the point where I become bored. It wasn't like that at all with this novel. Jo did a great job. So overall, the action kept me glued to the pages and the characters kept me intrigued. Definitely a solid 4 for me.
Locked up in a place thinking drugs were the cause of their problems. Who do they trust? The staff maybe, however the staff have other ideas. Ly's parents committed her in a place to get the help she needed after injuring herself and her mother. Institutionalized in a place where she found out, their are others with the same problem. "NEEDS" is the cause. How could it be explained? Or is there an explanation? Ly's meets Kamau, Brady, Mark in the institution later Inez and Peter. Running away from the institution lead them to answers they seek. They hold individual powers not drugs but magic. Magic became the drug of choice, magic was the most powerful force on the planet once upon a time. At one point the mentioned of X-men and their super powers were brought up. However technology won over magic let's just say, dormant in the bloodlines, which was awaken. The eyes are the windows to the soul, well their eyes tell you what powers of magic they inherited. I simply enjoyed this book and I was drawn in to it immediately. First impression was, okay, another book about teens and drugs then the author made me feel all the emotions you should have when you read a book that is trying to make you feel intense distrust, also Ly's NEED to rip out someone's eyes, to want those eyes. Yep, hook, line and sinker, I loved it! The whole gang wielded different magic and they learned how or try to control it. Constantly hunted down by the NEW who hate magic users. Who they can trust,"to many possible lies, nothing added up." This book will take you on a ride of magic and emotions. Fantastic read, thank you Ms. Jo Schneider I'm a fan:) Oh by the way I won this book in GOODREADS FIRST READ GIVEAWAY. Thank you again, really enjoyed it! Darlene Cruz