February 13, 2023

Book Review: Post High School Reality Quest by Meg Eden

I haven’t been picking up young adult books recently because they typically deal with the theme of finding your place in the world—a theme that I don’t relate to at this point in my life. However, I saw the cover of this book and quickly decided to make an exception.

To be specific, I was at the bookstore and saw this book on the shelf and thought, Wow, that’s a really terrible cover. The cover lacks any graphical hierarchy to tell you where to look, and the font used for the title is incredibly hard to read. There is way too much text, and I have no idea what the image has to do with anything. However, the line “MS-DOS Compatible” caught my eye.

My husband remarked that the book’s cover is awesome—it very much reminds him of the covers for old computer games. So, the cover does work for some people. But it could be better. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on Post High School Reality Quest:

As soon as I opened this book, I knew I had to get it. The book is written as a text adventure with a text parser and player interacting to tell the story. Typically, experimental story-telling styles like this don’t get picked up by big publishers and stocked in bookstores, so I was excited to find something so unique at my local Barnes & Noble.

The story is about a teen named Buffy. She graduated high school and starts her first semester of college. Although her experiences are pretty mundane and typical, the unique voice and humor make the events in the book so much more engaging and enjoyable. The reader gets to watch as Buffy fumbles through her first college party, romance, and heartbreak. By the end of the book, Buffy has to deal with some pretty heavy things, and we learn the text parser in her brain has been her maladaptive way of coping with all the changes in her life.

This book is absolutely fabulous. The humorous sections are laugh-out-loud funny, and the serious moments are raw and relatable. The style of a text adventure game adds to the storytelling and makes this an engaging read. I hope the author continues writing. Maybe she’ll do a point-and-click adventure novel next.

If you enjoy video games, old or new, or want a fresh take on the young adult genre, I highly recommend reading this book.

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