Here's the summary from Goodreads: Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her. Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking. In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.
What I Liked: 1) The idea. What I loved about this was that it could actually happen (and that would totally freak me out). I mean, you could totally use this story as a cautionary tale for what happens when we let so much of our lives happen online. I was immediately drawn into this idea and the impact it had on everyone's lives. 2) Justin - this guy was a complete surprise to me, and I fell for him pretty quickly. Honestly, it was kind of romantic, the idea of being unplugged and experiencing life not behind a screen. Is that sad? I don't spend all of my time on the computer, but I do spend a substantial amount of time conversing with people in cyberspace, either through Twitter or Facebook. So I identified with Justin's desire to get out from behind the screen, and it made him very endearing to me. 3) Maddie. I was confused at first by Maddie. Her personality seemed at odds with the fact that she was trying to rebel against the online all the time life she was living. But the further we delved into her story, the more I began to understand her. So I was impressed by author Kate Kacvinsky's slow reveal of certain information. Maddie's character growth was slow and steady and completely fabulous. I also loved how so much of what Maddie experienced was new for her. She was almost childlike when she was exploring new things, because everything she was used to was virtual. It reminded me of seeing my nephew at Disney World and all the things that were new and exciting for him there. 4) The changes in scenery. So often in books I feel like we stay in one place. It's something I've noticed recently, and now I'm becoming grateful when an author doesn't limit themselves to one or two locations throughout a story. Yes, maybe it means a little more work, especially if they pay attention to the details that make settings come alive, but it's always rewarding for me as a reader to get to explore a new location. And Kacvinsky gave us plenty of detail to breathe life into each of the settings we visited.
What I Didn't Like: Nothing!
Overall Thoughts: As soon as I finished reading this one, I searched for the second book. It was intriguing, realistic, and very memorable. Kacvinsky's talent for character development shines throughout the entire book, and everything from the settings to the characters come to life off the page. I know this isn't a new release, but if you never found the time to check it out, I would definitely recommend setting aside some time to check this one out! As for me, sounds like I need to spend a little time out from behind my screen....this book will make you feel the same! (Not that I don't support you checking in to FCB!) :)
My Rating: 5 Shots