Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Book Review: Press Start to Play

24044140Title: Press Start to Play
Author: edited by Daniel H. Wilson
Publisher: Vintage
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher for Review
Edition: Paperback (528 pages)

Video games are a multi-billion dollar a year industry that has outpaced movies and books combined. The humble, pixelated games of the '70s and '80s evolved into the vivid, realistic, and immersive form of entertainment that now rivals all other forms of media for dominance in the consumer marketplace. For many, video games have become the cultural icons around which pop culture revolves.
PRESS START TO PLAY is an anthology of stories inspired by video games: stories that attempt to recreate the feel of a video game in prose form; stories that play with the concepts common (or exclusive) to video games; and stories about the creation of video games and/or about the video games-or gamers-themselves.
These stories will appeal to anyone who has interacted with games, from hardcore teenaged fanatics, to men and women who game after their children have gone to bed, to your well-meaning aunt who won't stop inviting you to join her farm-based Facebook games.
At the helm of this project are Daniel H. Wilson-bestselling novelist and expert in artificial intelligence-and John Joseph Adams-bestselling, Hugo Award-nominated editor of more than a dozen science fiction/fantasy anthologies and series editor of Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy (volume one forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin in 2015). Together, they have drawn on their wide-ranging contacts to assemble an incredibly talented group of authors who are eager to attack the topic of video games from startling and fascinating angles.
Under the direction of an A.I. specialist and a veteran editor, the anthology will expose readers to a strategically chosen mix of stories that explore novel video game concepts in prose narratives, such as save points, kill screens, gold-farming, respawning, first-person shooters, unlocking achievements, and getting "pwned." Likewise, each of our authors is an accomplished specialist in the areas such as science fiction, fantasy, and techno-thrillers, and many have experience writing for video games professionally.
Combining unique viewpoints and exacting realism, this anthology promises to thrill generations of readers, from those who grew up with Atari 2600s to the console and PC gamers of today. 

For those of you who don't know, I'm a huge fan of gaming. I've played games all my life, and grew up with a PlayStation 2 which I have been playing Guitar Hero 2 on since age 8. Yes, it's that intense. I also love playing Xbox, Wii, and PC games. Any game console will do. That's why the second that I saw this book, I knew I had to give it a read. Plus, it had some writing by Ernest Cline, who is my favorite author of all time.

Press Start to Play did not disappoint. It was filled with video game related short stories, some of them horror, some science fiction, and some fantasy. Sometimes the video games would even converge with real life, and those were the ones that I ended up loving most, because they were creepy! This was also my first anthology read, and I have to say that I now absolutely love short stories.

Here are some of my favorites from Press Start to Play:

NPC by Charles Yu (5/5 stars)
This short story was awesome. Basically you are a worker on the moon collecting iridium every day and you have a crush on Carla. One day, you level up and everything is so different, which makes you miss the days that you spent crushing on Carla, going on missions, and eating Lean Cuisines. I think the coolest thing about this one was that the main character was literally "you", making you feel the experience even more.

Respawn by Hiroshi Sakurazaka (5/5 stars) This short story contained a character who could respawn every time he died. If he was murdered, he became the murdered. It was the coolest concept. Imagine that happening to you; you basically could never die.

1Up by Holly Black (5/5 stars) This is my favorite kind of video game read-very Ready Player One-esque. Friends who knew a guy named Soren online all go to his funeral, only to find that he left behind a game to answer questions behind his death. This game starts to blend into the real world in the awesomest way possible. This is definitely my favorite short story so far, and now I know why everyone loves Holly Black.

Save Me Plz by David Barr Kirtley (5/5 stars)A short story that involves a world where elements that weren't part of Earth suddenly are? YES PLEASE. Yet another short story that I loved! This one also featured a huge twist towards the end. Definitely worth the read!

The Relive Box by T.C. Boyle (5/5 Stars)I loved the idea behind the relive box... I feel like it's definitely something that could come about in the future. It's basically a stimulation that lets you relive anything from the past that's happened, and you can relive it as many times as your heart desires, which is insane. The world would never be the same and it'd definitely start to take over your life, as this short story shows.

Anda's Game by Cory Doctorow (5/5 stars)
I read In Real Life by Cory Doctorow a few months ago and loved it, so I love how this short story was basically the same but just in writing instead of comics! It touches some very unique concepts that are definitely worth talking about such as child labor. I highly suggest reading this short story.

