Unplugged (The Wired #1)Author: Donna Freitas
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopia
Release Date: June 21, 2016
Publisher: Harper Children's
Rating: 4 Stars!
The first book in a provocative new series from acclaimed author Donna Freitas—Feed for a new generation.
Humanity is split into the App World and the Real World—an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy and a dying physical world for the poor. Years ago, Skylar Cruz’s family sent her to the App World for a chance at a better life.
Now Skye is a nobody, a virtual sixteen-year-old girl without any glamorous effects or expensive downloads to make her stand out in the App World. Yet none of that matters to Skye. All she wants is a chance to unplug and see her mother and sister again.
But when the borders between worlds suddenly close, Skye loses that chance. Desperate to reach her family, Skye risks everything to get back to the physical world. Once she arrives, however, she discovers a much larger, darker reality than the one she remembers.
In the tradition of M. T. Anderson’s Feed and Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies, Unplugged kicks off a thrilling and timely sci-fi series for teens from an award-winning writer.
Unplugged is the first book in an intriguing and original new young adult science fiction/dystopia series that will have readers begging for more. I enjoy dystopian novels and science fiction - so this was immediately fascinating to me. For some unknown reason though, I have a really hard time imagining a wholly online or virtual world. It might sound strange that I have issues bringing this concept to life - it's just something that I've always had trouble with. It's absolutely nothing to do with the writing, the book, or anything along those lines - it's strictly a personal problem for me as a reader. It's because of this inability to fully immerse myself into the world (or at least part of it) that the author has created - it affected my reading experience quite a bit - that I'm not giving this book a higher rating. Please remember that this is my own personal issue and it has nothing to do with the author's writing or the book itself - it's just a weird problem I have and reflects only on myself. Aside from having a hard time imagining the entire virtual world, this book was fantastic - and I'll definitely be reading the next in the series.
The plot wasn't wholly unique, but the fantastic writing and the great characters make this stand out from the crowd. I loved Skye's character - she felt very realistic and was easy to connect with from early on in the book. I always mention point of view in my reviews, and this is no different. The story is told from the first person point of view - from Skye's perspective - which really helped to bring her character as well as the rest of the story to life before my eyes. (Aside from my own issue with the virtual world.) She's a fantastic main character - smart, independent, strong, determined, and down to earth. I loved getting to know her on such a personal level - by the end of the book, it felt like I had been alongside of her throughout the entire story, or like she had recounted every detail to me herself. The writing was wonderful - lots of vivid imagery and detailed descriptions, rounded characters, and a fast pace to the story - which also had a natural flow, so it wasn't confusing or hard to keep up with what was going on at any particular time. As I mentioned, the only reason I'm not giving this book a higher rating is due to my own problems with imagining a virtual world - it has nothing to do with the book! I definitely plan on re-reading it until I can address this issue and fix it inside my own imagination, so I'll be able to really enjoy the next book in the series. Very highly recommended for fans of science fiction and dystopian novels, as well as readers who enjoy fantasy, contemporary fiction, and virtual worlds. I can't wait to see where the author will take us next!
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Donna Freitas is an author of fiction, nonfiction, and articles that appear in newspapers, magazines, and on blogs. Born in Rhode Island, Donna now splits her time between New York City and Barcelona.