Unplugged – Donna Freitas (Review)

Title: Unplugged (The Wired, #1)
Author: Donna Freitas
Publisher: HarperTeen, 2016
Genre: YA Dystopian, YA Science Fiction

This review can be found on my BlogTeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page

My Review:

 This book was like Scott Westerfeld’s Unglies on steroids. And involving virtual worlds, of course. But definitely reminded me of Westerfeld, which is a good thing.

Skyler has been in the App World for as long as she can remember: as a Single, she has her foster family and her best friend Inara to help her without the aid of her real family. Her mother and sister are back in the real world, acting as Keepers to the bodies that house the virtual people. At seventeen, Skyler will unplug for Service, becoming a Keeper for awhile and being able to see her family again. But an announcement comes through that shocks Skyler and thrills most everyone else: Service has been suspended indefinitely and no one will be able to leave or enter the virtual world. A war in the real world has threatened App World users, and it is safer to stay plugged in. Besides, a Cure is coming soon, and eventually no one will ever even need their bodies…they’ll remain immortal in the App World, free of disease and death.

As people celebrate in the streets, Skyler is crushed: though she loves Inara and enjoys the freedom of downloading gaming and flying apps, she misses her family. Have they forgotten about her? Are they waiting for her to wake up?

Luckily, Skyler gets a message no one else can know about: she’s been invited to unplug somehow, but she can’t tell anyone. Turns out Minister Holt of the App World would like his son Rain to come back, as he is stuck in the Real World doing his Service. Skyler and two others, along with Lucy Mills, the most popular and watched celebrity, are going to bring Rain Holt back. And maybe, just maybe, Skyler can see her family.

But nothing prepares Skyler for what she sees when she unplugs…

Is It Classroom-Appropriate? 

This is a book I highly recommend. Though I am tired of the stories that always portray the rich to be evil, this book does tout the dangers of constant technology. It does have a sequel, and I plan to read it. I think this is an excellent example of dystopian literature that teaches a lesson and can be used as an anchor text. Ugliest is another book that shares the dangers of a society dependent on something (beauty in that case), and it has already been used in classrooms. I would love to share this one with students!

Age Range:

Surprisingly, Lexile.com doesn’t have this book, though it’s published by HarperTeen. Puzzling. Well, you can trust me to tell you that I would say 13 and up would be an appropriate age range. There is nothing lurid or only for older YA readers, and I would feel confident saying it could work for middle school readers, too. 

End Result:

★★★★★! I was riveted every moment. The book gives enough background to follow the plot and understand the story world, and Skyler is a well-developed character. The book didn’t race, didn’t lag…it always left me guessing and wondering what would happen next. The pages flew by, and I was grateful I still had more to read. The book even includes a snippet of the sequel, and I am not going to spoil anything by naming the title or giving away what happens! I am waiting for the moment there’s a galley available for the sequel and I’m going to beg for it!

I recommend to all lovers of science fiction and dystopian literature. At first, the world seems a little ridiculous…I’ll warn you…but stay patient and keep reading…it pays off.

Happy Saturday and happy reading!

18 thoughts on “Unplugged – Donna Freitas (Review)

    1. OMG…so much! It was nothing like I expected. I love his books, too.
      I’m now continuing the Jenna Fox series with The Fox Inheritance. I guess I’m on a dystopian kick, which is a change from all the fantasy lately!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Megan @ bookslayerReads

    Nice review! I’ve been trying to decide whether or not I want to read this one, but I think you just made my decision for me… Sounds like a good book!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megan, you have to read it. I loved it, and I’m not one to obsess about books unless I really really like something. Most are ok, some are pretty good, but this one was awesome. I’m seriously thinking of getting in touch somehow with the author to read the next book. I can’t wait until March!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great review, and it sound slike Unplugged is a book I really need to add to my to-read list and get started on right away. From your review I can see what you mean about it being similar to Uglies, and part of it reminds me a little of Under the Never Sky as well with the virtual world. Either way they’re both books I love so hopefully I’ll love Unplugged as well (like you said we have similar reading tastes so hopefully if you enjoyed it I will as well!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know you will! And with the books you’ve mentioned, I know it for a fact! I love UTNS, and I didn’t even THINK about that connection! You’re right! It’s probably because Aria left the dome so early on in the series that I forgot she came from an augmented world! Wow, I really need to reread that series. Especially now since I realize there are a lot of books I didn’t review back in the day. Before I reviewed, I would just mark how many stars. I don’t even remember what made me decide to actually start writing reviews for the books I read anymore! I wish I did.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It just occured to me because of the whole idea of being plugged into a virtual world, and even though it wasn’t a big part of UTNS it was something that I remembered about the book.
        I need to re-read that series again soon, hopefully before this year is over! And yeah I know that feeling, there are so many books I want to re-read just so I can review them on my blog! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review! I’m not sure why but I’ve always been creeped out by sci-if books & movies where the person’s body is left behind dormant & vulnerable while they are virtually active somewhere else. Scary stuff, I have yet to read any Scott Westerfeld but I’ve heard only good things so if it compares to his work then this is prob worth a gander 🤔 Good luck on the galley of book 2 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I saw it on Edelweiss, but no galley there…but I really hope I’ll get my hands on it because March is a LONG time to wait!
      I’m totally creeped out by the idea of leaving my body behind. I mean, eww.
      There’s another book about it called The Vault of Dreamers…by Caragh O’Brien, and it will really give you the creeps! It’s not the same with the virtual world, but the similarities with the body vulnerability make it really freaky. I hope I never end up in any situation where I’m not in control of my body: makes me wonder how I was able to get high all those years ago and just pass out: I had no idea what was going on around me, and I’m really lucky something bad never happened to me.


  4. I like books that leave me guessing and wondering what would happen next and I don’t like books that lag. If this book talks about app world, it must be a modern fiction. You didn’t mentioned where you obtain this book but I’m guessing NetGalley? I also see this book on Edelweiss too. I didn’t think it would be interesting. But you give it a 5 stars and I have noticed we liked similar books.. I’m thinking I may want to read it. I haven’t read the Uglies series yet but do hope to read it soon. Great review as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I didn’t mention it because I got it from the library! From Overdrive, actually. It’s a cute book that turns dark, and it has a lot of elements to the story. I was unexpectedly pleased and now I’m super excited for the next book!!
      I hope you do get a chance to check it out!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This book sounds goooood! I’m always really intrigued by anything to do with the ~virtual world~ and how that relates to our reality, having watched .hack//sign as a kid and read Ready Player One. Great to hear that you love it enough to give it five stars. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Unplugged Review – Kayla @ Kdrewkthebookworm

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