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Unplugged

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Humanity is split into the App World and the Real World—an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy and a dying physical world for the poor. Years ago, Skylar Cruz’s family sent her to the App World for a chance at a better life. Now Skye is a nobody, a virtual sixteen-year-old girl without any glamorous effects or expensive downloads to make her stand out in the App World Humanity is split into the App World and the Real World—an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy and a dying physical world for the poor. Years ago, Skylar Cruz’s family sent her to the App World for a chance at a better life. Now Skye is a nobody, a virtual sixteen-year-old girl without any glamorous effects or expensive downloads to make her stand out in the App World. Yet none of that matters to Skye. All she wants is a chance to unplug and see her mother and sister again. But when the borders between worlds suddenly close, Skye loses that chance. Desperate to reach her family, Skye risks everything to get back to the physical world. Once she arrives, however, she discovers a much larger, darker reality than the one she remembers.

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Humanity is split into the App World and the Real World—an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy and a dying physical world for the poor. Years ago, Skylar Cruz’s family sent her to the App World for a chance at a better life. Now Skye is a nobody, a virtual sixteen-year-old girl without any glamorous effects or expensive downloads to make her stand out in the App World Humanity is split into the App World and the Real World—an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy and a dying physical world for the poor. Years ago, Skylar Cruz’s family sent her to the App World for a chance at a better life. Now Skye is a nobody, a virtual sixteen-year-old girl without any glamorous effects or expensive downloads to make her stand out in the App World. Yet none of that matters to Skye. All she wants is a chance to unplug and see her mother and sister again. But when the borders between worlds suddenly close, Skye loses that chance. Desperate to reach her family, Skye risks everything to get back to the physical world. Once she arrives, however, she discovers a much larger, darker reality than the one she remembers.

30 review for Unplugged

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) “You’re stubborn, you know that? If you’re not careful that’s going to get you in trouble.” “No, I’m determined to find my family,” I corrected. “They’re two different things. And it’s my determination that’s going to help your cause.” This was a YA sci-fi/dystopian story, about a world where people lived in virtual reality. Skye was an okay character, and it seemed like sh (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.) “You’re stubborn, you know that? If you’re not careful that’s going to get you in trouble.” “No, I’m determined to find my family,” I corrected. “They’re two different things. And it’s my determination that’s going to help your cause.” This was a YA sci-fi/dystopian story, about a world where people lived in virtual reality. Skye was an okay character, and it seemed like she had been wanting to be unplugged for a long time, mainly due to wanting to see her mother and sister. I did wonder whether she really considered what she was doing though, and how much she was sacrificing to be unplugged, with little knowledge of what the world awaiting her was really like. The storyline in this was about Skye wanting to be unplugged, and trying to find a way to do that so that she could see her mother and sister again, and the lengths that she had to go to to achieve that. The pace in this was quite slow in places though, and the story dragged a bit. We did get a little hint of a romance, but it was in the form of a love triangle between Skye, Rain and a girl called Lacy. The ending to this was okay, although there was no real resolution at all; the book just seemed to stop. 6.25 out of 10

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    Chapters read: 1 I'm already calling it because I'm rolling my eyes so hard at the app world and the voice is severely lacking. Also, this: "The length of her fingers eerily similar, our skin color identical, the same shade of Caucasian 4.0 as every other citizen of the City." I've already read a life's worth of shitty dystopian; I don't need this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Zyra

    so much politics involved. what about rain? who is he really interested in? & what about the bodies? what are the buyers going to do with them? it should have more better storyline. this is confusing & gets less interesting.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Odette Knappers

    I really enjoyed reading this book, I really love the idea and the setting! It's a technological dystopian and the world building is excellent and makes you think about our current society. Who not 5*? Because it did not felt like a 5* book to me and I'm a bit sad because of that. I really want to love this book, but the thing in the middle was wayyy to weird for me. Also, at the end it all happened rather quickly, which did not suited the rest of the book so I felt like I didn't had the time to I really enjoyed reading this book, I really love the idea and the setting! It's a technological dystopian and the world building is excellent and makes you think about our current society. Who not 5*? Because it did not felt like a 5* book to me and I'm a bit sad because of that. I really want to love this book, but the thing in the middle was wayyy to weird for me. Also, at the end it all happened rather quickly, which did not suited the rest of the book so I felt like I didn't had the time to enjoy the plot? I did not like the ending very much but I must admit that when it comes to endings, I'm hard to please. There are sequels coming for this book, but so far this left me satisfied. And I'm a big fan of character developments, so let's talk about that. I love how it started, that she was a nobody and had no loveinterest. I was really happy that did not happened really soon, which is really average. After the halfwaypoint in the book, (view spoiler)[I was very disappointed that she turned out to be famous and that she fell in love and that he was good/bad/good and ugh. (hide spoiler)] But overal I've really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it! On another note, Donna Freitas explained really open-hearted why she is not on social media like Facebook or Twitter in this blogpost on Barnes&Noble (you need to scroll), and the Dutch translation can be found on the website of the Dutch publisher Blossombooks here. I highly recommend reading it!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tee loves Kyle Jacobson

