I confess now before this jury of bloggers that I am not a big reader of realistic fiction (go right ahead and frown you Meg Cabot lovers). And a title like Head Games with a cover practically screaming relational dystrophy was the pinnacle of wary-making. But it was suggested *sigh* and thus I read it. And thus I was surprised.
Head Games is written from the point of view of 15-year-old, Internet gaming obsessed Judith Ellis. Her greatest goal in life is to defeat the homicidal player known only as Irgin the Headcase. But if virtual reality becomes as unfair as the world outside you bedroom what kind of escape is to be found? A string of events bring Jude to drop her game and, surprisingly, Irgin does as well. In real-time Jude struggles with witchy ex-pals, the bad-reputation kid from the screaming family across the hall, a girl with 200 brain cells short of a boxer, and the secret of what happened one night at 58 Seventy-first Street. Tension heightens as she discovers that the mysterious Jonathon, afore mentioned bad-rep boy, is the true persona of Headcase Irgin. But his intentions are as unclear in New York City as they were in the game-o-verse. Judith discovers her own boundaries breaking down as she learns that reality doesn’t always qualify for a C- and sometimes you have to play the game twice to figure out how it works.
Head Games offered many the surprise and sleight of mind. Judith finds solace in the unexpected and danger in those things closest to her, leaving the lingering sensation of alertness for the reader to experience. I read this in about an hour of fluorescent book-light-beneath-covers stunt work. So don’t think of the cover- focus on the plot and excellent writing and you will discover a realistic-fiction novel that borders on the most in-depth of sci-fis.
5.7 out of 7 of whatever the polls decide.
Internet-ing, Avoiding On-line Gaming,Aella Siofra