Schism – Review

Schism by Britt Holewinski
Book 1 in an untitled trilogy
Genre: YA dystopian
Pages: 258
Format: paperback
Source: author
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

I was sent a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion.

After reading the synopsis for Schism, I was intrigued and made it my priority to read as soon as I finished Oblivion. I have to say, it was a smart choice to make. πŸ˜€

the plot

At first glance, the premise sounded similar to that of Gone by Michael Grant. I haven’t read that yet so I can’t determine if there are really similarities, but I can say that Schism was a great, unique dystopian story. When I first started reading I thought the beginning was slow, but after getting about 75 pages in I realized I was wrong; a lot had happened, just more subtle events than I was used to in a dystopian. So really, it was a fairly fast-paced book, with an equal amount of travel, planning, and action. It made for a very intriguing read. πŸ˜€

the characters

I won’t be mentioning all of the characters because there’s a wide variety of them, but I just want to mention one thing: each one was written excellently. Even with so many people and fairly average names (though I have nothing against them), they were easy to distinguish. Kudos to Britt for pulling that off in her debut. πŸ˜‰

Andy was the main character, and I really liked her. The description of her appearance reminded me a bit of Emma Carstairs from The Dark Artifices, and her attitude of Cassie from The 5th Wave (but not the sequel). And yet, despite that, she still seemed like her own character. She was a very strong, bold girl, and determined to do whatever she could to help her friends and the other survivors. That might sound like a lot of other heroines, but Andy is different and awesome in ways I find hard to explain. She went through so much: readily left the home she made for her and her friends because one of them experienced something traumatic, faked her death to survive, and dealt with a downpour of emotional trauma while on the run. Andy’s strength is honestly admirable. *clapping emoji*

Ben was the other majorly main character, and I liked him too. Thinking back, I imagined him looking similar to Alec from The Mortal Instruments, but couldn’t think of a male lead with a compatible attitude. He was also very bold, and dedicated to finishing something he started a year before the story did. I can’t say what without spoiling, but I can say that his actions in the second half of the book, particularly the last few chapters, took guts. Despite all of this, though, he seemed like a sweet guy to Andy and a loyal friend to everyone else in their small circle. πŸ™‚

Some other characters I think are worth mentioning:

  • Morgan was a great side character and sweet, supportive friend. She definitely didn’t deserve what happened to her in the beginning, but she’s adapted well and I really like her. ❀
  • Jim seems like a sweet guy and I foresee a relationship between him and Morgan. He’s very brave, like Ben, but also felt more reserved and shy. I liked this about him, particularly because he wasn’t secretly in love with Andy, and I feel like other guys would be if they had this trait. πŸ˜‰
  • Charlie was Morgan’s slightly younger brother, and a very loving one. He was also a literal genius, and even though his physical presence wasn’t as major in the second half, he was still useful and important; he found a lot of the information Andy and Ben needed to succeed. πŸ˜€
  • Sean was the antagonist of the second half, and he was ruthless. He reminded me a little bit of Warner from Shatter Me, in the way he thought all of his actions were justified when they really weren’t. The big difference to me was that his evil wasn’t hiding a teddy bear and didn’t make him lovable; I hated him, and I loved doing it. Again, kudos to Britt, and this time for writing such a believable villain.

the setting

The first couple of chapters took place in Bermuda, where Andy met Morgan and Charlie. Then a lot ofΒ stuffΒ went down and they went to America, where they met the rest of the crew and stayed for the rest of the book. There was a lot of road-tripping: Washington DC to New Mexico, to Colorado, to New York. But I never found it boring; Britt gave enough detail to keep readers interested, but cut off soon enough that readers didn’t lose any of that interest.

Regardless of all that, the descriptions were hauntingly real and imaginable wherever the characters were. The world had been wrecked by a biological apocalypse, and the reminders were everywhere: traffic frozen on the roads, corpses rotting in cars, derelict homes and neighborhoods everywhere except a few renovated locations around the country. Even those cities that had been saved were in questionable condition: unfair systems and drugs the main form of currency. Britt’s writing was vivid and allowed all of this to seem so real. O.O

the relationships

I feel like I can’t say a lot without spoiling the development, so I’ll make a list instead. πŸ˜›

  • The friendship between Andy, Morgan, Charlie, Ben, and Jim was wonderful. They were all teenagers (nearly adults)Β trying to survive in a broken world, and yet they decided to trust one another. That grew into a great relationship where they all cared and had each others’ backs. A friend group this large (they met more people on their journey) is uncommon in dystopian books, so I was thrilled by this one. πŸ˜€
  • I loved the sibling dynamic between Morgan and Charlie. I could see that they genuinely cared for each other, and even though Charlie was three years younger, he was treated like her equal. There was no “I don’t want you to do this.” or “I should do this because I’m older.” and I liked that. πŸ™‚
  • There were also a few budding romances. I won’t say between who, but I will say that it was enjoyable to see characters come to terms with their feelings for someone else and build relationships. There was no insta-love or anything like that; just a slow, casual development between many couples. πŸ˜€

the twists

I can’t recall any moments or reveals in this book that made my jaw drop, but it was still intense, and in the last quarter it was especially hard to put down. I think some of the best action scenes were when Andy was in Los Angeles and the prison escape in the end. I was hoping for the best, but expecting the worst; what else do you do when reading dystopian? Well, actually, I think that applies to all books. XD


When I first started reading Schism, I thought it was a good book, but nothing special. As I kept going and then as I looked back after finishing, I realized just how much more it was. It was a great, new take on dystopian, and I’ll definitely read the sequel when it comes out early next year. I’m glad I was sent a copy of this book for review: if I wasn’t, I doubt I ever would’ve found it. πŸ˜€

my rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? I’d love to know!Β πŸ™‚

For the record, I blame finals for making a <300 page book take me four days to read. But now I’m officially on summer break, so I should be reading, reviewing, and generally posting a lot more. πŸ˜€ *confetti*

I hope you’re all having a fabulous day/night! ❀

Until next time…

post end

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2 thoughts on “Schism – Review

  1. Congrats that you’re finally on break! I still have about a week left, but I absolutely cannot wait.

    I haven’t even heard of this book before, but you speak so highly of it that you’ve convinced me to give it a try. I’ll have to add it to my TBR pile immediately.

    Liked by 1 person

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