When reality utterly fails you, there is always the comfort of the land of dreams. Chloe Valcourt, a tormented nineteen-year-old young woman, has for twelve years hovered between a daily life dominated by an abusive mother and an imagined alternate world that exists only in her mind’s eye. Can she keep track of which is real—and whether or not she is real, too? Schasm is the mind-bending young adult romance by Shari J. Ryan that mines the heart of darkness, where one young woman seeks light in her own shimmering daydreams.
A psychological condition has captured the body, mind, and soul of Chloe, and thrust her into the hands of probing doctors at the continued mercy of her tyrannical mother. As she struggles to break free of the grim life into which she was born, she continues to suffer the daily assaults from her mother and the dispiriting weakness of her dejected father. When Chloe unexpectedly finds herself drawn into a new, warm life abundant in love and romance with a kindhearted man named Alex, the escape at last gives her a happiness that she's never been allowed to feel. However, when hidden truths reveal a life that she cannot remember, Chloe finds herself lost between what is real and what isn't.
Blending extreme daydreaming, alternating realities, and multiple personalities, Schasm is a gripping tale that treads the thin line between a harrowing reality and the captivating terrain of an imagined world. As Chloe plays too close to the edge of insanity, her multiple realities clash, leaving her to question everything, including her own existence. Anyone who relishes a flight of fancy with richly drawn characters and surprising twists of plot will be immersed in the strange new world of Schasm, where nothing is at it seems.
Chloe has had a special talent for as long as she can remember. She can “drift” to other places only using the power of her mind. She knows that this is something that she has to keep hidden from her parents – her mother in particular. Her mother keeps her isolated from the rest of the world and tells her that it’s for her own good. But Chloe knows the truth and she knows that there is something that her mother isn’t telling her. Her only solace is the young boy that is always in her dreams because with him she can be herself – and she can finally be happy.
“I know when you look up to the sky, close your eyes, and take a deep breath, that you’re happy. I know that when your eyes are glued to the sand, you’re thinking deeply about something that’s upsetting you. You kick the sand and rocks around or throw them into the water when you’re angry. And then there’s my favorite thing about you. I love when I get to watch you looking at the clouds. I know you’re trying to form them into different images, and I know that’s the only time when you’re at peace with your life. “I also think you should know that you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. How could I not fall for you? Every guy on this beach has probably fallen for you. So I’d be lucky if you even considered not running away from me right now. I hope so badly that you don’t,” he says, his eyes pleading.”
“He pulls me in even closer, pinning me up against him while he nestles his head into my hair. “Chloe,” he breathes. “Being here with you just feels right. I’ve waited so long to be in this moment. I’ve imagined this kiss, dreamt about it, and wished upon a star for it.” He squeezes me so tightly that I can feel his nerves trembling throughout his body. I want to cry at his words, cry because I can feel things that I never knew existed. I want to cry because I’m happy, because someone wants me to be me, because he has been the one person who has always cared enough to never lose sight of me and to never give up on me. It’s so strange to have something in my life that actually feels this true.”