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Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
Damion, the protagonist of Catching Ivy by Eliza Tilton, lives in the most expensive and luxurious hotel in the city (Hotel Le-Grand) with his family. His life could be seen as rather comfortable if it were not for a tragic event that led to the death of his girlfriend. To dull the pain and partially to avoid new relationships, he loses himself in the world of virtual reality reads (VRRs). He gets his virtual “books” from a character who is a little shady and has certain connections. One of those connections gave him a special VRR and he sells it to Damion for a very high price. However, this VRR is different from all the others. The first thing that makes Damion wonder about it is the real pain he feels. Usually, you don’t feel pain in VRRs. Then there is the current news within the VRR that is so current that it’s a bit eerie. Soon Damion realizes that the VRR with the blonde girl is not just a virtual reality. It’s real reality! Then the protagonist is in real danger. Damion decides he needs to find her – which means he has to leave the safety of his VRR world.
I found Catching Ivy by Eliza Tilton very interesting. I picked it up because I found the idea of VRRs very appealing. Imagine experiencing the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings as one of the main characters in virtual reality! But of course, amazing technology also comes with a danger: some people might want to use it to increase their power over others, as it happens in this novel. I enjoyed Damion’s story as he was an interesting and relatable character with a tragic background. The writing made it easy to live in Damion’s world and imagine what the places and people would be like. The author found the right balance between describing so much that there’s no place for your own imagination and describing too little. So many authors go into the smallest detail, so that reading turns into a bit of a chore and you can’t have your own picture of the characters in your head. I’m always glad when I read a book written by someone who seems to know what they are doing!