    Unplugged is a very unique read. I have to say that at first when I started reading it I thought I wouldn't be able to finish it. I normally don't read books like this but I gave it a go and I was surprised to see that I liked it. There were some things I did not understand so it made it hard for me to continue reading but I pressed on. This is a story about a world that is separated into two factions. You have the app world where the rich go to succeed and have all the amenities others do not. T Unplugged is a very unique read. I have to say that at first when I started reading it I thought I wouldn't be able to finish it. I normally don't read books like this but I gave it a go and I was surprised to see that I liked it. There were some things I did not understand so it made it hard for me to continue reading but I pressed on. This is a story about a world that is separated into two factions. You have the app world where the rich go to succeed and have all the amenities others do not. Then you have the real world where it is poor and people have to fight to survive. One family from the real world has decided they will send their daughter to the app world so she can strive there and become something in life. But it is there that Skye finds things out she does not like and she wants to return to her home with her family. When she goes to return to the normal world she finds it worse off than when she left. It is a cold dark world she has never known. Skye will have to find her family fast and try and get them out of the real world and into safety but can she do it alone? This is where the story takes off and there are so many twists and turns you will want to keep reading to find out what happens next.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ☆Stephanie☆

    Title: Unplugged (The Wired, #1) Author: Donna Freitas Publisher: HarperTeen, 2016 Genre: YA Dystopian, YA Science Fiction This review can be found on my Blog, TeacherofYA'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 I Title: Unplugged (The Wired, #1) Author: Donna Freitas Publisher: HarperTeen, 2016 Genre: YA Dystopian, YA Science Fiction This review can be found on my Blog, TeacherofYA'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!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Paulina

    I’m a little bit confused on how I feel about this book. I enjoyed the idea behind it, but didn’t enjoy the execution of this unique idea, the characters seemed okay but rather flat at times and overall, I’m still unsure on exactly how much I liked this book, if at all. The story follows Skylar living in the App World, waiting for her chance to be unplugged in order to see her mother and sister again. The story focuses too much on the want of the protagonist to unplug rather than setting foundat I’m a little bit confused on how I feel about this book. I enjoyed the idea behind it, but didn’t enjoy the execution of this unique idea, the characters seemed okay but rather flat at times and overall, I’m still unsure on exactly how much I liked this book, if at all. The story follows Skylar living in the App World, waiting for her chance to be unplugged in order to see her mother and sister again. The story focuses too much on the want of the protagonist to unplug rather than setting foundations for the reasons why people were plugged in, what exactly happened to the world, etc. There are obstacles which Skylar needs to overcome in order to see her long-lost family again, after the borders were shut down, although the author failed to deliver a fast paced telling of her struggles. Once Skylar manages to unplug she is faced with even more struggles in the Real World, all of which are confusing and certain points overlooked. The story dragged on quite a lot, I found myself skipping over certain lines as they seemed pointless to the story. There seemed to be many pages where the scene wasn’t described as much, and the words were just fluff of what Skylar was thinking; which wouldn’t be a bad thing if the character had more dept in what she believed and what she thought. Half the book was just fluff to make it seem longer which I found incredibly boring, practically the months of Skylar being in the Real World and not all together there, it felt like months passed for me too while reading those bits. As I mentioned before the characters seemed in need of some work, they were very 2D and we didn’t find out too much about them and how they are different from each other. Skylar’s best friend Inara although had a lot of feature time in the book was skimmed over the most in my opinion. I learned nothing about this character and her importance apart from the fact that she was the main character’s best friend. It’s a shame that there was no connection to any of the characters as at least it would have made the “fluff” bearable. The App World was very confusing, I think the idea is wonderful and there was so much that could have been said about the new world. There were endless possibilities however it seemed as if Donna Freitas was too scared to venture into her own imagination. As exciting as this virtual world was supposed to represent I found it incredibly boring. I couldn’t imagine anything worse, the App World seemed like a prison to me with endless opportunities that were not taken. Although the Real World seemed a little bit better, there was still not enough information about it, not enough dept for me to picture the scenes in front of me. For a dystopian novel this appeared far too much like any other world, the history of the App World and exactly what happened in the Real World whether by a history lesson, or a flashback from the characters would have been enough to put a bridge between what was happening in the book. There were some twists and turns, which were confusing, the twists which were supposed to add more to the book just made it seem like a massive ball of confusion. The last quarter of the book gave the impression of picking up speed and then breaking rapidly. The shocking discoveries were not that shocking, the heart stopping moments did nothing. While I was ready to put this book down and forget about it little things brought me back, they were so small that I wasn’t even sure if they were sufficient enough to make me stay enough to finish the story. I wish that this book was more than it was, it’s such as shame as it had so much potential.

  8. 5 out of 5

    iva

    The premise of this book seemed kinda silly at first, but if you think about it, the idea of actually fully living in virtual reality, where’s an app for everything isn’t that far-fetched. It started rather hastily and I think it’s not really fair to the reader to throw him into plot and not really explain anything. But I sticked to the book and I’m glad I did. I still don’t know how those two world really work, but I know enough about the protagonist and other characters to care about them. The The premise of this book seemed kinda silly at first, but if you think about it, the idea of actually fully living in virtual reality, where’s an app for everything isn’t that far-fetched. It started rather hastily and I think it’s not really fair to the reader to throw him into plot and not really explain anything. But I sticked to the book and I’m glad I did. I still don’t know how those two world really work, but I know enough about the protagonist and other characters to care about them. There’s a great deal of artistic license in biology, but I can get over that to see the characters doin pretty cool things. And seeing the Real world through Skye’s eyes was beautiful, sometimes. A lot of problems could have been solved if only people tried to talk to each other instead of keeping secrets, but hey, that’s like the foundation stone of every other story. And most of real life's problems, really. The story offers some nice parallels with racism and I liked how the author went out of her way to point out that real beauty isn’t caucasian 4.0, but the diversity of real people. A bit anvilicious, but some anvils need to be dropped. Skye’s role resembles Katniss’ Mockingjay, but it’s a bit forced without a real reason (Katniss became the Mockingjay because her act of rebellion ignited revolution. Skye becomes a very important person for revolt because… she’s obviously very pretty. It gets explained (sort of) towards the end and in the sequel, but still). Also, the author should keep track on time - Rain didn’t know Skye for months before the capture, just two or three days or something. Also, when you have your protagonist spend literally everything she has on three pieces of information, you first of all should show all that information to audience. Second of all, it should be either important enough to be worth it, or the protagonist should be pissed that it isn’t. Showing just one and it being just some minor characterization of another character and then having the protagonist to completely forget about it, that’s not really good. Second thing that bugged me was that the author is obviously in love with some words and phrases and uses them over and over. The most obvious example is the word “study” which appears about once per a page. It’s fun to look for it, but it’s a bit disruptive. But, it’s the first book after a long time that made me scream at the characters in frustration, which means it got under my skin, and that’s a good thing. Curious about the sequel!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Aimee

