Harper Collins Australia
- ISBN: 9781489295705
- ISBN 10: 1489295704
- Imprint: HQ Young Adult – US
- List Price: 19.99 AUD
Ok, I admit it, I’d kind of let this one slide because really my scan of the blurb made me think – oh, gaming online – so not my kind of thing. WRONG! Because, yes it does revolve around gaming but it is far more about relationships, both family and friends (real and virtual), bullying/intimidation, identity and determination. I really enjoyed it and will be talking it up to my students with gusto.
Divya is queen of her universe – that is to say, she is a hugely popular streaming gamer and queen of her #angstarmada within the virtual world of Reclaim the Sun. With her best friend and trusty lieutenant Rebekah she has, as D1V, accrued a massive following and sponsorships from major companies which all help her and her single mum to survive financially.
Aaron’s passion for gaming is all-consuming and his ambition is to be the scriptwriter for successful games, much to the chagrin of his mother who is pushing him to become a doctor like herself. In spite of his family’s secure financial situation, Aaron has painstakingly assembled his gaming rig himself from salvaged components out of his neighbourhood’s garbage.
These two connect online although each is still dealing with their own set of problems alone but when a truly fearsome legion of trolls calling themselves Vox Populi begin threatening not only their virtual world but their real lives they join forces resolutely and refuse to go down without a fight.
It is gripping and intense, though also relieved throughout with some humour and light-heartedness as the relationship between the two gamers develops.
In my opinion this is a contemporary novel which many young adults will enjoy and find very relatable, particularly with its strong theme of following your dreams and resisting the intimidation of bullies.
Highly recommended for readers from around 13ish upwards!