Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak


Page Count: 285
Published on: February 7, 2017
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Genre(s): Fiction, YA, Coming of Age
Source: Hardback - sent from publisher
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}


My Rating: 3.5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

A dazzling debut novel—at once a charming romance and a moving coming-of-age story—about what happens when a fourteen-year-old boy pretends to seduce a girl to steal a copy of Playboy but then discovers she is his computer-loving soulmate.

Billy Marvin’s first love was a computer. Then he met Mary Zelinsky.

Do you remember your first love?

The Impossible Fortress begins with a magazine…The year is 1987 and Playboy has just published scandalous photographs of Vanna White, from the popular TV game show Wheel of Fortune. For three teenage boys—Billy, Alf, and Clark—who are desperately uneducated in the ways of women, the magazine is somewhat of a Holy Grail: priceless beyond measure and impossible to attain. So, they hatch a plan to steal it.

The heist will be fraught with peril: a locked building, intrepid police officers, rusty fire escapes, leaps across rooftops, electronic alarm systems, and a hyperactive Shih Tzu named Arnold Schwarzenegger. Failed attempt after failed attempt leads them to a genius master plan—they’ll swipe the security code to Zelinsky’s convenience store by seducing the owner’s daughter, Mary Zelinsky. It becomes Billy’s mission to befriend her and get the information by any means necessary. But Mary isn’t your average teenage girl. She’s a computer loving, expert coder, already strides ahead of Billy in ability, with a wry sense of humor and a hidden, big heart. But what starts as a game to win Mary’s affection leaves Billy with a gut-wrenching choice: deceive the girl who may well be his first love or break a promise to his best friends.


Hey, guys!

      I was sent this awesome book for an honest review back in January and I was instantly intrigued by the review package. They sent me an awesome reviewer package with a fake and blank Playboy cover and some 80's inspired candy. It was so cool and it got me in a mood to read the book. The book follows the 14-year-old Billy who is trying desperately to get the legendary Playboy with Vanna White on the cover. He and his friends are defintely out of their element when it comes to interacting with the opposite sex, so when they have to somehow convince/"seduce" the story owner's daughter to help them get a copy. This book has everything: 80's culture, a coming of age story, a bit of a romance, action, drama, a great cast of characters.

      This book was thouroughly entertaining and I really enjoyed it. I loved the main character, Billy, and I loved the character Mary. They were fairly mature compared to most 14-year-old characters and I really enjoyed the character arc that Billy and Mary went through. I really enjoyed how genuine and real Billy's character was. He was a total boy, but he was a good kid overall. Mary is such a strong and badass girl. I absolutely adored her character. Put Billy and Mary together and you'll get a super smart computer coding duo. 

      This book captures the innocence of kids on the brink of puberty and their reckless pursuits for stupid stuff. The emphasis on character growth, friendship, loyalty, and ambition was really sweet and entertaining to read as the story progressed. I really enjoyed the 80's culture that was prominent throughout the book. The dialogue was really realistic and there were so many moments where I audibly laughed out loud. This book made me laugh, nearly cry, and get angry and irritated. There were so many nerdy references that made my nerdy heart so happy. It wasn't necessarily my brand of nerd, but it was still wonderful nonetheless. 

     When getting towards the end of the story, I thought it was going to have a super predictable ending that would disappoint me somewhat, but there was really great ending that totally blew me away. I really didn't see it coming. I was so surprised and I'm so glad that Rekulak wrote such a cool twist. The ending fell a bit flat for me, but it was still pretty satisfying. 

     Overall, this book was pretty good. I really enjoyed it. Some of the references went over my head, but nothing too odd. I was born in the late 90's so of course some of the nostalgic bits that 80's kids would love weren't as impactful, but I'm sure that this book will be adored by so many people. I really do recommend this book. However, the characters were sometimes very unlikeable, their decisions were very stupid (which was annoying but I understood it because of their age), and it ended a bit abruptly. It wasn't a 5-star book for me, but it was still pretty good. 

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