    Review originally posted @ Reading Lark: http://readinglark.blogspot.com/2016/... 2.5 stars Sometimes Young Adult books are difficult to review. Writers want to tackle Big Themes, create sympathetic characters, build a compelling plot, and add a dollop of romance on top. By the time a science fiction or dystopian element gets added, there is often so much going on that parts of the book begin to suffer under the weight of it all. Unplugged by Donna Freitas is definitely one those difficult books. U Review originally posted @ Reading Lark: http://readinglark.blogspot.com/2016/... 2.5 stars Sometimes Young Adult books are difficult to review. Writers want to tackle Big Themes, create sympathetic characters, build a compelling plot, and add a dollop of romance on top. By the time a science fiction or dystopian element gets added, there is often so much going on that parts of the book begin to suffer under the weight of it all. Unplugged by Donna Freitas is definitely one those difficult books. Unplugged has the big important themes that are the hallmark of good YA literature. In the App World, Skylar has grown up in a voyeur/exhibitionist culture. Everyone it seems is obsessed either with watching the lives of the rich and famous, watching their lives via specialized apps, or becoming one of those that others can “follow.” The parallels with our current culture are obvious, and Unplugged successfully demonstrates the tension between voyeur culture and the capacity for personal development within the characters. On the down side, though, the “science” in this science fiction story is weak. The split between the App World and the Real World is based on a technology ban that is ill-defined and doesn’t particularly make sense in the first place. Those in the App World should always be at the mercy of the Real World people if only because the virtual world requires power and presumably some kind of computerized infrastructure to begin with. Donna Freitas is a decent writer, and the idea at the core of Unplugged is a good one, but the book would have greatly benefitted from better world building and more explicit development of its “science.”

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult, Science Fiction *Rating* 3.5 *My Thoughts* Unplugged is the first installment in author Donna Freitas The Wired series. 16-year old Skye Cruz lives in a virtual reality world known as App World, where everyone is disconnected from their actual bodies. App World is a place where you can purchase all sorts of adventures, food, games, clothes, and change your appearance whenever you want. Skye has been "living" in this world for the past 10 years with her best fr *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult, Science Fiction *Rating* 3.5 *My Thoughts* Unplugged is the first installment in author Donna Freitas The Wired series. 16-year old Skye Cruz lives in a virtual reality world known as App World, where everyone is disconnected from their actual bodies. App World is a place where you can purchase all sorts of adventures, food, games, clothes, and change your appearance whenever you want. Skye has been "living" in this world for the past 10 years with her best friend Inara Sachs and her parents. Skye's family isn't like Inara's. Awesome and stunning ending to this story. Definitely eager to see how the series ends. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews July 13, 2016 http://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/201... *Published* June 21st 2016 by HarperTeen

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anniek

    I heard quite a lot of good things about this book, so maybe my expectations were too high. Anyway, this book was down-right disappointing. The writing was cringy, and the main character barely went through any growth. The virtual world is introduced as something that's supposed to be superior to the real world. To make sure there would be no unfair treatment based on looks (read: discrimination/racism), all inhabitants of the virtual world got a 'caucasian' skin tone and the same basic features I heard quite a lot of good things about this book, so maybe my expectations were too high. Anyway, this book was down-right disappointing. The writing was cringy, and the main character barely went through any growth. The virtual world is introduced as something that's supposed to be superior to the real world. To make sure there would be no unfair treatment based on looks (read: discrimination/racism), all inhabitants of the virtual world got a 'caucasian' skin tone and the same basic features concerning length and weight et cetera. This might have been interesting, should it have worked. But of course it doesn't, because it's not true. There's still a ton of discrimination, now based on how rich people are and thus how many apps/upgrades they can afford to make themselves look better. Because of that, this whole virtual world, including the main character, is entirely superficial. The main character doesn't have parents in the virtual world, but her best friend considers herself to be her sister and her parents claim to consider her 'almost' family. It's the 'almost' that bothered me, because their additude towards the main character is compared to adoption/foster care, but the main character still lives in a special house for kids without parents (basically an orphanage) and the way she's treated by her supposed foster family is not at all as accepting as you would wish. Her best friend dismisses all concerns for her real family and only seems to like her if she acts the way she wants. Even more harmful is that almost all girls love the popular playboy, including the main character, even though she claims not to and he proves to be untrustworthy and flat-out horrible multiple times throughout the book. Another cliché: when the main character returns to her real body, she finds out she's absolutely beautiful. Of course. All in all, this was a really cliché dystopian. Reading this book, it felt like a harmful ode to immature bullying, toxic friendships and insecurities. The virtual world could have been a lot more interesting as well, would it have been described more in depth. But the reader gets no answers on how, why, when, or any basic questions like that.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Celeste_pewter

