Tick by Allison Rose is a book without an ending. I don’t think that is a spoiler but it is disappointing. And it’s my fault. I read a description of the book and was so taken by the interesting description that I clicked “read for free” on the Amazon site and read it as a Kindle Unlimited (KU) book. So I can’t complain about paying too much. (Even though the “read for free” claim on a subscription site that I pay for bothers my sensibilities as an English teacher.) But these are mostly administrative details (except for the “no ending). It remains my fault that I read my way through this interesting dystopian novel expecting answers and when I didn’t get them, I complain.
Jo is the 17-year-old hero of this YA novel. She has problems she cannot even define and she knows it. Some problems she can define. Mom is somewhat off the rails in a mental alternative world, but not all the time. Jo can remember an earlier youthful time when mom was fun, before Rick. He is mom’s current partner; Jo’s real dad died years earlier, a suicide. So we start out with two well-defined problems and we add Jo’s hatred of Rick. While this looks like a set-up for an abuse by stepdad story, I will reassure readers this does not happen. It is not a spoiler as early in the book Jo solves her problem by removing Rick’s brain and placing it on his lap. That was before she went to prison. First problem solved but now we have the prison situation to deal with.