In the tradition of M. T. Anderson’s Feed and Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies, Unplugged is the first in a provocative and compelling new series from acclaimed author Donna Freitas.
Humanity is split into a dying physical world for the poor and an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy. Years ago, Skylar Cruz crossed over to the App World for a chance at a better life, and her family stayed behind in the Real World. Now Skye is a virtual teenager, surrounded by glamorous apps and expensive downloads—yet she’s never felt like she fits in, and all she wants is to see her mother and sister again.
Skye is desperate and ready to risk everything to unplug from the App World. But she soon learns that the only person she can trust—in either world, including friends and family—is herself.
In the not-so-distant future of Freitas's fast-paced series opener, the world is divided. Those with resources live virtually, plugged into an App World whose inhabitants look vaguely similar (even sharing the same skin color, "Caucasian 4.0") and use Apps to differentiate themselves; those without live in the corporeal Real World, left to deal with disease, poverty, and physicality. Skylar Cruz, 16, is one of the rare "Singles," children chosen to live virtually in exchange for their families' service as Keepers caregivers to the bodies left behind by the virtual citizens. When the borders between the worlds are suddenly closed and the prime minister's son, Rain, is left on the wrong side, Skye is recruited to bring him back. But the Real World is in the midst of revolution, and Skye has become an important symbol for both sides. Freitas (The Tenderness of Thieves), a PW contributor, invokes several recognizable dystopian tropes including an expectations-defying heroine, a world facing drastic change, and an impossible love triangle as she explores interconnections among race, commerce, and technology. Ages 13 up.