    One of the best feelings that comes with reading, is when I'm pleasantly surprised by a book. Such was the case with Unplugged. Donna Freitas introduces us to Skye, who lives in a world that's divided in two. Half of the world lives in the real world, with many real worlders choosing to care for those who are plugged into the digital world. (The digital world is basically a version of the world shown in The Matrix, except those living in the world actually know that their surroundings are digita One of the best feelings that comes with reading, is when I'm pleasantly surprised by a book. Such was the case with Unplugged. Donna Freitas introduces us to Skye, who lives in a world that's divided in two. Half of the world lives in the real world, with many real worlders choosing to care for those who are plugged into the digital world. (The digital world is basically a version of the world shown in The Matrix, except those living in the world actually know that their surroundings are digitally rendered.) ​Skye was sent to the digital world where she was younger, in the hopes of a better life. However, she feels guilt over leaving her mom and her sister behind, and can't wait until she gets the opportunity to unplug and serve time in the real world. However, inter-world politics interfere, and Skye is forced to pursue other options to unplug and get into the real world... So when I first started reading Unplugged, I was impressed at how fresh the book felt. I've read many a dystopian novel since The Hunger Games, but it's been awhile since I've been drawn into a dystopian world the way that I was drawn into Skye's. And I think part of the reason for that, is because Freitas approaches the story from the understanding that a utopian world - a.k.a. the digital world that Skye lives - actually can't exist. Perfection is exhausting and ring false, and it's easy to want something that feels genuine. Readers see hints of it when Skye's foster family talks about wanting real food, and the truth of that feeling only increases when the border between real and digital world closes. Skye's struggles with deciding if she wants to illegally travel to the real world is compelling, bringing her into contact with people and agendas that hint at a far more chaotic (and fascinating) reality. It's set against the backdrop of a digital world that's desperate to retain its perfect, and there's a reveal involving that "cure" which is actually shocked me a little, and left me a little heartbroken. Where the book faltered though, was in the real world. Though I was eagerly anticipating to see what kind of reality Skye would end up in, Freitas's vision didn't exactly pan out. There wasn't really the sense of urgency that was stressed earlier in the novel; instead, we ended up with the setting that felt somewhat normal, albeit with elements of a human-rights tale. Also, the real world sent the characterizations of several key characters into a tailspin, which the book didn't necessarily recover from. Skye's relationships with several key characters felt flimsy, with one of them becoming the type of cookie-cutter villain that has been seen in other books before. Skye also became the most special girl ever, which felt just a tad too stereotypical. However. With that being said, I absolutely believe that the first two-thirds of the book absolutely makes up for the weaker third half. Even though Skye's presence in the real world isn't as strong as it could be, Freitas has set up political intrigue, an intriguing back story, and a potentially dangerous future re: the plugs, which will absolutely entice readers into coming back for more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    I've always been interested in a virtual world setting. Although I tend to lean towards reading about video games (which I have YET to do!), Unplugged focuses on a virtual world designed for living. I found the novel to quick and entertaining, yet it lacks some major, major worldbuilding. Skye is a "single". Her family besides herself have volunteered to become Keepers of everyone connected to virtual reality. But because they want Skylar to have a better life, they send her into the App World, l I've always been interested in a virtual world setting. Although I tend to lean towards reading about video games (which I have YET to do!), Unplugged focuses on a virtual world designed for living. I found the novel to quick and entertaining, yet it lacks some major, major worldbuilding. Skye is a "single". Her family besides herself have volunteered to become Keepers of everyone connected to virtual reality. But because they want Skylar to have a better life, they send her into the App World, leading her to lead a life as a single. Although she has a surrogate family, Skye longs to see her family again even though it's been many years. But when her only chance to unplug is gone, she turns elsewhere. As a result, this leads to being caught up in politics between the Real World and the App World. And of course, getting close and personal with Rain Holt, the uh...leader's son (basically all you need to know is that he's super important and super good looking, the usual). This novel would have been much better if the world wasn't half developed. There were many, many questions that arose as I read. As the reader, we're told that the ones with a lot of "capital" can live life luxuriously with "apps". Apps in the App World can change someone's appearance, can transport you into a game, a new location, create food, clothes. The catch is that it's time sensitive. In order to always have the ability to download apps, you need capital. But where does the capital come from? How do you get more? It doesn't seem like anyone works in the App World. Are you just assigned capital, and once it's all used up you're done? Then what happens next? And then there's the Real World. Where does New Port City take place? Is the rest of the world just as enamored with virtual reality? What is the form of currency there? Trust me, I have so many more questions than just these. Skye is boring. Of course, when she emerges in her new body, she's the most beyootiful. Wow I did not see that coming. And apparently, everything they learned in the App World is transferred to their real body, because the brain assimilates everything from the virtual world. I understand how this would work for certain skills, like driving, but strength? No, that doesn't transfer. You need to physically work on your strength. If you've been laying there for 10 years, your muscles will not be toned. (Then again this is science fiction, and this has never been tested, so I'll let this slide). Let's not talk about the relationship. There's nothing to talk about. Wow I should talk about the positives! Honestly I felt just meh about this, but it didn't bother me enough to rate it 2 stars. The fast paced plot kept me going, a reason why I finished this in only 2 days. Other than all of my questions, which may hopefully be addressed in the second book, Unplugged kept me entertained. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Suze Lavender

