Author: Mary Weber
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
GoodReads Summary: Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.
Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.
For Miguel, Earth's charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.
What I Think: The gamer in me really loved this book! But I especially loved that it was a book gamers and reality tv show lovers could relate to. It's such an interesting premise and world...and then Mary throws in a few twists so I just wanted to keep reading so much that I couldn't put it down.
As a mentor text, I love the world building but also how she shows us the characters. She layers in what they are doing, what they are thinking, and how they are feeling. It took me a lot of writing so start to pay attention to all the layers that go in to good writing.
I would especially pay attention to word choice and use this to show how word choice really makes a difference when it comes to descriptive writing and showing readers what is going on. This is a YA novel and I usually use the $100 word term to talk to younger writers but I think it would apply to teen writers as well. $100 words means we're using words that are more descriptive than $1 words. It's like going out for a super fancy steak dinner instead of the dollar menu at McDonald's. Which kind of writing would you want to devour? Right? It's a great metaphor and helpful as student writers think about which words they use in their description.
Snatch of Text:
"The floor beneath Sofi's feet shuddered, and a second later her stomach lurched as the entire level of gamer rooms began to descend. Waves rocked against the giant windows, slapping them with foam while they sank down, until all but the top three feet of glass was submerged beneath the oceanscape. She was staring into an enormous pool of water reaching higher than her head and deeper than she could swim. And so lucid she could almost see the other side." (p. 37)
Writing Prompt: Use descriptive writing to describe a fictional or real setting. Write about how Mary Weber's word choice helps you better understand the situation the character Sofi is in.