Sixteen-year-old Jaxon is being committed to video game rehab...ten minutes after meeting a girl. Read more...
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Sixteen-year-old Jaxon is being committed to video game rehab...ten minutes after meeting a girl. A living, breathing girl named Serena, who not only laughed at his jokes but actually kinda sorta seemed excited when she agreed to go out with him.
Jaxon's first date. Ever.
In rehab, Jaxon can't blast his way through galaxies to reach her. He can't slash through armies to kiss her sweet lips. Instead, he has four days to earn one million points by learning real-life skills. And he'll do whatever it takes--lie, cheat, steal, even learn how to cross-stitch--in order to make it to his date.
If all else fails, Jaxon will have to bare his soul to the other teens in treatment, confront his mother's absence, and maybe admit that it's more than video games that stand in the way of a real connection.
From a bright new voice in young adult literature comes the story of a young man with a serious case of arrested development--and carpal tunnel syndrome--who is about to discover what real life is all about.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-05-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Heidicker's debut offers a realistic portrayal of the difficulty of overcoming addiction, whether it involves controlled substances or video-game controllers. Jaxon, 16, is addicted to an MMORPG; as his health and social life suffer, his father forces him into video-game rehab, but the timing couldn't be worse: Jaxon has just scored his first date. Desperate to get out of "V-hab" in time to meet Serena in just a few days, Jaxon must work through a series of game-like challenges to earn enough points to be discharged. The snarky, expletive-prone banter between Jaxon and his compatriots is both believable and an easy hook for readers who might typically prefer World of Warcraft to novels. But where the novel really shines is in Jaxon's interactions—as a white, upper-middle-class boy—with campmates who are diverse in terms of both ethnicity and sexuality, and who challenge some of his preexisting assumptions. In confronting Jaxon's privilege and complicated family history, the book eschews easy answers for a more authentic ending that promises that the work of self-improvement is ongoing and difficult. Ages 14–up. Agent: John Cusick, Folio Literary Management. (June)