Friday, April 27, 2012

Socialpunk Book Review

Warning: this post is riddled with spoilers! I recently read the book Socialpunk by Monica Leonelle.  I give Monica snaps for her imagination...mine couldn't keep up.  The book is about a girl named Ima.  She finds out that the world she lives in is a virtual reality- a science experiment.  She escapes the world by chance through a character named Vaughn, and enters a completely different "real world" where she must reinvent herself as "Cinder" to fit in. Then she must go back to her world to save her best friend and love of her life, Dash, before the project is terminated.  Now that I'm summarizing, it sounds riveting.  It is an excellent plot line!  However, there were so many elements of the virtual reality, The Dome, and real world, Silicone City, that I couldn't keep track of.  I felt like I needed a notepad to take notes and draw diagrams to fully understand it.  She could've benefited from more pages that set up the story and the world Ima lives in.  I felt thrust into it and it didn't come together for me until the last 20 pages.  I think knowing all of this ahead of time would make the book better...so perhaps you should read it!  There were also confusing elements that had no further impact on the storyline that could've been done away with.  Like I said, my imagination couldn't keep up.

Another issue for me was my inability to connect with the characters.  Ima is a young girl who doesn't fit in.  She loves her best friend, who loves someone else.  This is a character who I should've been able to call a soul mate, but I couldn't.  I desired more pages to connect with her.  I needed more inner monologues...more thoughts and feelings, more dialogue between her and the characters.  As Twain said in regards to writing, "Don't just say, 'The old lady screamed.' Give her hell and make her scream!" As for the other characters, I felt very disconnected from them.  One of the main characters, Nahum, seemed to have absolutely no purpose for even being in the book, yet Ima/Cinder is supposedly in love with him.

A character I did connect with was The Researcher, Ima's creator and creator of her world.  Initially, the parallel between The Researcher and God made me a little uncomfortable, but his inner monologues were so touching.  The juxtaposition is that he made mistakes.  When he made Ima, he intended to give her a wonderful life, good parents and a great love with Dash, but he accidentally made her dad abusive, he made Dash homosexual.  He also lost funding for his project and so the world he created was to be used for another experiment and destroyed.  His despair at the entire thing was thought-provoking and touching.  I really connected with him and loved that aspect of the novel.

I'd recommend this book to readers who like light reads.  It is a short read at 180 pages and moves lightening quick.  It's exciting and has all of the elements for an exciting alternate-reality novella.  It is available in e-book or hardcopy here:
Amazon: http://monicaleonelle.com/SocialpunkA
Barnes and Noble: http://monicaleonelle.com/SocialpunkB

Also, Monica is doing a give-away and you can enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 comments:

e said...

okay so I haven't even read the book (but I'm pretty sure I'm going to) but I couldn't help by try and enter the contest.

e said...

update: won the contest. ha!