Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi Review

Title: Girl Gone Viral

Author: Arvin Ahmadi

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I
borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               Arvin
Ahmadi won my heart completely last year, when one of the book clubs I go to
chose his debut novel, Down and Across. I loved it so much; it was one of my
favorite books of 2018. So, when I found out that he was writing a sophomore
novel, I was so excited that I ordered it from my local library. It’s been
sitting on the top of my stack for a while, so as soon as I was finished with
Love a la Mode, I got started. Arvin Ahmadi leads the reader through a
fantastic, twisted world where technology rules all, and the darkest secrets
hide behind a glossy, shiny façade. But even more than that, he brings up important
questions: When will technology and innovation take over our society and, essentially,
replace the experiences that form our reality? It’s quite possible that I love
this book even more than Down and Across. Thought-provoking, dark, and more
than a bit terrifying, I loved every tense, mysterious moment of it, and I will
never forget Opal Hopper and her friends!

               Opal
Hopper is a girl who is broken into pieces. Devastated by her father’s disappearance
five years ago, she has retreated into the immersive world of VR, becoming a
tech-savvy hacker to capture Howie Mendelsohn’s attention, the owner and CEO of
Wave, who, she is convinced, has the answers to why her father left their
family. Desperate for the truth, Opal throws all caution to the wind and begins
a channel that forces viewers to face the real truth. But her desire for the
truth leads her to follow a dark, twisting path that exposes the dark
underbelly of her world, and she and her friends may not be able to weather the
fallout…

               This
book was wonderful! Told with Ahmadi’s signature wry tone, I was immediately
captivated by Opal’s voice, and her desperate need to discover why her father
left her and her mother. The pacing was breakneck; I devoured this book in a
little over a day. It was dark, thoughtful, and more than a little terrifying.
It got me really thinking about the dark side of social media and technology.
In our desire to be seen, to be heard, how much of our true selves are we
sacrificing? I love, love, love books that make me think, and Ahmadi has
absolutely outdone himself with his second novel. Though Opal was the main
star, I also loved the other characters, and the world they lived in. I also
adored the journey that Opal took to the dark underbelly of her world, and the
way that she was undaunted and dogged in her quest for the truth. I really felt
like I couldn’t trust anyone in this book, perhaps not even Opal herself. And
that ending! Oh, my goodness, it knocked my socks off and felt like the most
brutal, awful punch to the stomach, in the best way! Arvin Ahmadi has cemented
his place as one of my favorite authors with Girl Gone Viral, and I can’t wait
for more from him! The bottom line: Dark, visceral, truly frightening and
thought-provoking, I loved Girl Gone Viral! Next on deck: Save Me the Plums: My
Gourmet Memoir by Ruth Reichl!

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