Have you ever become so obsessed with video games that your dad threatened to take away your computer? That’s exactly what happens to Jaxon, the main character in Cure for the Common Universe by Christian McKay Heidicker. Jaxon’s dad not only chucks the gaming console, he sends his son away to “Vhab,” aka rehab for gaming addicts. As an added bummer, right before Jaxon is sent away he arranges his first date with a beautiful girl named Serena he met at the carwash. Jaxon’s only hope of making it back to civilization in time to meet Serena for their dinner date is to win the ultimate game … convincing the Vhab faculty that he’s totally fine and should be released immediately.
Packed with quirky characters, Cure for the Common Universe turns the traditional YA book on its head. There are no hot guys with chiseled abs. Instead, Jaxon has man boobs and a predilection for hot pockets. He reminds me of what Greg Heffly from Diary of a Wimpy kid might turn into if he didn’t have Mr. and Mrs. Heffly riding his case, or Rowley, encouraging Greg to go outside. Like Greg, Jaxon is an extremely likable, unlikable main character. Watching his growth over the course of the book will hook all those adults out there who read YA. Teens will love this book too, because it’s full of humor.
What I love about Cure for the Common Universe is how Christian slips in some very real information about addiction, loneliness, and the whys and hows of gaming addiction. It’s a neatly-wrapped package of all the things parents want their teens to hear, disguised as a super fun book full of foul language and the occasional masturbation joke.
Cure for the Common Universe comes out June 14th, which is the same day my own book, Genesis Girl, debuts. Christian’s book is realistic fiction, and mine is Science Fiction, but they both deal with how technology addiction has forever changed society. Thank you to Edelweiss for providing me with a free, advanced eARC in exchange for my honest opinions and review.