REVIEW Cure for the Common Universe.

TITLE. Cure for the Common Universe
AUTHOR. Christian McKay Heidicker
PUBLISHER. Simon & Schuster
RELEASE DATE. June 14th 2016
PAGES. 320
GENRE. Contemporary, Young Adult, Fiction

Prepare to be cured by this quirky and hilarious debut novel about a sixteen-year-old loner who is sent to rehab for video game addiction—perfect for fans of Ned Vizzini and Jesse Andrews.

Sixteen-year-old Jaxon is being committed to video game rehab…ten minutes after meeting a girl. A living, breathing girl named Serena, who not only laughed at his jokes but actually kinda sorta seemed excited when she agreed to go out with him.

Jaxon’s first date. Ever.

In rehab, Jaxon can’t blast his way through galaxies to reach her. He can’t slash through armies to kiss her sweet lips. Instead, he has four days to earn one million points by learning real-life skills. And he’ll do whatever it takes—lie, cheat, steal, even learn how to cross-stitch—in order to make it to his date.

If all else fails, Jaxon will have to bare his soul to the other teens in treatment, confront his mother’s absence, and maybe admit that it’s more than video games that stand in the way of a real connection.

From a bright new voice in young adult literature comes the story of a young man with a serious case of arrested development—and carpal tunnel syndrome—who is about to discover what real life is all about.

So this is a standalone novel by a writer I hadn’t heard or read anything about before. It is always a guess if I will like the story with someone new. Hell, nowadays it is even a guess with some writers (Richelle Mead) I used to love..

But to be honest, I did not find this such a great novel. Yes I had fun, and it had its moments.. but in the end it was all very disappointing and I was kind of confused when I finished the last chapter.

Let’s get started on the plot itself first though. This story is about Jaxon (mostly called Miles throughout the story) who has a gaming addiction. As every classic addict, he does not see this as a problem and thinks he is doing just fine. He even met a cute girl at the car wash who wanted to go on a date with him. But when he gets home from the car wash, a couple of man in suits are awaiting him; they’re taking him to a gaming rehab for the next couple of weeks.
The gaming rehab works with a simple system, everything they do that is good for them (eating healthy food, exercise, social skills) gets rewarded with points, and there are tournaments that even have a huge point value. To get out? Get 1 million points. Jaxons plan: get all the points he needs to get out as soon as possible, so he can make it in time for his date.

This book is supposed to be based on this reality, but I can’t help to see so many faults in this whole gaming rehab.. I mean you want them to stop thinking like they do in virtual reality, but they make a game out of everything ! Eating a salad: 1.000 points ! Sharing in group: 5.000 points ! Winning a tournament: 250.000 points ! To me this seems all wrong, because they stay competitive and focused on winning.. I get that it makes in more interesting to compete in this challenge for the gamers, but still.. Just because you get 1 million points, does not mean that you are ready to get out.

Main example: Jaxon himself. All the things he does, from the salads to sharing his feelings, everything has an ulterior motive. He manipulates his guild members (yes they get divided into guilds) and only thinks of getting out so he can meet a girl he only met once, for a short time.
He meets all these awesome people, and gets so much help to get better and be a better person, but everything he does, he does for the wrong reasons and he ends up only hurting all of them.
So, as you might understand: I did not like him. I really thought he was a very selfish A-hole and I disliked him thoroughly.

And not only that, but what about that Serena/Gravity girl? Just weird right? I miss so much background or well any information.
Connected to that; I really disliked the choice Jaxon made there.

Some of the side characters seemed very interesting, but we did not get to know them well enough to my taste. I wanted to know more.. More about Aurora, more about Zxzord, because we know nothing at all about him. I want to know if he makes it up to Soup, because he acted just horrible to him…

This leaves me at the end of the book, were I finished a chapter and suddenly it was finished?? What the hell? It was not finished and it just ends. He is finally trying to make up for his selfish deeds and then after the first step it just ends. I mean.. after all the egoistical stuff I wanted to get into the real stuff, were the real character development will take place.. and it just ends. This kind of ruined most of the story to me.

So this book was not for me, I’m all about learning and stuff, but like 95% of the book is about the main character being a huge jerk, and just when he starts to better his life the book just ends.. One of the most important things when I read a book is that I need to be able to relate to the main character, or well at least like him. But I did not like him at all. I did like all the imagination the writer put into this, but I did not buy this story. 2.5 Freyja’s for that imagination and entertainment, but I cannot recommend this one.



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