book review,  dystopian,  science fiction,  young adult

Pick Your Scar, by Boshra Rasti


Pick Your Scar, by Boshra Rasti

Hey guys, welcome back to Bookish Beyond.
How have you been?

Today, I’m excited to be reviewing Pick Your Scar, a gripping sci-fi / dystopian novel by Boshra Rasti.
So, if you’ve got your favourite drink to hand and are all settled in, let’s begin.



The story is set in Pamora, a peaceful and idyllic land. Here, physicists have uncovered a fifth dimension, which they believe could be the key to altering unpleasant life events. These professionals seek volunteers over the age of eighteen, to help search for the fifth dimension.

Matadar and Arelaine (the leading characters) both lost a parent and both intend to enter Pamora’s simulated reality (‘The Shell’) to try and heal from their trauma. However, it is said that some people go crazy in the Shell, with such individuals being sent away to live in a forest sanctuary.

However, not all is as it seems in Pamora. When Matadar first enters the Shell, in the hopes of being free of his trauma, he becomes involved in a mysterious process he could never have envisioned.

Pick your scar



While there were many important characters within this story, I felt that the following three had the most impact; Matadar, Arelaine, and Venus.



Matadar was one of two protagonists. Having tragically lost his mother as a young child, he carried the wound of her loss around with him through life. He was a curious young man, stubborn and courageous, with a gift for finding patterns in things. He was also thoughtful, prone to overthinking situations, no doubt because of his childhood trauma. While there were times when I found myself frustrated by his character’s naivety in life, I also came to admire him overall for battling through many difficult situations, to reach the answers he sought.


Arelaine was the second protagonist of the story. She was a kind and curious young woman, who felt great empathy for others. She shared Matadar’s trauma of losing a parent in childhood, in her case her father. Like Matadar, Arelaine sought answers as to what happened to her lost parent, in the hopes of healing her childhood trauma.

Her highly intuitive nature allowed her to pick up on subtle hints that indicated when things were not right. She was also smart and perceptive, seeing more than most people in Pamora. However, like Matadar, she was also a bit naïve to begin with – likely due to her youth – but soon began to learn when caution was necessary, to figure out how their world really worked. I came to admire Arelaine for many reasons, not least of all for her strength and resilience in times of personal hardship, and her determination to help those closest to her, even when it appeared that they had forsaken her.


Finally, we come to Venus, the lead psychologist in charge of the fifth dimension project. She was a smart, beautiful and mysterious woman and appeared to want the best for the citizens of Pamora. However, I always felt as if I couldn’t fully trust her, like she was hiding something, but I could never put my finger on what it was. Overall, I liked how complex of a character she developed into, however, I never came to truly like her as an individual.

Surrogate Colony, Boshra Rasti
Boshra Rasti: Author of 'Pick Your Scar'.


Positive Aspects

There were many positive features to Pick Your Scar, which I have listed below.

  • Firstly, the author’s writing style is clear, emotive, consistent and engaging.

  • Secondly, the first-person, present-tense narration adds a sense of immediacy to the story’s events.

  • Thirdly, the concept for the story was fascinating: a search to find a fifth dimension.

  • In addition, the characters were unique, each with their own goals, motivations, past traumas, and individual thought processes. As such, the character’s experiences felt very lifelike.

  • Furthermore, the plot was full of slowly escalating tension, mystery, and intrigue. I could not wait to see what happened next.

  • Finally, the ending was shocking. It saddened me, yet it was also profound and deeply moving.


Memorable Quotes

There were an endless amount of quotes I found while reading Pick Your Scar. However, I have chosen to quote the following six.

1) ‘There is no light without darkness’.
2) ‘You can’t move on if you can’t face the past’.

3) ‘People are more complicated than one action in their life’.
4) ‘The Destroyer and Creator cuts through the heart of every human’.

5) ‘Every action has a consequence. It is the great law of the universe – Even if it is unseen in this dimension, there is a ripple effect on others’.

6) ‘–one must come to honour one’s scars and not pick at them incessantly. That is the only way redemption works.’

Pick your scar book quote, bookish beyond, book review



Overall, I found Pick Your Scar to be a wonderfully intriguing story, which explored the effect that the flow of time has on our lives as humans, and how desperately some seek to take control of it.

Key themes included loss, deception, family, love, a search for the truth, and time.

My Rating: 5 stars.
Recommended to: lovers of young-adult sci-fi / dystopian novels.


Would you like more information?

To learn more about Pick Your Scar, you can visit its Goodreads page, HERE.
Or, to find out more about Boshra Rasti, simply visit her website, HERE.

Alternatively, check out our reviews for Surrogate Colony, and Surrogate Code, also by Boshra Rasti.


As always, thank you for joining me for today’s review.
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Have a wonderful week,
Ellie. xoxo

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