Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Buy It! amazon
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Summary from Goodreads: So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?
When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.
First Thoughts: Hmmm....I’m stuck with this book’ I think I liked it, but I’m not sure I did. Does that make sense? Let me try again: I loved the concept (video game/real-life alien attack), but the story itself didn’t fully live up to its promise.
I finished this book over a week ago, but every time I sit down to write this review I get stuck. That dang cursor flashes at me minute after minute and I just don’t know what to say. I went back and forth between 2 stars, 4 stars, 3 stars, finally deciding on the happy medium. I’m going to apologize in advance for not being very clear with my thoughts here (disclaimer), but I guess that says something in itself.
Here’s why I wanted to like the book so much: the concept and premise. It seems alien books are the new trend, as I’ve read three new ones this summer, and they are slowly starting to grow on me. Not only did this book promise aliens, it also promised a video game component. It sounded like a real-life first-person shooter game - what better way to suck in teenage boys (and some girls). And honestly, the concept was good. The way characters were pulled into the “game” while still living their real lives. The creepiness of the aliens preparing to take over the world. The way gamers earned points even though they were just fighting to stay alive. I liked the whole concept; it is unique and it appeals to the current teenage audience. So, why isn’t this book one of the highlights of my summer reading?
Here’s why I got stuck: the characters (you know I’m a character reader) and the pace of the story. The characters were okay enough, but I never felt fully connected to them. I didn’t think about these characters and their relationships outside of reading the book. Normally, the characters of a good book stick with me every minute of the day (kind of like my grown-up imaginary friends); the characters in Rush didn’t - they were just words on a page for me. The relationships were believable and held enough secrecy and tension to keep me reading, just not enough to make me stay up into the wee hours of the night to find out what happened to them. The pace of the story also frustrated me. Some parts moved slow, some moved way too fast, and some were just right (kind of like Goldilocks). If the perfect pace was used throughout, this could have been a top summer read for me.
And, the last thing that I wasn’t a huge fan of was the ending; stupid cliffhanger! I’m not a fan when the story itself doesn’t close. I love series books and I love continuing on a character’s journey with her, but don’t make me read the next book just to find out how the first one ends. Err....
Final Thoughts: Was this a terrible read? No. Was it my favorite book? No. Will students enjoy it? Most definitely! It’s got a unique concept that appeals to a different type of reader (fantasy, action, adventure...not characters). I guess that reader just wasn’t me (although I really wanted it to be).
Who Should Read It? This book definitely appeals to a teenage crowd. Any gamers (I learned a lot of lingo while reading) will be intrigued by the take on living in a first-person video game. If you like action, adventure, and bit of science fiction (aliens), check this book out. If you really like to get to know the characters, and you like to feel like they are a part of you, maybe leave this one off of your TBR list.