Book: Unplugged (2021)
Author: Gordon Korman
Genre: MG, Contemporary
Basic plot: Jett is a spoiled rich kid who gets into trouble just for the fun of it. So, his millionaire dad sends him to Oasis, a place where he has to surrender all his devices and becomes “unplugged.” Jett isn’t too happy, but he soon makes an uneasy alliance with some of the other kids at the retreat center as they attempt to rescue a poor little lizard they call Needles. However, Jett isn’t above the rules, and he leads the charge in “illegal” visits to the nearby town to get food for Needles, only to discover a mysterious house that seems to be hiding a secret.
Opening lines from the book …
Matt says I could see the majestic beauty of the American Southeast if I’d bother to glance out the window. So I glance. “Clouds,” I report. “Whoop-de-do.”
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…
1) Jett’s pretty spoiled, and he’s pretty much your typical Korman-esque protagonist. He’s got an eye for trouble, but he will also undergo some sort of character growth.
2) The story is told through multiple POVs. There’s the mysterious Brooklynne, the eager-beaver Grace, and the guy who’s allergic to everything: Tyrell. A motley crew who work together for the sake of the poor rescue lizard, Needles. That’s part of the fun of reading a Gordon Korman novel, to get all these different points of view.
3) There are a couple nice little twists in the story, although I did guess them before their revelation. But I didn’t guess them all. There was still one that I kind of got right but not all of it! I won’t spoil it here, but if you’ve read the book, you should know what I mean.
4) In the story, the retreat is the brainchild of Magnus Fellini. He even has his own salutation: “Be whole.” And he completely embraces the life of a healthy, off-the-grid type of living. Jett doesn’t waste any time coming up with the nickname “Nimbus” whenever he wants to reference Magnus. There’s a scene where Jett stands up for Magnus, but calls him “Nimbus”. And he does it in front of Magnus! I love how Magnus seems completely chill with the nickname!
5) The most interesting part of the story for me was the idea of living in an unplugged world. In many ways, I love the idea, but I also know how much we depend on the internet and the online world. Anyhow, I found it fascinating.
If you’re a Gordon Korman fan, you should probably enjoy this one. 🙂
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…