Young Adult - Sci-Fi
356 Pages
Reviewed on 07/02/2021
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Author Biography

Mel Torrefranca is a YouTuber, novelist, and founder of Lost Island Press. When she isn’t writing young adult fiction, Mel enjoys video editing, photography, playing the guitar, and traveling. She is a lifelong San Francisco Bay native where she works during the day and nurses her latte obsession by night.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Capsule is a work of fiction in the science fiction, mystery, and interpersonal drama sub-genres, and was penned by author Mel Torrefranca. The work is intended for the young adult reading audience and contains some moderate use of profanity and two specific references to traumatic deaths. Our protagonist is Jackie Mendoza, a sixteen-year-old who immerses herself in virtual life rather than the daily goings-on of Brookwood High School. But when two students from the school go missing and Jackie finds herself forced into a virtual game with very real-life consequences, she becomes the only one who can save her fellow students from total erasure. What results is a highly engrossing techno-adventure tale that is sure to keep readers turning the pages from cover to cover.

Author Mel Torrefranca has crafted a highly immersive and up-to-date work of fiction with plenty of techno twists and dangerous, exciting turns to offer its readers. One of the features which I found particularly impressive about this piece was its dark and edgy nature, as it's clear the author isn’t afraid to give YA readers an emotionally challenging work with sharp moments and very deep consequences for our hero Jackie. I also felt that Jackie herself was beautifully developed from the introverted techno-head she is at the opening of the novel into a brave, strong, and ultimately changed person by its startling conclusion. The dialogue was also highly effective, serving to display the unique traits of the characters whilst moving the plot forward in a natural way. Overall, I would highly recommend Capsule to fans of fast-paced science fiction, highly engaging outsider heroes, and for readers of video-game-styled fiction everywhere.