Release date: June 14th 2016
Sixteen-year-old Jaxon is being committed to video game rehab . . . ten minutes after he met 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, he can’t blast his way through galaxies to reach her. He can’t slash through armies to kiss her sweet lips. Instead, he has just 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.
Prepare to be cured.
This was a book I may have connected with more if I actually played video games but instead I was left with the feeling that I missed a lot of jokes because I didn’t understand the references. In theory, the concept was really interesting. A rehab center for kids addicted to video games where the rehab program is like a game itself. Earn points for learning life skills, reach a million points and earn your freedom.
Jaxon was an interesting protagonist but also one that was hard to like at times. A lot of the time. He took issue with the bully jocks who were in the rehab center but was also a bully himself to a young boy who looked up to him. I kept waiting for character growth to happen but he just seemed to become more self-absorbed the longer the book went on. I couldn’t find any connection with him so it made it hard for me to care or want that growth to happen. There was potential in Jax to be a better person but it was going to take a lot of growth to make him likeable.
The supporting cast of characters were ones I did care about. Jax’s fellow group members in his support guild were very quirky and fun and I definitely got more invested in their stories than I did with Jax, especially Soup, the boy who clung to Jax and just wanted to be his friend.
It was fast to read and was a pretty fast pace. It was set mostly over a four to five day period. The ending seemed a little abrupt but I read an ARC copy so it’s possible it could be changed.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.