Sunday, December 18, 2016

Unplugged by Donna Freitas

Title: Unplugged (The Wired, #1)
Author: Donna Freitas
Published by: Harper Children's (2016)

My Rating: ★☆

Summary from Goodreads:

Humanity is split into the App World and the Real World—an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy and a dying physical world for the poor. Years ago, Skylar Cruz’s family sent her to the App World for a chance at a better life.

Now Skye is a nobody, a virtual sixteen-year-old girl without any glamorous effects or expensive downloads to make her stand out in the App World. Yet none of that matters to Skye. All she wants is a chance to unplug and see her mother and sister again.

But when the borders between worlds suddenly close, Skye loses that chance. Desperate to reach her family, Skye risks everything to get back to the physical world. Once she arrives, however, she discovers a much larger, darker reality than the one she remembers.


Yeah, I read this book and yeah, while I was reading I enjoyed levels of it. Not all of it, but yes, certain aspects I enjoyed. 

The rest was just a stereotypical cliche mash up of an author’s attempt to be creative while yet somehow retaining exactly to the YA dystopian stereotype.

Why I still read books like this I’ll never know, because they’re all either
a) so predictable I predict the entire book from page one, or
b) so wildly plotted in a vain attempt to be different that nothing really makes sense

Unplugged fits option B. So much of this book felt like just desperation. The plot twists are so forced and make no real sense, as if the synopsis was written, and then the story forced to match. It’s incredibly unrealistic. It’s just another author trying to be different while still staying exactly the same. 

Description of Skylar:

She’s strong and determined, but of course has her fears—that she hides—that set her back. She keeps her head down, lives her life, and tries not to get noticed. She thinks of herself as lowly and ugly. She’s stubborn and willfull, but thinks she knows right from wrong. Often she sneaks off to be in private because the world becomes too much. 

Guess what? I stole this description from my review of Inside Out to describe the main character. I also used this description to describe the main character in the Selection series.

Is there any YA author who has any creativity left?

Skylar is SUCH a stereotype. At the beginning she almost seems unique, but then that changes. She becomes stubborn. She becomes determined. She breaks the rules for the first time and thinks oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m doing this because I was such a good kid before! She betrays someone for the “right reason” and is plagued by it. She longs for her family and wants nothing more than to find them. Sound familiar yet?

The plot made mostly no sense, it was just desperate, unsuccesful grasps at originality. I have a great respect for books because I know how much work goes into them, but when every YA dystopian is 90% the same, something happens called there can’t possibly be that much work going into them anymore. What’s being written is just what teenagers want to read, and I find it incredibly disappointing that these kind of books have become the teenage standard. C’mon, teens! We can do better than this!

I will say my one positive is there was NO typical love triangle with the main character choosing between two guys. Yeah, there is some attraction between two characters but not until halfway through and never a love triangle. It was the main reason I kept reading. 

Though I did like the aspect of this story of technology truly taking over and the consequences, I felt it didn’t really send the message clearly. So yeah. The writing was decent I guess, just the rest of the book was too stereotypical.

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