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Cure for the Common Universe based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Rounded Up From 3 1/2 Stars “Cure for the Common Universe” is a fun and fast-paced read with a premise and setting any gamer is bound to love. Set in a video game rehab facility which uses a game system of points to allow the patients to be released, it almost seems like a fun place to be. That is unless you will miss your video games too much. I’m not going to lie, if I had to give up the gigantic time suck of Animal Crossing it would not be pretty. Someone has to weed my town, and it won’t be those lazy villagers. Jaxon is the main character, and he is the perfect example of an unreliable narrator. It takes a couple of chapters to figure him out, but once you do it’s fun to revel in his delusions. The side characters are all quirky and interesting, while also having some depth that partially explains why they are addicts in the first place. And yes, they really are addicted to gaming. The nature of addiction is explored in an accessible way without feeling preachy, and I think that will resonate with a lot of young adult readers. The plot is fast-paced and quite an easy read. The only reason I knocked off stars was the ending. It sort of jumped off of the track. However, it wasn’t so far off that it made the rest of the book unenjoyable. “Cure for the Common Universe” is a particularly good book for reluctant readers who enjoy gaming. It’s also great for someone looking for a funny and light read that still packs a bit of a punch. This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Cure for the Common Universe takes common YA tropes and turns them on their heads with humour, a million gaming references and an anti-hero who is truly awful (but only too identifiable). Jaxon is being sent to video game rehab. Just moments after almost winning the latest game with his guild and asking a girl out on a date - for the first time ever. He is determined to get out of v-hab as quickly as possible. He has just four days to accumulate one million points by attending group therapy, winning competitions, eating healthy and (really?) running. But don't worry, he's got this and nobody's going to stand in his way. Jaxon isn't your typical, loveable nerd. He's lazy, rude, oblivious to the people around him and yet totally realistic. Surrounding Jaxon at v-hab are an assortment of characters from the bullying jocks to his own weirdly wonderful guild members - girls who are strong and stand up for themselves and what they believe in, a heroin addict, a group leader who is a master gamer himself and a young boy who hangs off Jaxon's every word (or command). They are at once stereotypical and yet push outside of what we expect from YA characters. The setting is awesome, video game rehab set up like one giant video game in the middle of the desert sounds. Kart racing, paintball, sandcastle building competitions, sign me up! I must admit that 90% of the gaming references went over my head, but I know gamers will love this book, and even those with little gaming experience, such as myself, can enjoy this creative and thought-provoking novel. And while the ending leaves one hanging, wondering what happened and what could happen next, it reminds the reader that this story doesn't end with a happy ever after, it doesn't end easily or neatly. Change isn't as easy as we would like, real life is never like in the games (or books), and black and white is never as two-sided as we like to pretend. There is the possibility of Jaxon making a great turn around...and then we find that maybe things aren't that easy. There is the chance of a great, all consuming love story...only to discover that fate-destined first meetings don't always mean happy ever after. There is the faint smell of a heroic rescue...yet princesses don't need rescuing and sometimes the hero isn't all that heroic. The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.