Cure for the Common Universe

320p. ebook available. S. & S. Jun. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481450270.
Gr 9 Up—A plugged-in young adult comedy about the pain of unplugging. In this debut novel, video game-addicted 16-year-old Jaxon is about to play the most challenging game of his life: escaping from video game rehab. His father and stepmother commit him moments after Jaxon meets the girl of his dreams, Serena, who is the first person he ever gets up the nerve to ask out on a date. In order to make his date, Jaxon must earn enough points during his rehabilitation, one million to be exact. It won't be easy, though, as Jaxon needs to connect with his peers in person instead of through technology. Heidicker aptly conveys the reality of today's groups of teens who may be more present in the virtual world than in the world that is right in front of them. The characters eventually learn to look within themselves and accept the help of others to improve their lives. Heidicker keeps readers informed of how many points Jaxon has earned toward his freedom at the top of the page for each new chapter.
VERDICT This is perfect for teen gamers and readers who are fans of Jesse Andrews and John Green. An excellent purchase for YA shelves.

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