Firstly, Id like to say I was drawn to this book by its cover. I love Poppies especially red ones at that. Sadly, the link with the Poppies isnt an innocent one as its the link to drugs that entitles them to be on the cover.
Tyler has problems, hes got a lack of concentration for his school work and is hyperactive at times due to suffering with ADHD but he finds he can channel the negative side of his problem to play his games. Hes on Meds for his ADHD but doesnt like to take them as hes seen what drugs can do to his brother Brandon whos an addict. The writing style in some ways mirrored Tylers ADHD at times which might or might not be intentional. I found it jumped around at times but in a good way.
Tyler has a love of Computer Games as do a lot of teenage young men and women. Its his interest in Gaming and flying that introduce him to Rick who becomes his mentor in the Civilian Air Patrol. Tyler has a passion for flying and Rick asks Tyler to test out a new game for him with the promise of a place at flight school if he does really well. Its not long before the game becomes an all consuming pastime and he finds himself playing it more and more. Is the game as innocent as Tyler thinks and with shades reminiscent to me of a 1983 film called War Games, this becomes a heck of a ride in more ways than one for Tyler.
Ani, the games designer is a legendary gamer and when Tyler finds this out he soon becomes besotted with her and its not long before hes falling for her. However, Rick isnt keen for Tyler and Ani to develop a friendship/relationship and does all he can to encourage them to be apart, saying that any friendship/relationship could jeopardise the game and also the chances of Tyler joining flying school.
Brandon is in rehab for his addiction and Tyler regularly visits him, its only when Brandon goes MIA that things start to take a more sinister turn. Is his disappearance in any way connected to Rick and the game? Ani and Tyler become more suspicious as time goes on and when Tyler sees a news report he begins to wonder is all as it seems in the world of gaming.
To say any more would spoil the book for other readers, so pick it up have a read and find out what is at the root of it all.
I thoroughly enjoyed this debut YA book, its an easy read and I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. I will look for more books by this Author. I enjoyed the relationship between Ani and Tyler, he was definitely in awe of her at the start.
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