DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Larissa Kendricks is an animal-rights activist turned punk rock singer who gets to live out her concert fantasies in a virtual world known as Nirvana. Her fiance, Andrew, is one of the lead developers for this program but unfortunately, he has to work for Hexagon, the evil, greedy, corporation that essentially rules everything. Set in a futuristic world where the bee population has gone extinct leading to world-wide catastrophe, Larissa is taken by surprise when she receives a virtual message from Andrew telling her he has to leave and sets her on a path to find him.
When I first started reading this book, I was lost in such a severe way that I was not sure I would be able to finish the novel. But as the pacing picked up and some of the back story was revealed, I found myself enjoying this book as a whole. Though I do have to admit Larissa being a PETA-type protagonist who sings her message of "save all the animals" was a little annoying at times (don't get me wrong, I'm all for animal rights), she was overall a likable character who suffered from poor character development. In fact most of the characters could have used more of a back story to bring them to life better. Even more than poor character development, like I was saying, this short novel could seriously benefit from a clearer opening, perhaps a prologue that explains what in the world is going on rather than have the reader piece it together through vague writing.
Despite these flaws, I thought the book was pretty good. Definitely aimed at a YA audience, the writing flowed pretty well and there was enough action to keep the average reader's attention, though I found it drug in the middle a bit. But as much as it drug in the middle, it picked up big time in the end. I won't give away the ending here, but it definitely left the door open for a Nirvana 2. And the thing I ask myself at the end of most books to determine what I thought is, "If there were a sequel, would I want to read it?" The answer here is yes.
Overall the book had many flaws but it was pretty good. A reader should go in having low expectations and I think he/she will be pleasantly surprised.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.