    Skye is living in the App World. It's a perfect creation where rich people can alter their appearance and download apps for games, food, clothes and all kinds of other luxuries. Their plugged in bodies are still in the Real World. Sky isn't living with her real family, she's a Single, someone poor who has been sent to the App World because their family members are willing to do a special job in exchange. Her mother and sister are in the Real World and she misses them terribly. Skye is almost sev Skye is living in the App World. It's a perfect creation where rich people can alter their appearance and download apps for games, food, clothes and all kinds of other luxuries. Their plugged in bodies are still in the Real World. Sky isn't living with her real family, she's a Single, someone poor who has been sent to the App World because their family members are willing to do a special job in exchange. Her mother and sister are in the Real World and she misses them terribly. Skye is almost seventeen, which means she will soon be old enough to unplug. That means she can finally spend time in the Real World. Only then the borders between the worlds are being closed... Skye will be cut off from her family forever. That is a thought she can't live with and when someone offers to let her unplug illegally she says yes. This person wants something in return. There's a lot that Skye doesn't know though and she has no idea who she can trust. It doesn't matter if someone is a friend or a stranger, Skye has to rely on people who aren't telling her the truth. Will her mission go as planned? Unplugged is a gripping story. Skye doesn't really feel like she belongs in the App World. She doesn't care about enhancing her beauty, getting apps for extravagant clothes, meeting celebrities virtually and gourmet food apps. I immediately liked her. She's kindhearted, smart and strong. She loves her mother and her sister very much, but she also loves her almost-sister in the App World. She has to leave a loved one behind no matter what she does. Donna Freitas writes about her dilemmas and her sadness in a sympathetic and interesting way. It never gets too heavy though, because there's a lot of action and there's so much going on in the story. Unplugged is the first book of a series and I already can't wait to read the next book. Skye is a fabulous main character. I like the world building and the idea behind it. The thorough and detailed descriptions make both worlds come to life really well. In the virtual world life is more peaceful, but Skye gets her kicks through apps for extreme sports and exploring. When she enters the Real World this changes, there she has to fight for her existence. Unplugged has a lot of adrenaline packed scenes, set in both realities. Skye has some great survival skills and it was fun to read about how she got them. Skye might be a tomboy, but she also has a sensitive side. There's a small love aspect and I'm curious to see how that will develop. I will definitely keep following this series. It's well written and has a lot of potential.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Veronique

    I did like this story, but it is really obvious that it is a first in a serie, making it more an introduction than there was really interesting things happening in the story. the plot however really interests me, and i'm definitely curious for the sequal

  16. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    If based on the last 100 pages, I would give this book 4 stars. Ending was full of action, well-written, and open to a sequel.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    This world makes no fucking sense. There don’t seem to be all that many people in the App World (rolls eyes) and yet it’s enough people that THE REST OF THE COUNTRY all moved to one city? Were the Keepers being payed? If not, and it was really the dumb lie they were being fed that was keeping them beholden, why wasn’t there anything to enforce it or just...anything that would make sense? There’s an economic crisis but they can have lavish parties? Why is there a portion of a virtual world that h This world makes no fucking sense. There don’t seem to be all that many people in the App World (rolls eyes) and yet it’s enough people that THE REST OF THE COUNTRY all moved to one city? Were the Keepers being payed? If not, and it was really the dumb lie they were being fed that was keeping them beholden, why wasn’t there anything to enforce it or just...anything that would make sense? There’s an economic crisis but they can have lavish parties? Why is there a portion of a virtual world that has crumbling buildings? How can people walk and run after years of being motionless in bed? How will there ever be new children? At what moment do nominal best friends/basically sisters Skye and Inara ever exhibit any kind of friendly understanding at all? Just so many other things. The book started off very YA-y, with amateur writing, a cheesy plot, a ridiculous setting, and bad characters. Inara is awful and there’s no reason for Skye or the reader to feel any attachment to her at all. There was some interesting plot happening in the middle, except with another awful, shallow girl for Skye to compare herself to and a terrible boy for her to be drawn to for no reason and no one answering any fucking questions about anything. I wanted to scream in frustration at Skye for not asking more questions. And then came the ending. Jesus. The stupid betrayals that happened so often they weren’t even surprising or interesting anymore. The villain monologue that was just absolute nonsense. The complete unbelievability of how and why everything went down. The obvious solution that is right in front of everyone’s faces and that could literally make everyone happy without anyone being the mustache-twirling character the author so obviously wanted to include. I feel a little bad bc I do honestly think there were some potentially interesting questions in here, but what this book really needed was for just one person to step back and ask, “Hey, what if we just made things make a little bit more sense?”

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ryn Lewis

    Unplugged is a non-apocalyptic, near-future dystopia in which humanity has forsaken the real world to live entirely in a virtual world surrounded by Apps for download and spending their lives playing and working entirely inside their minds. Those too poor to plug in to the App World must spend their lives as Keepers, maintaining the inert bodies of those in the App World. But soon this will end for those in the App World are diligently pursuing The Cure – the ability to exist without their bodie Unplugged is a non-apocalyptic, near-future dystopia in which humanity has forsaken the real world to live entirely in a virtual world surrounded by Apps for download and spending their lives playing and working entirely inside their minds. Those too poor to plug in to the App World must spend their lives as Keepers, maintaining the inert bodies of those in the App World. But soon this will end for those in the App World are diligently pursuing The Cure – the ability to exist without their bodies entirely. As the Cure is discovered, the borders between the App World and the Real World are closed – no one can plug in and no one can unplug. For Skye, alone in the App World and desperate to see her family again, unplugging was her only hope. She may be able to find a way to unplug illegally… but what she could discover in the Real World if she does may be far worse than losing her body forever. Unplugged is a very interesting concept and a great action read with unfortunately very little explanation and extremely poor worldbuilding. Readers must stretch their suspension of disbelief to the breaking point over and over to stay with this story, which contains vague or no explanations of how humanity arrived “there” from the present-day, and implausible actions and responses from almost every character. The story is fun and readers may choose to pick up the sequel, but be prepared for many questions that will likely remain unanswered.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kelsie Cortez

