On A LARP
DPA (Delaware Press Association) Young Adult Fiction Book of the Year
A Bronze IPPY (Independent Publisher's Book Award) for Multicultural Fiction - Juvenile/Young Adult
"And I promise you, if I somehow manage to survive this act of immature-brain-encased-in-unbelievable-stupidity, I will gladly tell you exactly how I got here."
Which, for the record, is chasing a dark-web killer through the middle of a live action role-playing game, better known as a LARP.
On a LARP introduces readers to self-described lesbionic brainiac geek and teen coder, Sid Rubin, a smartass—and super-smart—high school kid with a strong conscience and a knack for solving problems. This high concept, frenetic ride dives into the fascinating world of interactive role-playing when Sid recognizes the photo of a murder victim during an AP field trip to a police station. What starts out as an Aha! moment soon finds Sid and her unlikely posse of friends chasing a dark web killer through the middle of a live action role playing game. Sid and the gang work to unravel a deeply encrypted mystery while simultaneously enduring pop quizzes, endless Ted Talks, teenage heartbreak, suspicious parents, cosplay, and the irresistible lure of the NYC Public Library.
For those who don't know, LARP is a live action role playing game. They have to find the game master (creator of the game) before their questions can be answered. Sid soon finds herself draw into a LARP and the danger becomes more real the closer she gets to an answer.
ON A LARP is full of mystery and nerdy-ness. At times, it felt like the main character was ranting and it slowed the pace of the story so it was a little difficult to get into at first. But once it picked up, it draws you in. I loved Sid's quirky and unique character and I loved the incorporation of LARP because you don't see it very often in YA books.
Final Verdict: I recommend this to fans of murder mysteries, cosplay, and hacking.
Thus begins this rambling, geeky tale of undeveloped teenage brains. A corseted murder. Story yarns riddling from the Dark Web. And ominous but poetic clues waxing how “Death is Immurement.”
I loved this story, from the very first line to the last. Sidonie Rubin—aka Sid—is the most endearing, wildly amusing cerebral female character I have read in a long, long while. Her mind is racing a hundred miles an hour as she recants for the reader how she survived a jump toward certain death (literally and figuratively), filled with hilarious nerdy tangents and self-deprecating humor. One part socially awkward, two parts genius brain, and a billion fractured parts rambling pop-culture reference queen. The result? Brilliant!
"The geeks are my friends because I am one with them..." Me too, Sid. Me, too. *raises fist in solidarity*
Curiously, this beginning of the end for Sid starts with the death of another. Someone Sid is convinced died while in cosplay for a LARP (live action role playing game). A local police department recruits Sid and her wonderfully eclectic group friends to lend their knowledge on LARP and to “hack” for clues, eventually leading to a questionable link on the Dark Web. A link that opens an invitation to a secret Steampunk LARP, created especially for participants who are willing to “die for their art.”
But that, dear reader, is for you to discover! If you dare…
Back to Sid. A story and character element that I loved about her is that she is the main point-of-view character and she is a lesbian. Usually this is reserved for side characters. Additionally, this isn’t a tale of blossoming sexual orientation. Rather, her attraction to women—one woman in particular—is perfectly natural for her character. Well done! I’m glad to see more diverse characters, especially in YA, who are “real” about who they are, in ALL areas.
Time to wrap this up!
“You know my friends, the floor is rapidly approaching and I have just enough time left to be guessing this is probably a consummate example of what Dad meant when he said I needed to learn to look before I leap. But now, it is so way too late for that…”
You want to find out what happens, don’t you? *wink, wink*
Get. This. Book. You won’t be disappointed! Your stomach muscles will thank you for the work out, both from holding your breath in anticipation and from laughing.