I’ve been hearing about this book since it came out. So many people I know on the internet and whose opinions I trust have read, reviewed and absolutely loved it. So I feel bad only rating it four stars, but for all that that the story and the characters appealed to me, there was something that kept making me prioritise other things over listening more to the audio book, and I never really fully emotionally connected with this one.
There are so many reviews out there of this book already, so I don’t want to spend too much time on the plot. Sam and Sadie become best friends playing video games in a hospital while Sam is recovering from an awful car accident, which leaves him permanently crippled, while Sadie’s sister is being treated for cancer. Because of an unwise decision of Sadie’s, they drift apart, only to meet again as college students at Harvard. They immediately reconnect and decide to start designing a video game together. Aided by Sam’s charming and rich roommate Marx, the three become a force to be reconned with in the video game world.
We learn about Sam and Sadie from flashbacks and flash-forwards. Both are fiercely loyal and love each other deeply, but are also easily hurt, terrible at communicating with one another, and stubborn enough that through the years, a lot of misunderstandings which could have been solved by SIMPLE conversations keep them from being there fully for one another. Marx is the person who tries to mediate between them and also keep their personality quirks from completely ruining any chance they have of success.
For all that I spent a lot of time wanting to smack either Sam, Sadie, or both of them on the back of the head and shout at them to stop being so self-centred, and maybe talk to the other about what actually bothered them, they also felt like real people to me. Marx was clearly the character I loved the most, and without him in the narrative, I’m not sure I would have continued past the first third or so of the novel.
Full review on my blog