Mind games by Teri Terry

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Orchard Books, 2015. ISBN 9781408334256 (Age: Teens) Highly recommended. Mind Games is an exciting read, set in the not too distant future where computers and technology play a scarily dominant role. Luna, a refuser of technology, is an outcast. She one of the few students at her school without an implant (technology created to allow her access to the virtual world - where basically everything from play time to school takes place). Luna, unlike her father, who spends most of his time in the virtual world, his body surviving in his PIP (think matrix plug in tub); is wary of the technology and her peers' obsession with the virtual world, despite being the daughter of the late, infamous hacker, Astra. She listens to her grandmother (in one of her rare moments of lucidity) to not plug in, to not join her friends in the virtual world - to keep her secret: that she was born with a rare gift of double awareness - that is she is aware of her body even when she is plugged in. But PareCo (the organisation who run the virtual world) offer her an internship along with her most gifted classmates and make sure she can't refuse. Suddenly she is pulled into an exciting yet dangerous new world - one that she has been warned to steer clear of. As her abilities grow (and feelings for Geko, a new love-interest) so does her awareness of the dangers of PareCo. She has been told to follow her instincts - to be wary of who she trusts. But who can she really trust with her secrets? Terry is a master of her craft, combining elements of her previous series (Slated) into the plot to create a gripping, hard to put down read. This novel is highly recommended for readers hungering for something out-of-box and exhilarating with every turn of the page. R. Mesner