Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: 20 January 2020
Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.
Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.
At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…
And she isn’t going down without a fight.
It’s been a long time since a book made me want to stand up and cheer, or literally set my heart thumping, or brought tears to my eyes. This one did all three, not just once, but over and over.
I was with Divya from the very first page, and my interest in her never flagged for a second. It took me a little longer to become invested in Aaron, but it was worth the wait. I am going to be carrying these characters with me for a long time, and I would love to meet them again in a future story.
To put something out there right now, I don’t play video games, and there is a lot of gameplay in this novel. And you know what? I wouldn’t change a word of it. Some of the most devastating and also the most exhilarating moments happen in-game. I absolutely loved it and I feel a deep sense of loss that I’ll never be able to join the Angst Armada and play alongside Divya.
The story is brilliant, the emotions are real, the characters are wonderful and the writing is sublime.
(Thank you to Harlequin Australia for sending a free copy my way in exchange for an honest review)