There are no products in your shopping cart.
There are no products in your shopping cart.
- Written by By Ava, Amanda, and Alannah
The virtual-reality vibe has boosted in popularity ever since READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline became a bestseller. Strap in for six other reads that will take you to another world!
1. Warcross by Marie Lu
WARCROSS and READY PLAYER ONE have undeniable similarities, whether it’s the virtual-reality aspect, or the fact that both protagonists are competing in a billionaire’s tournaments. When Emika Chen, a world class hacker and bounty hunter of illegal bets, accidentally glitches herself into the Warcross Championships, she figures the maker of the Warcross virtual-reality game Hideo Tanaka will have her arrested. Instead, he gives her a mission: pose as a Warcross player to find the security problem. But soon she uncovers a dastardly plot that may doom the game and everyone playing it.
2. Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
The Otherworld was just supposed to be another virtual reality game. But soon Simon discovers it’s a lot more than that—it’s a new phase of reality. The game requires no screens. It relies on your senses: touch, smell, feel, taste, and hear. You can do whatever your heart desires, even if it’s taboo or illegal or things you’re just too scared to do in real life… but what happens when the Otherworld becomes your real life?
3. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Known to the world as one of the most popular books, it’s hard to find people these days who haven’t felt deja-vu at the name Ender’s Game. Both books have plenty of games, with those in READY PLAYER ONE being all virtual and those ENDER’S GAME being a combination of virtual and in reality. Sharing similar elements, although Ender’s situation while playing games was to train to fight the war on insects called “buggers,” fans of READY PLAYER ONE will sure to love this book!
4. Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane
Written in 2010, this book was ahead of its time with its story of a huge multiplayer online game, compared to many games which have gone viral in the last years with the added benefit of having virtual reality. The game takes place in Omnitopia, and players are able to sense the world around them. Once billionaire Dev, the creator of this game, sets a new update more than what comes to the eye is revealed and this game may collapse the world, virtual and reality.
5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Expert criminal Kaz Brekker can’t believe it when a rich merchant offers him a job that could earn him all the wealth he’s ever dreamed of. The only catch is no one has ever broken into the Ice Court prison and come out alive. With a team of comrades—each promised a portion of the money as an incentive—Kaz sets off on a dangerous journey to complete the proposed heist. But will it end in glory or in death?
6. The Hunger Games by Suzane Collins
Perhaps one of the best-known YA books of today, Suzanne Collins’ wildly popular HUNGER GAMES trilogy and courageous heroine Katniss have been made into a series of movies and continue to entrance fans both on the page and the screen. Katniss is thrust into a game where children are chosen to kill one another in an arena. The last one standing is declared the victor. There’s just one problem: what happens when she starts falling for one of the other contestants?
Teen Advisory Board Member Amanda Reviews Enclave.
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
When war and plague rule the land, the inhabitants of New York City must move underground into enclaves in order to survive. It’s no easy life, fighting for your survival and with the average life expectancy being in the 20s. With life underground and the knowledge of everything known before destroyed, new jobs and statuses have to be created. Classified into three main sectors, the hunters, the builders, and the breeders, the human race is simply surviving. Generations after moving underground, Deuce is born. On her 15th birthday, everything she has been working for is achieved as she finally becomes a huntress, trained to hunt down food and defend the enclave from the Freaks, or the mutated humans after the war. Being paired with Fade, a boy from the Topside, she finally sees the corruption and secrets the enclave had hidden for so long.
Dystopian is one of my favorite genres to read because of the world-building, and Enclave set up the tone perfectly. Deuce is caring, passionate, and strong, and won’t take nonsense from anyone. I loved her character and the way she grew up not during a traumatic post-apocalypse event, but instead generations after. Rather than waiting for some military official or such in a world where the average person doesn’t know how to fight, she grows up knowing that she trained for such a moment and that no one could take that from her.
On the flip side, Deuce isn’t without anxiety and flaws but learns how to deal with them in her own way. Many doubted her because her parents weren’t hunters and she didn’t have the experience in her blood. Although she has trained to fight in the tunnels, she has never been in such a situation where any step could be fatal. This creates human worries and stress about not being enough, something which many can relate to, huntress or not. Instead of some untouchable female heroine, Deuce realizes the flaws in her ambition and takes a step back.
Although there is certainly a lot of romance, the plot focuses the most on Deuce. However, where there is romance it’s sweet and caring in a unique way. The relationship between Deuce and Fade is slow and stilted, but they definitely care for each other. It’s a lot of waiting for the other to act first, capturing the essence of teenage love. It’s romantic, genuine, and angsty.
This book could honestly be perfect for any readers of YA, no matter what genre. Love, grief, history, future - it’s all here. Specifically, fans of Throne of Glass and And I Darken should totally give Enclave a try because of the similar elements they share.
After a whirlwind season of putting on Books Inc. children’s bookfairs, I like nothing better than to unwind at home with an enormous cup of hot chocolate and a good book. This winter break, I’m planning to finish Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend, the much-awaited follow-up to middle grade fantasy debut Nevermoor. In the first book, our hero Morrigan Crow is whisked away from her oppressive family and placed under the patronage of the eccentric Jupiter North. After surviving a series of trails to join the exclusive Wundrous Society, she discovers a unique talent that will make her a central figure in the struggle to save Nevermoor: the power to harness the magical and mysterious energy known as Wunder.
Now, in Wundersmith, Morrigan and her eight peers in the society must begin their training, all while managing the struggles of friendship, belonging, and identity that every 12 year old faces. But when tragedy and terror strikes Nevermoor in the form of mysterious disappearances, Morrigan will have to save the Wondrous Society for good, or take on the blame herself. Townsend’s sophomore novel is written with an ease and confidence that eludes even more experienced novelists, and I will happily join the chorus of readers comparing her favorably to J.K Rowling and her own magically-gifted orphan child. Perfect for children ages 11-15, and clocking in at over 500 pages, Wundersmith is children’s fantasy at its best and most accessible.
About Paul: Originally from Long Beach, Paul has found a home in the beautiful city of Oakland. A graduate of Cal State East Bay (B.A, Creative Writing) Paul has been thrilled to advance his love for reding with Books Inc. as a coordinator for their Book Fair programs. His favorite parts of the job are meeting nother writers and connecting kids to meaningful stories that stimulate ther brains. When he's not zipping around the Bay Area for school events, he likes to write poetry, nerd out on political news, and go for hikes at the East Bay's beautiful parsk and walking trails.