Monday, May 18, 2015

The Leveller by Julia Durango ARC Review


Paperback ARC, 247 pages
Publisher: HarperTenn
Pub. Date: June 23, 2015
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository 
Nixy Bauer is a self-made Leveller. Her job? Dragging kids out of virtual reality and back to their parents in the real world. It’s normally easy cash, but Nixy’s latest mission is fraught with real danger, intrigue, and romance.

Nixy Bauer is used to her classmates being very, very unhappy to see her. After all, she’s a bounty hunter in a virtual reality gaming world. Kids in the MEEP, as they call it, play entirely with their minds, while their bodies languish in a sleeplike state on the couch. Irritated parents, looking to wrench their kids back to reality, hire Nixy to jump into the game and retrieve them.

But when the game’s billionaire developer loses track of his own son in the MEEP, Nixy is in for the biggest challenge of her bounty-hunting career. Wyn Salvador isn’t some lazy kid looking to escape his homework: Wyn does not want to be found. And he’s left behind a suicide note. Nixy takes the job but quickly discovers that Wyn’s not hiding—he’s being held inside the game against his will. But who is holding him captive, and why?

Nixy and Wyn attempt to fight their way out of a mind game unlike any they’ve encountered, and the battle brings them closer than either could have imagined. But when the whole world is virtual, how can Nixy possibly know if her feelings are real?

What a fun read! In fact, I laughed out loud on more than one occasion while reading. Nixy and I would be best buds. She has a lot of snark and I feel like she's my spirit animal. The main problem I would say with this book is that I don't quite understand the motive of the bad guy, but other than that I enjoyed it. If you're in-between books, I would suggest this one because it's funny, light, and short.


1) If you follow me, you know that I love a sarcasm. Nixy is as sarcastic as you can get. Her and I would get along splendidly.

2) I loved everything about the MEEP. All of the details and descriptions of it just sounded awesome. I'm a bit of a gamer myself and I really connected with the real game references such as how many tries it took Nixy to bee Ganon in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

3) There was just the right amount of romance. It wasn't overflowing and it wasn't cheesy.

4) This book was just so fun to read. There was drama but no darkness. I wouldn't say it was light but it was just really pleasant. It made me feel happy while I was reading it.


1) As I said already, I don't understand exactly the antagonist motivation. I could only see his motives in theory but there was no evidence in the book to back it up. At least in my opinion.

2) It was too short. I wanted to know more about what's going to happen next.



"He looks around and wipes the sleep out of his eyes, then smiles sheepishly at Mom and me. "How are the two most beautiful girls in the world?" he asks as Mom leans down to peck him on the cheek.
I shake my head at my grinning parents. "You guys are cracked."

"Indeed," says Dad, bowing to Mom and taking her by the hand as if she's the queen of England. "Cracked as crackers. Now if you'll excuse us, the Premium Saltine and I will be off gallivanting and dreaming of Cheez Whiz for the remainder of the day."

Mom gives us a courtly beauty-pageant wave. "Catch you on the chip side!" she calls as they exit the dining room.

Everyone laughs at her joke, even though chips have nothing to do with crackers, and Mom is obviously too tipsy to make the distinction. I laugh, too, but make a mental note to hide the third bottle of champagne chilling in the fridge. Someone's got to keep her head in this family.
"Now begins the great adventure," Kora reads. "Though I leave behind a body, my soul will live forever in the MEEP."

Oh for the love of God and sprinkled donuts. What a drama queen. I try not to roll my eyes, but I obviously don't succeed because my dad frowns back at me.
"Okay, So Wyn Salvador looks like a sleeping angel, if angels are hot guys with long lashes and lips that beg to be kissed. This irritates me, as I'd rather he sported a jerk face when I give him the takedown he deserves."

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