Title: The Impossible Fortress
Author: Jason Rekulak
Good things about this book: The 80’s.
Bad things about this book: Fat shaming.
Do I recommend it? Yes, but be careful, it’s not for everyone in my opinion.
Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here
[ARC received via Netgalley]
The potential was all there. All of it: from the setting during the 80’s and the main character being a computer geek who makes video games. But I was disappointed by a little bit of everything. Maybe I was expecting too much. Maybe I was expecting the book to be a little more about the video games and not about how obnoxious teenage boys can be.
“This song has more cheese than a quesadilla.”
Sadly I cannot write about everything that annoyed me because it will spoil you the book and the few good things in it. I didn’t hate it because I still remember the one book I truly hated this past year and this is far from it. If I think about it my blood boils, it still makes me furious!! (Looking at you, Winger!).
I am finding a pattern here: the books I don’t like very much always have a male main character aged fourteen. Is that a sign? Maybe it is. Why is it that these boys get on my nerve with their immaturity, lies and “my friends can’t know I have feelings” behavior? I just don’t get it but, then again, I was never a teenage boy. I just can’t think of a reason boys that age have to be that obnoxious. I wanted to slap him and his friends so many times. I could be their mom and I would’ve loved to give them a long heartfelt speech about how dumb they all were!
After fourteen years of being me, I wasn’t used to compliments.
Billy is the main character and he is obsessed with making video games. He is failing every single subject at school, even the one about rocks and streams!! He doesn’t have his priorities set straight. There is this one scene that made me so mad I wanted to shut the book but I was determined to finish it today.
Besides Billy there are his two best friends, Alf and Clark, and Mary. They gave Mary so much pain calling her fat behind her back and my anger was infinite. How dare they? Who do they think they are? Everything there was about her was her weight and it angered me so much. I thought about all the girls bullied because of their weight and it made me equally sad and furious because people don’t try to know them, they just think they spend their time eating and will be forever alone.
“Well, your mother’s like McDonald’s,” Alf snapped. “She satisfies billions and billions of customers.”
I think the character I liked the most, with all his obvious teenage flaws, was Alf. I loved they said he was called Alf like the flurry TV show alien and I loved him so much! My big sister had the plush toy and now I’m kind of mad she doesn’t have it anymore. It would’ve been perfect in my room with all my beautiful plushies.
Long story short this isn’t an easy book to review because the parts about the building of the video game, The Impossible Fortress as the title suggests, is cute and it’s nice seeing how Billy and Mary grow closer to each other bonding over binary code and machine language. Unfortunately there are the annoying parts and the plot kind of go off track at one point and it goes back to it weakly. Don’t let this discourage you from giving the book a chance because different points of views are always a plus.