Wednesday, 12 April 2017

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak - review

Publisher: Faber and Faber (6th April 2017)

​Three young friends are desperate to get a copy of the latest Playboy featuring Wheel of
​Fortune hostess Vanna White on the cover. The trouble is, no shopkeeper is going to sell
​something so scandalous to three fourteen year-old gaming nerds. The only thing for it is a full ​scale heist. As they set out on their mission to steal the most wanted images in America, they​ ​have no idea of the danger that lies ahead. Or that a girl named Mary Zelinsky, ​and a competition to design a Commodore 64 video game, might change one of their world's forever. (Publishers' blurb)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is technically an adult book but it has definite crossover appeal.

I’m a big fan of 80s movies and this blurb got me very excited. I’ve read other books set in the 80s and this was the first one that accurately captured what it felt like to be an 80s kid. Although I didn't grow up in 1980s America, the small town setting felt very authentic and the 80s references were well selected (and really fun to look out for!) There's a cinematic quality that made me feel like I was watching a really great 80s movie.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the video game references. I found the programming fascinating, and not too complex to follow! I enjoyed following Will and Mary designing their game and you can even play it here.

The plot of this book was really strong. There were familiar, extremely heartwarming coming of age elements but the plan to steal the Playboy added another layer of urgency and action. It was also a realistic portrayal of being a teenager: glorious one minute and awkward the next.

I also got very attached to the characters. They were fleshed out well, with interesting back stories, but they had unique qualities that made them feel real.

This is my favourite debut of the year so far and I strongly recommend it for anyone who wants fun, humour and an abundance of feels.

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