The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak (5 out of 5) 

This is the advance cover.. the actual cover is different. Bright and nice, but I like this one better. Our author is also the brains behind Quirk Books, so he knows a bit about the publishing industry. This book is not put out by Quirk, but by the good folks at Simon & Schuster. It is already out; it came out February 7th. I read this sucker in 3 hours. It was an instant feel good read. I also think it would make a great movie. Reading my way through it, I felt an ease of good vibes that I haven’t felt since I read “Ready Player One”. It felt a lot like familiar ground. Good, 1980’s nostalgia filled familiar ground. Join in the fun by reading this book!

Anyone who knows me knows I am not a fan of technology. Except when I was a kid. I was obsessed with Atari. I also liked Commodore 64’s. I didn’t like them enough to write computer programs or try to create a video game on one, like our lead character Billy. Billy’s currently involved in a scheme with his friends Clark and Alf to buy the coveted Playboy featuring his sweetheart, Wheel of Fortune’s Vanna White. Shouldn’t be too hard, except that they are under 18 and Mr. Zelinsky, the owner of the shop on Market Street that has the prized periodicals, will not sell it to the boys. They come up with some crazy scheme to break in and steal copies, only to realize someone has to get close with Mary, the overweight computer programming wiz daughter of Zelinsky. Billy offers to do so, and ends up striking up an instant rapport with Mary. They discuss an upcoming contest by Rutgers, for the newest and most exciting video game created by high schoolers. Billy is astonished at how great Mary is with writing code, and he admits that he has a game that he needs help with; the game is The Impossible Fortress. They join forces and begin working on the game to get it ready by the time the contest rolls out (a few weeks time). In the meantime, Clark and Alf have been working the street side of the Vanna White Snatch & Grab Scheme, and Billy is supposed to be schmoozing Mary to get the security code to the alarm system at the store. They go out to the movies, hold hands, and share moments that have him hoping it is heading in a romantic direction. Suddenly, Alf and Clark jeopardize their part of the scheme by inviting Tyler, a roustabout motorcycle guy from town, into their scheme. At the same time, Billy makes his move on Mary, only to be rebuffed. His friends have given up on him, the school has given up on him pulling his distracted grades out of the academic basement, and his mom is furious and makes him sign over his summer to an unpaid internship at the local cosmetics factory, so he doesn’t have to repeat the ninth grade. Billy gets pissed, rejoins forces with his friends, and the heist is revived..because before Mary told him to buzz off, Billy saw her put in the security code. As you can imagine, things do NOT go according to plan. But that’s the beauty of this book. When you think things are at an end, there is still good karma around the corner. And lots of great pop culture references too. And a few surprises that turned things on their esar, but in the end, THIS is a quality read. If you want a light, fun, and heartwarming trip through the 80’s time warp, this is the way to go. 

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~ by generationgbooks on February 13, 2017.

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