Staff Pick: Schasm

So, what’s an instaFreebie Staff Pick? Once a week, an instaFreebie staff member will pick out a book on instaFreebie that they enjoyed, and share it with all of you! Our hope is that we inspire you to download a book you may not have otherwise discovered. Today, Ashley, our Director of Business Development, will be discussing Schasm, written by Shari J. Ryan and free with a sign-up to her newsletter!


I’m a big fan of stories that make you think, and do not reveal the ending too soon. I’m an even bigger fan of stories that I cannot predict or fully comprehend until the end. Shari’s is that kind of novel. From the first word Shari leads you on a mysterious journey to find the truth between a girl’s miserable reality and the beautiful escapes she calls “drifts”.

As soon as I picked it up, I couldn’t tell what was going on with the main protagonist, Chloe. She’s introduced as a sweet seven year-old girl confused about what’s wrong with her and why she can no longer see her friend. She doesn’t understand why she needs to be “fixed. Chloe thinks she is perfect the way she is. And you know what? I agreed with Chloe. After all, she is only a kid, just learning about what life can be.

I quickly fell in love with this character because I could empathize with her. If you are anything like me and have been told you should be more like this or that…then you will too. I believe we all should be able to be who we really are; a theme many readers can relate to from this story. Now I am motivated to find out what is going on with Chloe.

I see that she’s grown up now, but life is not what she thought it would be. Her unfortunate reality is constantly compared to the drifts in her mind or alternate realities, which only she can see and experience. Throughout the journey it can feel as if Chloe is Alice from Alice in Wonderland. When experiencing a drift it is eerily similar to the sensation of Alice falling down the rabbit hole to another world. This happens to Chloe as we see her lose control of her emotions when fighting for her own independence or when she finds clues to the truth….

I immediately become more and more enthralled by Chloe’s drifts, and increasingly forget or choose to forget about her real life, which she continuously seeks to leave behind. However, all too soon I am reminded of the stark difference in her multiple realities, when she is yanked between them.

As I continue to follow her story in hopes I will eventually understand what happened to her twelve years ago, the path to the truth becomes increasingly dangerous and hopeless. The line between her real life and the world in her mind becomes blurred.

“I find myself getting lost between the ocean and the sky, trying to draw a distinctive line between the two. It’s like the two worlds I live in; the line has become too faint to distinguish.”

I learned about one girl’s experience losing all memory of her past life and loves, while searching for the truth across multiple realities. She took risks, and went all in. You will take those risks with her too, as you vicariously experience what she does. Her fight is not over, and there will be many battles up until the end. As the tension built throughout the story, I questioned whether Chloe would be prepared for the truth when she inevitably found it. I was not sure I would be prepared for the truth either.

Will Chloe find the love she’s always searched for or will reality tear her apart at the seams, leaving her in despair and darkness? You will have to learn for yourself where this story ends and where it began.

In a word: visceral

Recommended for: people who have ever fought for someone or something they loved

Have you read Schasm? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and check out our other Staff Picks!