by Christian McKay Heidicker
Published: June 14th 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sixteen-year-old Jaxon is being committed to video game rehab...ten minutes after he met a girl. A living, breathing girl named Serena, who not only laughed at his jokes but actually kinda sorta seemed excited when she agreed to go out with him.
Jaxon's first date. Ever.
In rehab, he can't blast his way through galaxies to reach her. He can't slash through armies to kiss her sweet lips. Instead, he has just four days to earn one million points by learning real-life skills. And he'll do whatever it takes—lie, cheat, steal, even learn how to cross-stitch—in order to make it to his date.
If all else fails, Jaxon will have to bare his soul to the other teens in treatment, confront his mother's absence, and maybe admit that it's more than video games that stand in the way of a real connection.
Prepare to be cured.
Cure for the Common Universe is Ready Player One meets Recovery Road. There's just enough contemporary in there to help non-gamers feel welcome and plenty of gaming references that only the most L33T will get it.
HAPPY BOOK BDAY TO @cmheidicker & CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE! It's a perf book for gamers & non-gamers alike! pic.twitter.com/hu3o2UBHg5— Courtney Alameda (@courtalameda) June 14, 2016
Video Game Rehab has been set up as an IRL version of a video game, where you complete quests to get points; once you get a million points, you're free to go back to your regularly scheduled Destiny matches. Jaxon joins the Fury Burds team, made up of other misfits like him. He quickly makes enemies of everyone except Soup, who will do anything for attention, including tasks on Jaxon's behalf.
Seventy-five percent of the book is Jaxon acting like a fool, which admittedly gets tiring after a while. We get it, you're not in a place to make the changes you need to stop being the jerk you are. To stop treating the women around you terribly. To stop using games as an escape from reality and DEAL.
The last 25% of the book is fast paced and will keep your attention. That's not to say the other 75% isn't worth reading, because it is. There's a lot of humor in this book. There just were times I wish I had a Portal gun to move past some of "quest" section of the book and get to the "heart" parts. As a gamer, I appreciated all the nods to classic gaming and the gaming culture.
Know someone who needs video game rehab? (me) Consider giving them @cmheidicker's #CureForTheCommonUniverse instead! pic.twitter.com/BQpRH0vuVK— heidi heilig (@heidiheilig) June 14, 2016
Excuse me while I go play some Yoshi's Island now.