Welcome to our tour stop on the Proxy blog tour, which hits shelves today! Pitched as The Whipping Boy meets Feed, Proxy is set in a dystopian society where everything has a price. Alex London is here to talk about the the quotes found at the beginning of Proxy and how it relates to the plot and characters. Also, at the end of the post there’s a giveaway for an ARC of Proxy!
Both were being denied their childhoods: the prince by a smothering excess of privilege, [the whipping boy] by none at all. —Sid Fleischman
This quote comes from Sid Fleischman’s speech when he won he Newbery award for The Whipping Boy in 1987. It sums up my feelings for each of my main characters perfectly.
Knox, who certainly lives the charmed life of a prince in the world of Proxy, might think he’s got no worries, but he is a victim of his wealth and privilege in ways he doesn’t fully understand. He has been raised to judge people by their value to him, by their ability to produce wealth, by their net worth, instead of their human worth, and this isolates him, both from his friends and from his society. All his relationships are transactions. He is missing a core piece of childhood because of that. It’s no accident his mother is not in the picture. Motherhood is one of the few relationships of pure unreciprocal devotion and it is missing from his life.
Syd, of course, is denied his childhood by his poverty, by his debts, by the cruelty of the system to which he is subject. His life isn’t so different from many kids around the world, whether they live in the vast shantytowns outside Mumbai or Nairobi, or in the housing projects of Chicago or New Orleans. Scarcity of resources creates competition that can get ugly and it chews up and spits out the young with brutal efficiency. That is Syd’s childhood: trying not to get chewed to bits, trying not to chew up anyone else either.
In the . . . landscape ahead, you will either create the software or you will be the software. —Douglas Rushkof
This comes from the media theorist Douglas Rushkof in his work, Program or be Programmed, and is an idea echoed throughout his work. In our highly technological society like ours—and like the one I wrote in Proxy, those who do not understand the technology they use are subject to those who do. I think we see that in the massive NSA data-mining controversy, in hacking scandals, in privacy breaches by corporations over and over again. As we consume all this easy access to information, it is very easy to forget that it isn’t free. Someone is paying for it and what they are paying for is us. WE are the product, not the customer. I took this idea and expanded it for the world of Proxy. It’s a world where you can get whatever you want, but you are going to pay for it. As Syd says often: Everything costs.
The story of Proxy is, in a way, the story of these two boys who have been giving their place in a vastly programmed society, trying to break out of their program, trying to find their mutual humanity in a system designed to prevent them from doing so. Both Syd and Knox, by the end, are trying to break free of their own default settings. The will not be programmed anymore.
Find the next stop on the Proxy blog tour on Presenting Lenore!
Don’t forget to check out Proxy, out now!
Goodreads | IndieBound | B&N | Amazon | The Book Depository
Check out the first three chapters
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.
Penguin Teen is offering up one ARC of Proxy! This giveaway is US only.
- To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
- We ask that all entrants be at least 13 years or older to enter.
- The giveaway is open for US only.
- When the winners are chosen, it will be announced here and the winners will be emailed. Please check your email because we are only giving the winner 48 hours to respond! Otherwise another winner will have to be selected.
- Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments!
- Also, please understand that we reserve the right to disqualify any entries we find gaming the system. Cheaters never prosper!
Alright alright, this sounds awesome!! Def on my Goodreads! Thanks ladies!!!
This sounds like a great sci-fi read! I keep seeing it around the the reviews have been pretty good so far. I just may have to check it out.
I´ve read lots of good reviews of this book. Definitely, I´m reading this
I saw the book title and immediately thought if I had a proxy to do everything I didn’t want to do in a day, if only. Going to go read the first 3 chapters..
Danielle @ Ladybug Literature
I have seen so much talk about this book that I am thoroughly intrigued. I can’t wait to read it!
This book sounds so good. Thanks for the giveaway!
Jess @ Such A Novel Idea
I had this preordered because it looked good, and since I couldn’t sleep last night I got it on my Kindle ten minutes past midnight. About halfway through now and I really, really like it so far. Such a rich, vivid world and believably messed up but sympathetic characters.
Also, more LGBT and POC protagonists in YA always make me happy, so thank you for that, Mr. London. 🙂
I have been wanting to read this for so long! It sounds like everything I love in a book and I just can’t wait!
This sounds like an interesting story.
I can’t wait to read this novel. I hope I win the giveaway so I’m able to get to it faster. It sounds amazing, and thanks for such an amazing giveaway!
I can’t imagine a world such as the one described in Proxy…this looks SO interesting. Must read it!
Thanks all! I really hope you enjoy the book!
Christina K. in the rafflecopter
LOVE how there’s a gay character who is portrayed as an individual:)) Very unique concept:))
This sounds awesome!!!! Thanks for sharing!
I can’t wait to read this one!
This book sounds so good! I mean, the idea of it: having someone taking your blame and being the person who’s taking the blame of another. Such an interesting concept to explore and I can’t wait for it!
Oooh, this sounds like a great book! I can’t wait to read this!! 😀
I loved reading the Whipping Boy and The Prince and the Pauper back in my younger years. Proxy sounds like a unique, modern, jazzed up version of these and I can’t wait to read it.
I read The Whipping Boy back in grade school, and I remember loving it! Though I don’t remember many details now, lol. Really looking forward to reading this dystopian take on it. 😀
This sounds like an interesting book! I’ve been hearing good things about it. 🙂
The cover looks amazing!
It’s on my ever-growing TBR list!
I read the excerpt of Proxy and I really like it. This screams like a new obsession to me.
This book has such a cool premise! I’ll be getting myself a copy as soon as possible.
Before I saw this giveaway on your blog, I had only heard about Proxy one other time from the fabulous O’Dell at Book Twirps. He had really good things to say about it, and it sounded very interesting and unique. So, when I saw your giveaway I had to enter away. THANK y’all for another wonderful giveaway!
Thank you all for your interest in Proxy! Good luck in the contest and I sure hope those of you who don’t win the giveaway will consider purchasing a copy or checking it out from your local library. Books live in their readers, and I’m grateful to have joined this YA amazing community, filled with so many thoughtful readers! I am in your debt.