Author: Deanna Browne
Genre(s): Science fiction & fantasy; Action & adventure
A perfect concoction of a well-manufactured plot, engaging characters, and setting descriptions
When I first began reading Hooked I felt like I was in a mixed world that was inspired by Divergent and Ready, Player One. Ari (our main character) is a teenager trapped in a society that has been taken over by virtual reality. However, she does not fit in well with this facet of the world for many reasons. Ari's father was caught in a virtual reality coma, which leads her to fearing the same thing may happen to her. Additionally, she is incredibly bright and intuitive, therefore making it difficult for the virtual reality scenes to feel authentic for her. During the beginning of the book, readers learn that Ari tends to run away from anything that makes her uncomfortable. In a way this is her defense mechanism or coping strategy when things become too much for her to handle. Surprisingly, she finds herself in a position of power when the day of her assignment comes. Ari's character is one that I found myself rooting for because she naturally goes against the grain of what society expects of her. She has a different perspective from her peers and this makes her stand out.
Looking at the novel from a bird's eye view made me realize how scary it would be to live in a world that was ruled by virtual reality and neglected the basic ideal of what it means to be alive and to be human. I think Deanna did an amazing job at pulling this theme throughout the book without making it sound preachy. Readers will get a glimpse into the dangers of living on the edge of human reality and virtual technology. Additionally, the dynamic characters made it a fun ride as they each contributed to the plot and to the world that was created.
What I did not like about this book...I think there were some aspects that seemed a little dry when it came to inspiration. For example, when Ari is given her assignment I felt I was literally reading Divergent. I obviously don't know if this story was inspired by that series, but I would be surprised if it was not. This part could have used a little more creativity from my perspective, but it didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book.
I would highly recommend Hooked if you are a fan of technologically savvy young adult dystopian novels.
When virtual reality surpasses people’s wildest dreams, many struggle to remain in the real world. Sixteen-year-old Ari has watched the financial and emotional cost of virtual reality addiction for years as her father continues barely existing in a VR coma. Unfortunately, her only option to help her family escape poverty is if she studies the one subject she hates and fears: virtual reality programming.
Despite her misgivings, Ari soon develops a rare talent that makes her question everything. Now she must hide her ability or risk becoming a priceless commodity that governments and corporations will fight, steal or even kill to possess. As officials tighten the shackles surrounding Ari, she rebels against her imposed future and searches for a way to save those she loves. Yet, running proves impossible, when the government is always one click away.
Currently Reading The Sweetest Oblivion by Danielle Lori
I am a lover of the written word. This is my space to pursue my love of reading through book reviews and literary discussions with my fellow readers.