Title: Girl Gone Viral
Author: Arvin Ahmadi
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Publication Date: May 21, 2019
*I received this ARC as part of Miss Print’s ARC Adoption Program. Thank you so much, Miss Print!*
For seventeen-year-old Opal Hopper, code is magic. She builds entire worlds from scratch: Mars craters, shimmering lakes, any virtual experience her heart desires.
But she can’t code her dad back into her life. When he disappeared after her tenth birthday, leaving only a cryptic note, Opal tried desperately to find him. And when he never turned up, she enrolled at a boarding school for technical prodigies and tried to forget.
Until now. Because WAVE, the world’s biggest virtual reality platform, has announced a contest where the winner gets to meet its billionaire founder. The same billionaire who worked closely with Opal’s dad. The one she always believed might know where he went. The one who maybe even murdered him.
What begins as a small data hack to win the contest spirals out of control when Opal goes viral, digging her deeper into a hole of lies, hacks, and manipulation. How far will Opal go for the answers–or is it the attention–she’s wanted for years?
I loved Arvin Ahmadi’s first book, Down & Across, and I was so excited to see what he could do with a sci-fi story. I also have a degree in computer science, so I was thrilled to be getting a book about a girl who loves to code. While I did love this aspect of the story, there were other elements that I didn’t love and unfortunately I DNF’ed this one. I’m really disappointed because I wanted to love this one so much, but I just couldn’t get into it the way I hoped I would. I’m not ready to give up on it completely though, so I’m definitely planning on giving it another chance in a few months.
The main thing I liked was the discussion of technology. This novel takes place in the future, where the technology is far more advanced than ours. I thought parts of the story were very thought-provoking. It definitely made me consider the roles that technology and social media play in our lives. It also made me wonder what technology will really be like in the future.
Opal was a very unlikable main character. She was rude, selfish, and manipulative. While this didn’t necessarily take away from the story for me, it just didn’t add to it either. Something I didn’t like, however, was the romance. It just didn’t hit me in the feels, haha. It also felt a bit unnecessary unfortunately.
The one aspect that really kept me from getting invested in this story was the writing. I really enjoyed Arvin’s writing in Down & Across; I thought it was witty and captivating. I just didn’t love it as much this time around. It didn’t grab my attention the same way. That being said, as I DNF’ed this book, I can’t be sure that it didn’t improve later in the novel.
Overall, this book wasn’t awful by any means. It just didn’t hold my attention, so I couldn’t keep with it. However, like I said, I’m planning on giving it another chance in a few months, and hopefully I’ll enjoy it more then!
How do you feel about DNF’ing books? What’s the last book you DNF’ed?