    Okay, so I talked down about this book yesterday BUT the last ~100 pages were actually pretty good. The characters started coming out more and the action got super intense. I feel like this book is also going to have some pretty interesting love lines, just because of what some people have already done. I will admit though, at times it did seem very middle-school age just because of how the writer wrote the characters actions and dialogue. That could just be me though. This book seemed very futu Okay, so I talked down about this book yesterday BUT the last ~100 pages were actually pretty good. The characters started coming out more and the action got super intense. I feel like this book is also going to have some pretty interesting love lines, just because of what some people have already done. I will admit though, at times it did seem very middle-school age just because of how the writer wrote the characters actions and dialogue. That could just be me though. This book seemed very futuristic to me just because some characters were “plugged in” and they lived virtually. Their actual body was asleep in the “real world” and there was a war going on between the two separate groups. When all the action started is when I finally got into it. The idea behind the storyline and the whole “plugged in/not plugged in” concept is actually pretty interesting to me. I would recommend to keep reading, even if you don’t feel invested. It does leave you wanting more, but if you’re the type to not finish a series, then you’re fine either way. There is also a very large possibility that I will be reading book Two.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy

    Unplugged by Donna Fritas is a great read for any teenager who loves sci-fi and futuristic worlds. In the novel, Skylar is living in a virtual world called the App World. She’s living as a single, meaning her family isn’t “plugged in”. They’re still living in the Real World. Near the beginning of the book, the worst possible thing happened to Skylar-the border between the worlds closes so she’ll never have the chance to meet her family when she turns 18. Or will she? Donna Fritas is an amazing wr Unplugged by Donna Fritas is a great read for any teenager who loves sci-fi and futuristic worlds. In the novel, Skylar is living in a virtual world called the App World. She’s living as a single, meaning her family isn’t “plugged in”. They’re still living in the Real World. Near the beginning of the book, the worst possible thing happened to Skylar-the border between the worlds closes so she’ll never have the chance to meet her family when she turns 18. Or will she? Donna Fritas is an amazing writer. I’m only a third of the way through the book and she has already made me feel like I’m part of Skylar’s world. The way Fritas describes the App World makes me feel like eventually it could be real. The characters are very well developed and the personal characteristics she gives them makes it seem like I’ve known them my whole life. Overall, anyone who already likes books about different worlds or is wanting to try something new should read this book because if they do end up liking it, there are more books in the series.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Effie Graves

    The world Freitas built poses an intriguing path our current technology obsessed society could follow. A new twist to dealing excess. You'll find all greed, grief, betrayal, and hope we're presented with today and leave with more questions than answers. The thing is, there's no right solution. Unplugged is well written, open to other ideas, presented in a way the argues all sides. Skye can be rash, but she's driven by all the right reasons. She's a considerate, empathetic heroine which is unexpec The world Freitas built poses an intriguing path our current technology obsessed society could follow. A new twist to dealing excess. You'll find all greed, grief, betrayal, and hope we're presented with today and leave with more questions than answers. The thing is, there's no right solution. Unplugged is well written, open to other ideas, presented in a way the argues all sides. Skye can be rash, but she's driven by all the right reasons. She's a considerate, empathetic heroine which is unexpected. I'm excited to get to know her more in the next book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    CatherineG_C2

    Love this book! its a story about a virtual girl, from the day she was born she had never left the app zone. Her life was simple, eat, work, play with apps. But there was an never ending thought of living out side of the app zone, real life. Her wish finally came true and getting pulled into the real world was amazing, until she finds out she was being sold. Her body was put on display and the customers would buy her. Love this book really recommend the series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carolynn Markey

    Huh. Interesting. Reminds me of The Uglies a bit, if it was set in a virtual world. I liked it. The end is rather complicated, and it suffered a bit much in the Backstabbing department, but I can't wait to read the next one!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Abbie

    I didn't like it. The first few pages, I felt confused and annoyed at the author's writing style. It was like all the information was dumped on me and I did not have any background about it. Then as I slowly understood what was happening, I felt disinterested and eventually I was bored. Sorry.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey van Dillen

    For the first half I thought wow this book is really good. But it got weirder and weirder until I didn’t understand what the story was about at all. The ending was so confusing!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carina Gravante-Gunnells

    The book Unplugged by Donna Freitas in my opinion is about a 4.0 stars rating. The plot is genius but the book is confusing in the beginning and it's hard to know what the structure of this world is. The book is set in a futuristic world where humans have figured out a way to live virtually. In the virtual world there is no illness or physical harm and you can download apps that can make you fly, survive a fall to earth and change your appearance. Most of the population is "plugged in" to the ap The book Unplugged by Donna Freitas in my opinion is about a 4.0 stars rating. The plot is genius but the book is confusing in the beginning and it's hard to know what the structure of this world is. The book is set in a futuristic world where humans have figured out a way to live virtually. In the virtual world there is no illness or physical harm and you can download apps that can make you fly, survive a fall to earth and change your appearance. Most of the population is "plugged in" to the app world except for a select group that takes care of the bodies on the plugs called Keepers. Keepers are known for their noble sacrifice of a "life without technology". Skylar Cruz's mother and sister are keepers. She lives with her best friend Inara, with their family as her surrogate family. Her only chance of seeing her real family again is when she has to unplug for a year in the real world like all the other seventeens. This coming of age process is called "Service" The physical description of Skylar is complicated because in the virtual world you are not living in your real body. Nobody really knows what they look like until they unplug for service. The virtual body she is in has black hair, bright blue eyes and the same skin tone of Caucasian 4.0 as most of the population. Skylar is unusual preferring not to alter her natural appearance in the app world with apps like the "Supermodel app" or the "Manga app" and instead choosing to spend her capital (currency) on survival and pick your own adventure games. When a decision by the government sends all her plans crashing down Skylar has to make a difficult choice on that could cause severe damage to her body, the real one. Donna Freitas created a brilliant world for this book. The idea that humans could be plugged in to a virtual reality is genius. The faults of this book are few but pretty crucial. The reason that I didn't give this book 5 stars is that the exposition was quite confusing. You as a reader were thrown into this complicated world with little explanation of how things work. It took me some backtracking and reading the book twice to really grasp all the elements of the world. But that is also one of the positives of the book! The world Donna Freitas creates is so complex and layered it feels like it could really happen. When reading this book for the first time I thought it wasn't part of a series and that may be the reason for my next criticism. I thought that the end 100 pages of the book moved so quickly that it was hard to understand what was happening. All at once someone you thought was good was bad and then it switches again and again and again until you are not sure who to trust and who is just a really skilled manipulator. After realizing that this book was going to be in a series everything made so much more sense!! I can't wait to see where the author takes this series! I would recommend this book to people who like dystopias. Books that can send a chill down your spine and make you wonder about the possibility of something like this actually happening! All in all this book was great and I would recommend it to anyone I know.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Victoria (thepetitebookblogger)

