Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book Review: Backward Compatible by Sarah Daltry & Pete Clark

I received this book as an eARC from NetGalley, and it was released on January 7th. This book is not suited for children under the age of 14.

WARNING: There is no sex in this book. Your Kindle or other device will remain at a pleasant room temperature. At no point will your panties drop. Your significant other will be allowed to snore in peace as you read. You may, however, laugh yourself out of commission.

Not too long ago, in a town that, depending on your current location, is either not super far or actually quite close... (insert Star Wars theme music here...)

It is a time of chaotic hormones. 

Two nerdy gents home for winter break have discovered a female gamer at a midnight release.

During the break, the gamer trio manages to reveal the game's secret boss, a hidden enemy with enough power to destroy anything in its path.

Pursued by other gamers who want to be the first to beat this boss, George and Katie race to level up, and, in so doing, restore decency and sexual activity to their personal galaxy...

I really enjoyed this book, especially once the gaming aspect started to intensify. I thought it was a good book, but it didn't blow me away. I really liked the characters; they were quirky, fun, and they were real people. The main characters are Katie and George and the point-of-view alternates between them as the story of their romance is woven together. Their romance starts with the classic "I hate you" phase, which I am a fan of (no insta-love). This book does not suffer from "Missing Parent Syndrome", which is also nice in a YA book. Speaking of YA, this book does contain crude humor and is not suited towards younger teens.

One thing I personally didn't like was that I didn't get most of the video game references. I did get a few, but most of them flew right over my head. It was really cool to follow along as the characters played the fame and not just hear "we beat the boss after a long, stressful battle". Each chapter was a level - chapter one is level one, chapter two is level two, and so on - and had a picture of the graphics from Fatal Destiny X, the game the story centers around.

George and Katie's relationship was really cute, and mainly consisted of them playing FDX and making out. Even though they first met in the beginning of the book, their relationship did not progress to fast, and they were often unsure of themselves. After a while their insecurities got a little repetitive (Katie's in particular) but it all worked out in the end. Their relationship was not the main focus of the book, and George and Katie still hung out with their friends (Anna and Lanyon).

Lanyon was great, he was probably my favorite character. He's hilarious and he's just a weird guy. Lanyon's trademark food is Snickers which he has an endless supply of and he never shares them (until he meets Heather). He has very few social capabilities, and his interactions with strangers left me in tears. Lanyon was just very entertaining and I wish I knew him in real life. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars, because it was enjoyable, the characters were great, but it just didn't blow me away.

"They take off quickly, which is good, because I try to skip up the walk to my house, only to slip on a patch of three snowflakes and fall on my ass."

"I see in Lanyon's eyes that he'd debating about giving up. He should give up. But his brow furrows and the Beeblebrox in him can't resist a final misguided attempt at love."

"You go over to that sink, splash some water on your face, do absolutely nothing to your hopeless hair, and go out there and jump on that boy who adores you. And the next time you worry about not being normal, just remember my words of wisdom. Fuck normal."

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