Number of pages: 304
I’ve had the best of luck with books on NetGalley recently!
Of course, I chose this book cause I’m a sucker for coming-of-age novels. If you’re looking for a great book about friendship and growing up and cutesy teen romances the check out: We’re Still Tornadoes or Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secret Of The Universe which are both amazing and some of the best books I’ve read. This is one of those stories and I liked it a lot.
I remember when I first used a computer. It was large and heavy and we used it to write Word documents for hours. And when we first started using the Internet, well, it was a whole new Universe.
It’s not easy for everyone to find a passion in life. Especially for young, troubled kids. They try to be better and fail and only doing something they love can save them. This is what happens with Will. He’s a boy who lives only with his mother, he’s poor and lost in life and he’s failing school also. There’s nothing really good happening in his life until he makes a computer game and finds out that he wants to do that in life. (Mind you, these are the 80’s so even the talk about the computers makes a modern human sigh. They were slow and they could perform only a few things.) Then he meets a really sweet girl, called Mary who works in her father’s shop and is ridiculed by all the boys because she’s fat. Even Will is repulsed by that and it’s honestly the worst thing about him.
The novel is written from the perspective of older Will so you know only his story and given that he’s 14 you know you shouldn’t trust him very much about serious things.
The story starts with some boys trying to somehow get Playboy where an America’s sweetheart is naked on the cover. It’s illegal for a minor to buy it so they must find a new way. But the girl on the cover didn’t want to be there. It is said that she sued and lost and that she’s in Playboy against her will and still everyone in the country is obsessed to get those pictures. That’s a great way to start a story where female characters get almost exclusively bad things in life. Those buys try to cheat and steal and they don’t succeed and that’s how Will meets Mary. Mary is something else. Mary is really really smart. She goes to Catholic school and she doesn’t have her own computer but she still learned to code by herself. There’s something strange about her, something that she’s hiding but she’s never evil, she’s always supportive and Will falls for her. I feared that she’ll be nothing more than a Manic Pixie Dream Girl but, luckily, she’s much more than that.
Now the next part is really really full of spoilers so don’t read if you haven’t read the novel!!!
The way Will acts when he finds out Mary’s secret makes him a real boy. Just that. He’s maybe from a poor family and a bad neighborhood but that doesn’t really excuse him and how he acts in the store, with Mary and how he treats his mother. His mother may be one of the saddest characters ever and
I didn’t want this to turn into a romantic story. I wanted these kids to be given an opportunity to do something better.
I liked this story because it had a great atmosphere. It’s great how the game serves to further the story and the characters are original, even if they are not always likable.
*I received this book on NetGalley and gave it my honest review. Thanks for sharing!