    Unplugged's premise relates directly to our modern day societies obsession with technology. In this world, much like ours, having the latest apps mark your place within society. Their lives are live completely virtually. No one in this world has ever seen the sun, ocean, trees, real food, etc...Instead they live in a world where you can download an App that can make you grow wings and fly, or receive supermodel looks. In fact there are a million superficial ways that you can transform yourself i Unplugged's premise relates directly to our modern day societies obsession with technology. In this world, much like ours, having the latest apps mark your place within society. Their lives are live completely virtually. No one in this world has ever seen the sun, ocean, trees, real food, etc...Instead they live in a world where you can download an App that can make you grow wings and fly, or receive supermodel looks. In fact there are a million superficial ways that you can transform yourself into something "better". I'm not going to lie, I thought that the premise of the App World was pretty cool at first. While it was hard to imagine what it would be like to only experience life virtually I think that the author did an excellent job in creating this world. I felt that it was very vivid and that the reasoning behind it's creation was realistic. The creators wanted a world where they were able to obtain a limitless amount of pleasure while these citizens never have to worry about injury, disease, or other ailments to which the human body is prone. I mean, couldn't you see people in today's society joining that world? I could. Skye was an alright character. I didn't necessarily think that she was special but she did have depth. Skye did everything that she could to return to her family and was willing to do what she needed to do in order to save people and to prevent a war from happening. A lot of people feel like this books plot pace was slow but I disagree, I think that if we readers weren't allowed the time that we were given to get to know the App World we wouldn't have been able to understand to the fullest extent why Skye wanted to unplug. At first, the world seems interesting, exciting even, but as we progress into the story we see how little it differs from the real world. The rampant shallowness of this world set the tone for how things were run by it's creators/goverment (hint: very poorly). A scene that stands out is when they are having a funeral and the citizens are more concerned about making it into a party or a political rally than paying respects to the grieving families. Even though I feel like a large part of character growth came from within these chapters in the App world, at times I couldn't help but wish that we would get to the action sooner, so that's why I'm taking a star off of my rating. The romance itself was....not my favorite. I'm not going to spoil it, but I will say that I wasn’t a fan of the love interest. I couldn’t really understand why Sky was interested in a certain character, especially when the character was very deceptive and seemed to hold on tightly to the virtues of the App World but other than that it really wasn’t the focus of the story. Overall, there was intrigue, betrayal, a little romance and a lot of plot twists. If you are looking for an intelligent new dystopian series that deviates from the genres usual tropes I would highly recommend Ungplugged.

  28. 4 out of 5

    J.C.

    Yeah, I read this book and yeah, while I was reading I enjoyed levels of it. Not all of it, but yes, certain aspects I enjoyed. The rest was just a stereotypical cliche mash up of an author’s attempt to be creative while yet somehow retaining exactly to the YA dystopian stereotype. Why I still read books like this I’ll never know, because they’re all either a) so predictable I predict the entire book from page one, or b) so wildly plotted in a vain attempt to be different that nothing reall Yeah, I read this book and yeah, while I was reading I enjoyed levels of it. Not all of it, but yes, certain aspects I enjoyed. The rest was just a stereotypical cliche mash up of an author’s attempt to be creative while yet somehow retaining exactly to the YA dystopian stereotype. 
Why I still read books like this I’ll never know, because they’re all either a) so predictable I predict the entire book from page one, or b) so wildly plotted in a vain attempt to be different that nothing really makes sense Unplugged fits option B. So much of this book felt like just desperation. The plot twists are so forced and make no real sense, as if the synopsis was written, and then the story forced to match. It’s incredibly unrealistic. It’s just another author trying to be different while still staying exactly the same. Description of Skylar: She’s strong and determined, but of course has her fears—that she hides—that set her back. She keeps her head down, lives her life, and tries not to get noticed. She thinks of herself as lowly and ugly. She’s stubborn and willfull, but thinks she knows right from wrong. Often she sneaks off to be in private because the world becomes too much. Guess what? I stole this description from my review of Inside Out to describe the main character. I also used this description to describe the main character in the Selection series. Is there any YA author who has any creativity left? Skylar is SUCH a stereotype. At the beginning she almost seems unique, but then that changes. She becomes stubborn. She becomes determined. She breaks the rules for the first time and thinks oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m doing this because I was such a good kid before! She betrays someone for the “right reason” and is plagued by it. She longs for her family and wants nothing more than to find them. Sound familiar yet? The plot made mostly no sense, it was just desperate, unsuccesful grasps at originality. I have a great respect for books because I know how much work goes into them, but when every YA dystopian is 90% the same, something happens called there can’t possibly be that much work going into them anymore. What’s being written is just what teenagers want to read, and I find it incredibly disappointing that these kind of books have become the teenage standard. C’mon, teens! We can do better than this! I will say my one positive is there was NO typical love triangle with the main character choosing between two guys. Yeah, there is some attraction between two characters but not until halfway through and never a love triangle. It was the main reason I kept reading. Though I did like the aspect of this story of technology truly taking over and the consequences, I felt it didn’t really send the message clearly. So yeah. The writing was decent I guess, just the rest of the book was too stereotypical. Like my reviews? Follow my blog: http://jcbuchanan.com

