Vivian's View: The Stranger Game By Cylin Busby

Welcome back to Vivian's View! Once a month, avid reader and local 7th grader, Vivian, Reviews a book that she read that month. Stay tuned to see what she chooses as her favs and which ones don't make the cut!

Nico Walker has never been very close to her older sister Sarah, since Sarah has never been very nice to her. So, when Sarah disappears, Nico finds it hard to be devastated. Sure, she is sad but not devastated like her parents and Sarah’s friends. One day, 4 years after she went missing, Sarah is found. Everyone is really excited, except for Nico. She is scared of what Sarah will do to her. But, Sarah is not at all how Nico remembered her. Where the old Sarah was mean and hurtful to Nico, the new Sarah is now loving and kind.
 
Everyone is so happy that Sarah is home, but Nico can't shake the feeling that Sarah is different, too different. On top of that, someone keeps telling Nico that they know the true story of what actually happened to Sarah on the day she went missing.
 

Greg Reads... Dexter Palmer's VERSION CONTROL

Every year, there’s at least one novel that catches me unawares for how much I love, and for which I wind up being an un-shut-up-able evangelist. This year, that novel is Dexter Palmer’s fantastic, fiercely smart, mind-bendingly fun novel, Version Control.

This 500-page story is brimming with ideas — about technology, authenticity, race, loyalty, causality, history, science, Big Data, and yes, even time travel. It’s fascinating and fun and heartbreaking and hilarious and all of the other things that make great fiction great.

So the deal is this: Rebecca and Phillip are a mostly average middle class, middle-aged couple. She works for an online dating service, spending her days trying to upsell poor dateless saps to the Platinum level. He’s a physicist who has spent the last decade or so working on what he calls a “causality violation device.” Yes, what this really is is a time machine, but you won’t confuse this thing with any time machine in, say, H.G. Wells or even Stephen King — the only goal here, with the physics to back it up, is to send a robot back to a pre-established Point Zero, have it stay there for an hour, and return with evidence (a clock that’s an hour off) that it’s worked. Sadly, it doesn’t work, and Phillip’s once-promising career is flagging.

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Emily Reads... Travis Mulhauser's Sweetgirl

Now that the seasons have finally started to change, I want to take a moment to take you back. Back when the wind was so cold your teeth began to hurt. Back when the heat from your body started to feel like a fever if you’d been out for too long. Back when the cold could make you pray to God that the el train would just arrive, even if you don’t quite believe in God.

In short, back to winter.

Travis Mulhauser’s debut novel, Sweetgirl, honors winter like a Deity, requiring both devotion and sacrifice. It stands as an omnipotent silent narrator who directs action by force, and give few allowances. I came away from this novel blistered from the Cutler County weather. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how great this book is.

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