Author:  Claudia Gabel, Cheryl Klam
Published: March 18th 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Categories: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
External Links: Book DepositoryGoodreads

Summary: Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.

Review: It was part boredom and part frustration: these things made up my experience on reading Elusion by Claudia Gabel, Cheryl Klam. It was really underwhelming for me. I expected it to be this huge, engaging sci-fi/dystopia story about this futuristic society where people will rely on a pseudo-reality device. And perhaps along the way it will show that too much of it has also has it downsides (which is always the case, nothing is perfect as they say). Well, at least it tried to do deliver that, albeit with the very predictable conspiracy going on.

From the get-go, I already determined what the direction of the story will go through. And in some cases, I like that I can see clearly the path of the plot. But sometimes, it was too predictable for comfort. I know that there’s more to her father’s invention than she knew, than they knew. That maybe the opposing group has a point why they don’t like it. As to why people firmly claimed that it could be addictive; in which her father had explained how it really works. But how people used it and some shady business going on made it more than what it should be.

I have problem with Regan. She was bit confusing at times. She was mostly indecisive that made her character a little inept to me (think girl, think!). I reckon the problem was there wasn’t enough development in her character. She’s like a wallflower in this high-tech party. She was struggling to find her footing but ended up clumsily in her foot. But a lot of factors made her weak for me but the biggest one was the romance.

This book is guilty with few of those YA boys stereotypes. Well, I can tolerate it…at least in most cases I can, and if it was done in an unlikely and less eye-rolling way as possible, then I’m aboard with it.  But the problem wasn’t with Josh—the guy. It was with Regan. She was flustered, tingling, boiling or whatever when she first saw him. Hey some people are very impressive in person, I get that, but get the hold of yourself sister, she’s just a guy! Also, there’s another boy, Patrick who I found a bit off at first and later found out that was because there was something going on with him. To be quite honest, I actually liked his character better than Regan and Josh or maybe even the two of ‘em combined. Something flawed but relatable that I get him more than I did with the two.

I’m not really that of a tech fan. I like gadgets just fine. I don’t upgrade my cellphone just to catch with the latest trend. That’s how content I am with the tools I have. The world they are living in has technological advances that are too pointed out as if trying to show me this is the future with their gadgets and gizmos a-plenty. But maybe I’m just being my unusual nitpicky self, nonetheless it was ok. It has potential but hardly riveting.

Format: Advance Reader’s Copy
Preview Quote:  “A meaningful life is filled with contributions.” — Regan