By Vivian Vande Velde
Harcourt, 2012. 276 pp. Juvenile chapter book.
Virtual computer gaming is all the rage and more realistic than ever before--so realistic, in fact, that Emily Pizzelli decides to join one of the games for the rest of her life, which means her mind and body will slowly die. Grace, her sister, is the only one who can save her from disappearing forever into the game, but convincing Emily to leave isn't as simple as it would seem. As an employee of the very company whose game she disappeared into, Emily knows the ins and outs of programming and gaming and has programmed her own personal game very specifically to keep her from being directly pulled from its bounds. Grace must outwit pixies and dragons, gather huge amounts of gold, and even conduct a proper tea party--but her most difficult task is to determine what could it be that would make her sister decide to end her days in a sparkly, glittery, ultra-girly virtual world and to convince her to return to the real one.
This book was entertaining and well paced. I enjoyed the focus on a virtual world and especially liked that it was with girls as the main characters--often, virtual reality books tend to have males as the main characters so it was fun to see things switched up. The characters were crafted nicely, particularly Grace, who is very likeable and has a strong, determined personality. This book can be enjoyed by girls and boys alike but will probably appeal most to girls due to the main characters.