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elisha

    Unplugged, by Donna Freitas, is the latest in YA Sci-Fi. The story is set after a time when technology was King, so much so that people decided they would rather live in a virtual world than in the real one. The novel begins when this experiment has already proven successful and the Prime Minister of the virtual world, Jonathan Holt, closes travel between the two places, trapping Skylar Cruz and separating her from her family forever. This chilling premise relates directly to our lives today and Unplugged, by Donna Freitas, is the latest in YA Sci-Fi. The story is set after a time when technology was King, so much so that people decided they would rather live in a virtual world than in the real one. The novel begins when this experiment has already proven successful and the Prime Minister of the virtual world, Jonathan Holt, closes travel between the two places, trapping Skylar Cruz and separating her from her family forever. This chilling premise relates directly to our lives today and our obsession with cellphones, computers, video games, and other material belongings; in that sense, it serves as a stark warning to us to be mindful of the path toward which we are headed. The premise of Unplugged is very creative in that the author uses familiar ideas such as apps and downloading updates to make the virtual world relatable. In fact, though this artificial land is horrifying, Freitas does a great job at demonstrating how it could be appealing. For instance, citizens in this alternate reality never have to waste time cooking food, because they can download it. They also are all set to share a similar appearance that has been constructed based on what most find attractive. In other words, negative body image is not a huge issue here. However, if virtual people want to enhance their looks, they can simply download a supermodel app. With money, anything is possible and easy in virtual land. More than that, these citizens never have to worry about injury, disease, or other ailments to which the human body is prone. With that being said, I am curious to know more about how the App World works. For instance, Skylar talks about breathing, which brings up the question of its necessity. For instance, do the virtual humans actually have to breathe? Or is that just a part of their code to make them as close to real humans as possible? There are many small points such as this that are not clarified, which definitely leaves me wanting. However, Unplugged is the first book in a series and I would assume more will be uncovered and explained in the sequel. When considering the writing specifically, the use of past tense feels quite limiting. It seems to dampen the urgency and sometimes gets in the way of the story’s flow. Yet, I do enjoy the novel’s structure with it being split into multiple parts, giving a beginning, middle, and end to each element Skylar faces. I also like the chapter titles, which really set the tone for what is to follow, and the long quotation from the philosopher René Descartes after the dedication page, which introduces the theme of the novel. Overall, Unplugged is an incredibly original dystopia that is both eerie and frightening, primarily due to the plausible evolution of society and Freitas relatable protagonist, Skylar Cruz, the only seeming voice of reason. It will be exciting to see where the series goes next. Originally posted here: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yaficti...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anthony ➳ KeepReadingForward ➳

    2/5 Date Reviewed: 3 April 2018 This Review was first posted on Keep Reading Forward. If you want to see more, check out our other locations as well as here. In Unplugged, humanity is split between the App World, a virtual world, and the Real World, actual life for the poor. As Skye nears her birthday where she will finally be allowed to enter the Real World to reunite with her family, the border between worlds are sealed shut and passage is no longer allowed. When a risky offer comes to her to ent 2/5 Date Reviewed: 3 April 2018 This Review was first posted on Keep Reading Forward. If you want to see more, check out our other locations as well as here. In Unplugged, humanity is split between the App World, a virtual world, and the Real World, actual life for the poor. As Skye nears her birthday where she will finally be allowed to enter the Real World to reunite with her family, the border between worlds are sealed shut and passage is no longer allowed. When a risky offer comes to her to enter the Real World, she takes the opportunity and quickly realizes that the Real World may no longer be the one she remembers, but now a darker reality has taken over. This story has left me really confused. I believed this story had the potential to be one of the best out there, but something was left out of it. This isn’t like Warcross, a more recent book where the virtual world overlaps the real world. The App world is a different world. Your body hibernates and your conscious is hooked up to the App World for a better lifestyle. This was definitely a good idea. However, all I got was a weird life story. In the first half of the story, it started off really slow by introducing the App World and history behind it. We also get to meet Skye and see her history. Everything was a information dump and I really wanted something new to finally get into the story. Everything finally took off when the borders were closed and the mysterious offer came in. I thought this was finally the start I wanted, but everything was still to slow for me. I had no excitement for this book, but I was still interested in the idea. I picked up my reading speed to the point of almost skimming. I saw everything as the story progressed but it felt like I was seeing nothing new or no progress being developed. I couldn’t even understand where the romance came from. Skye had no interest whatsoever in a boy, but all of sudden, he’s the only thing she cares for. I didn’t even see that “insta-love” moment. The ending of the story was the best part. It gave a shocking twist that couldn’t have been seen from miles away, but it took so long to explain everything. I understood what the twist was, but it took the entire remainder of the book to develop the idea (it was more than just a few chapters). I really feel that this was a missed opportunity. Unplugged definitely has untapped potential but I believe that the story could have been executed better. It has that good dystopian and sci-fi vibe it needed, I couldn’t get passed all the points I was making against the book however. I’m glad I got the opportunity to read it, but it only resulted in disappointment.

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