*I received this book as an eARC from Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
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Title: Playing Tyler
Author: T.L. Costa
Year Published: 2013
Synopsis: When is a game not a game?
Tyler MacCandless can’t focus, even when he takes his medication. He can’t focus on school, on his future, on a book, on much of anything other than taking care of his older brother, Brandon, who’s in rehab for heroin abuse… again.
Tyler’s dad is dead and his mom has mentally checked out. The only person he can really count on is his Civilian Air Patrol Mentor, Rick. The one thing in life it seems he doesn’t suck at is playing video games and, well, thats probably not going to get him into college.
Just when it seems like his future is on a collision course with a life sentence at McDonald’s, Rick asks him to test a video game. If his score’s high enough, it could earn him a place in flight school and win him the future he was certain that he could never have. And when he falls in love with the game’s designer, the legendary gamer Ani, Tyler thinks his life might finally be turning around.
That is, until Brandon goes MIA from rehab and Tyler and Ani discover that the game is more than it seems. Now Tyler will have to figure out what’s really going on in time to save his brother… and prevent his own future from going down in flames.
Why?: Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry hasn't disappointed me yet, so I'm always excited to see a new book from them on Netgalley. This one in particular sounds like a really tragic contemporary book, and also something that might actually happen one day. Plus, I enjoy playing video games and I'm interested to see how Costa envisions them to be something more than just a game.
Expectations: I expect a pretty tragic story, that might not have a happy ending. I also expect it to be kind of all over the place, since Tyler can't focus on anything. Probably a lot of technical computer talk too, since the girl Tyler falls in love with is the programmer for the game.
Judging a book by its cover: This cover is really interesting. A helicopter and a field of red flowers? The red is really striking, and I think that alone helps this cover stand out. I might pick it up if I saw it on a shelf, although I'm not really a huge fan of helicopters or anything. I mean, they're cool and all, but I don't usually read books about them.