Saturday, March 10, 2018

Otherworld - Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

Title: Otherworld
Authors: Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
Rating: 1 Star

The company says Otherworld is amazing—like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive—that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.

Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.

And it’s about to change humanity forever.
Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.

I first came across Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller as authors when I read their book Nightmares.  When I heard they had a YA book coming out, I read the description and thought, "Hey, that sounds good."  Once again, I found my initial thought about a book to be wrong. 

Okay, so, here we go.  I was wrong because:

The main character, Simon, was even more self obsessed than even the most arrogant teenager.  He didn't seem to really care about anyone other than himself, and maybe, MAYBE Kat.  He never thought about how his actions might affect others, and it didn't appear to me that his parents really worked hard to teach him that his actions have consequences.  Instead, when he did something they didn't like, they would yell at him for a couple minutes, then leave the room.  THEN, all of a sudden they would leave and fly off to a foreign country and leave their apparently delinquent son home alone with no parents.  Um, great idea parents!

Simon also has a pretty messed up idea of what it means to stand up for the one person he does seem to care about.  Example: When Simon arrives at school one day, he overhears these two girls talking about Kat and saying she's a slut, etc.  So, in what first appears to be an act of feminist allyship, he walks up to these two girls and tells them that they shouldn't be slut shaming Kat like that.  THEN, THEN, THEN - he goes and fucking ruins the moment by telling them that if they continue to call Kat a slut, he will leak their nude photos all over the internet.  He clearly is not a feminist ally like he thinks he is (and if this is the kind thing Segel thinks is okay to write about, neither is he.)

The idea of a world where they add a sticker sort of chip to your head is intriguing.  However, I thought it was weird that Simon didn't see any red flags for this thing.  Kat gets this thing put on her head after an accident at a former glue factory.  Now, to be fair, Simon did think it was weird that so many people in his town have suddenly been declared as having locked in syndrome.  He didn't think twice about putting on his own sticker chip thing though when one just arrived at his house.  So, he puts it on, then he CAN'T get it off because it paralyzes your human body while you are in Otherworld.  But sure, go ahead and put it on Simon!

I thought that the secondary characters were a bit uninteresting and underdeveloped.  They were just there for Simon to reach his goal - and yes I understand that Simon is the MC in the book.  But a story should have better developed secondary characters as well.  Otherwise, why are they there?  They aren't going to add anything to the story of they are just flat and uninteresting and contribute nothing to the story.

Simon also seems extraordinarily obsessed with the size of his nose.  This is piddly compared to the poor plot and bad characters, but it just seemed strange to me that he couldn't stop talking about his huge fucking nose. 

I didn't care for the actual story either because it didn't feel original.  It felt like recycled stuff taken from other books and changed just ever so slightly to make it seem like a cool original story.

So, there you go.  If you want to read this book, or you've already read it and you loved it, cool.  I just think there are other books I'll spend my time on.

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