Coma Kings by Jessica Barber (5/5 stars)
I absolutely adored how this story had more than just video games; it also had a sisterly bond, though one of the sisters was in a coma. The sister however was hooked up to the game so she was alive online, though just not in person. It was a very cool concept, I loved it!

Creation Screen by Rhianna Pratchett (5/5 stars)Instead of reading about the gamer, this story was actually about the character in the video game! It takes the idea of role-playing to a whole new level, as the gamer is literally playing as someone else. It was cool to get inside the head of the character that's being forced to move around and fight things without really wanting to. 

There was even more, but I don't want to make this review any longer than it already is! Long review short, if you are a video game fan or love reading books about video games, this is the book for you. Press Start to Play is a new favorite that I will never stop recommending.  

A copy of Press Start to Play was provided for the publisher. 

Waiting on The Next Together!

23266378How many times can you lose the person you love?
A powerful and epic debut novel for teenagers about reincarnation and the timelessness of first love from a talented young writer.
Teenagers Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.
But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?
Maybe the next together will be different...

The Next Together will be released on September 3 by Walker Books.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Blog Tour | Like It Never Happened & Playlist!

Like It Never Happened
by Emily Adrian
Publisher: Dial Books
Release Date: June 2nd 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, High School, Chick Lit, Theatre, Fiction

Stereotypes, sexuality, and destructive rumors collide in this smart YA novel for fans of Sara Zarr’s Story of a Girl, Siobhan Vivian’s The List, and E. Lockhart’s The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.
When Rebecca Rivers lands the lead in her school’s production of The Crucible, she gets to change roles in real life, too. She casts off her old reputation, grows close with her four rowdy cast-mates, and kisses the extremely handsome Charlie Lamb onstage. Even Mr. McFadden, the play’s critical director, can find no fault with Rebecca.
Though “The Essential Five” vow never to date each other, Rebecca can’t help her feelings for Charlie, leaving her both conflicted and lovestruck. But the on and off-stage drama of the cast is eclipsed by a life-altering accusation that threatens to destroy everything…even if some of it is just make believe.

I've always been a huge fan of theater, ever since I did the play "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" as a young kid. There's just something about theater that's so much fun, and the people who do theater are just loads of fun to be around. They aren't scared of being who they are. I think that's a big part of why I liked this book so much.

Basically, there's this group called "The Essential Five" because they are always cast as the five leads in Mr. McFadden's school plays, ever since their freshmen year. They vow one day to never date each other, because they think that would ruin everything for them, especially since they act so well together. However, they realize that sometimes there will be cases where they will have to be intimate and kiss during plays and such. 

This summer, Charlie and Rebecca are both going away to help at a theater camp, though this could spell trouble because Rebecca has a huge crush on Charlie. They also had to kiss in a play a while back and Rebecca liked it very much. It's unclear for a while if Charlie feels the same way. 

This book was very fun to read! I'm a big fan of day camps in books, ever since Don't Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom, so this one yet again hit a soft spot in my heart. I also loved the large cast of characters, especially Rebecca and Charlie. I even liked Mr. McFadden; he was a funny guy, especially about his car in the very beginning! Like It Never Happened was such a quick read as well, because it just kept me hooked since I loved all of the characters so much. 

I definitely can't wait to read more by Emily Adrian in the future!

Since this book is so fun, I thought that I'd make a playlist of fun songs that remind me of the book and theater in general! If I was more tech savvy, I'd know how to make an actual playlist. Instead, I made a list of songs that I'm sure most of you all know!

Young and Beautiful by Lana del Rey
You Are In Love by Taylor Swift
We Are Young by Fun. 
The Walker by Fitz and the Tantrums (This one just reminds me of theater folk for some reason, because it's just so original)
Somewhere Only We Know (The Glee version, because I prefer it!)
On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons (Reminds me of how I'd feel if I scored the lead in the play)
Cool Kids by Echosmith (I personally find theater kids to be the coolest)
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Follow the Like It Never Happened by Emily Adrian Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Emily Adrian was born in 1989 in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. After graduating from Portland State University, she moved to Toronto, Ontario, where she worked as a receptionist while secretly writing books.
Emily currently lives in Toronto with her husband and their dog named Hank. Like It Never Happened is her debut novel.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...