Tuesday, 24 February 2015

UKYA Review: Mind Games by Teri Terry

Published by: Orchard Books/Hachette Childrens
Release date: 5th March 2015
Series:  n/a

I got it from: Netgalley
Goodreads summary: 

Luna is a no-hoper with a secret: in a world of illusion, she can see what is real. But can she see the truth before it is too late?

Luna has always been able to exist in virtual and real worlds at the same time, a secret she is warned to keep. She hides her ability by being a Refuser: excluded by choice from the virtual spheres others inhabit. But when she is singled out for testing, she can’t hide any longer.

The safest thing to do would be to fail, to go back to a dead-end life, no future. But Luna is starting to hope for something better, and hope is a dangerous thing...

My Review:
Where to start? This is an incredible book. As always, Terry has created a world so complete that it's hard to believe it's not real. In Mind Games, it's a world of the future, where virtual reality has become the norm. Kids are taught via virtual lessons, they meet and date in virtual rooms, they spend all their free time playing in virtual worlds. Adults work in virtual offices, their bodies held in a life support system. But Luna is a Refuser. Her mother died because of the virtual world, her Nan insists she should stay away from it, and every time she tries to enter it she feels sick and disorientated. When Luna is selected for intelligence and rationality testing, with a chance to go to university and get a good job, but also a chance at being marked as irrational and put under watch for the rest of her life, she discovers that all is not as it seems in the virtual world.

That's a pretty basic premise. I could write pages of it to be honest, because Terry's world is so complex and there is so much going on. Yet despite all this, she somehow still manages to make Mind Games an easy book to read. It's just a lot more interesting and fulfilling than a lot of the fluff out there. Be ready for scientific and political questioning, in fact pretty much everything will end up in question. At the same time, Luna is a girl coming of age, dealing with a difficult family life, being persecuted for her beliefs and trying to discover who she really is. Then introduce a doctor who seems good but might be evil, a boy with a whole ton of secrets and a flirty smile, and a whole secret world. Mind Games is a brilliant read that will make you think.

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