You

You by Austin Grossman, narrated by
Genre: No clue (geek, contemporary, humor, almost fantasy)
ISBN 9781478978565 | Published March 26th 2013 by Hachette Audio (first published March 1st 2013)| Amazon | Goodreads | Audible

Rating: 3.5

A NOVEL OF MYSTERY, VIDEOGAMES, AND THE PEOPLE WHO CREATE THEM, BY THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE.

When Russell joins Black Arts games, brainchild of two visionary designers who were once his closest friends, he reunites with an eccentric crew of nerds hacking the frontiers of both technology and entertainment. In part, he's finally given up chasing the conventional path that has always seemed just out of reach. But mostly, he needs to know what happened to Simon, the strangest and most gifted friend he ever lost, who died under mysterious circumstances soon after Black Arts' breakout hit.

Then Black Arts' revolutionary next-gen game is threatened by a mysterious software glitch, and Russell finds himself in a race to save his job, Black Arts' legacy, and the people he has grown to care about. The bug is the first clue in a mystery leading back twenty years, through real and virtual worlds, corporate boardrooms and high school computer camp, to a secret that changed a friendship and the history of gaming. The deeper Russell digs, the more dangerous the glitch appears--and soon, Russell comes to realize there's much more is at stake than just one software company's bottom line.

While reading—and after finishing—You, I really had no idea what to say about it. I let it sit in my brain for a while, and I think I’ve decided how I feel. It’s a funny book though, because honestly, you have to be the right kind of reader for it. I’m not yet sure what that kind of reader is.

First, as you can see above, I can’t really say what genre it was. It wasn’t really young adult, though I’m sure some young people will enjoy it. It’s not really adult either though, because it’s about a group of people who play videogames for a living. So I wasn’t sure what category to put it into for my brain.

There was some fantasy aspects, because the videogame they made was fantasy. The videogame characters would come to visit Russell, the main character, in his dreams or daydreams. Once he took one of them on a date. That was kind of weird.

Then there was the plot. They’re making this game, another game in the series, and there’s a bug that’s causing all sorts of problems. They have to play the game to get rid of the bug. Now I’m not a game designer but that doesn’t seem very probable to me personally. I’d do a control search for the line of problem code, and just take it the hell out. But like I said, I’m not a designer. 

The subplot to the bug mystery had something to do with the past, the founder of the company, a mysterious death, and an “ultimate game.” It was all very vague, and not a lot of it was wrapped up.

Finally, I didn’t particularly like the conclusion. Suffice to say I thought the whole novel would take a different turn than it did, and it wasn’t what I wanted.

But the good parts were good! The writing was funny and descriptive, the characters were well developed—I loved Lisa so much!—and it was fast paced.

Personally, I liked it. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, but I probably wouldn’t read (or listen to) it again.

Content/recommendation: some language, no sex. Ages 16+

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Copyright 2016 Haley Mathiot. All reviews are 100% honest and unbiased. One or more items featured in the blog post may have been free or discounted. Receiving free or discounted product does not affect review. For more please see my disclaimer page.