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"Smart, timely and riveting."--The New York Times Book Review
Perfect for fans of Warcross and Black Mirror, Girl Gone Viral is the inventive and timely story of a seventeen-year-old coder's catapult to stardom.
For seventeen-year-old Opal Hopper, code is magic. She builds entire worlds from scratch: Mars craters, shimmering lakes, any virtual experience her heart desires.
But she can't code her dad back into her life. When he disappeared after her tenth birthday, leaving only a cryptic note, Opal tried desperately to find him. And when he never turned up, she enrolled at a boarding school for technical prodigies and tried to forget.
Until now. Because WAVE, the world's biggest virtual reality platform, has announced a contest where the winner gets to meet its billionaire founder. The same billionaire who worked closely with Opal's dad. The one she always believed might know where he went. The one who maybe even murdered him.
What begins as a small data hack to win the contest spirals out of control when Opal goes viral, digging her deeper into a hole of lies, hacks, and manipulation. How far will Opal go for the answers--or is it the attention--she's wanted for years?
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Arvin Ahmadi grew up outside Washington, DC. He graduated from Columbia University and has worked in the tech industry. When he's not reading or writing books, he can be found watching late-night talk show interviews and editing Wikipedia pages. Down and Across is his first novel, followed by Girl Gone Viral.From School Library Journal:
Gr 8 Up-When 17-year-old Opal Tal's father disappeared seven years ago, everyone believed it was suicide...except Opal. After years of desperately searching for her beloved Abba, Opal changes her name to avoid the stigma and attention and tries to move on with her life. But when WAVE, the world's leading virtual reality platform, announces a contest to create the most viral VR experience, Opal has to enter. Because first prize is a chance to meet the company's founder and reclusive gazillionaire, Howie Mendelsohn-the same Howie Mendelsohn who was working with her dad when he disappeared; the same Howie Mendelsohn who was the last person to see him alive. Now Opal must discover how far down the virtual rabbit hole she is willing to go to find out what really happened the night she lost her father. The world of Ahmadi's book is as much a character as any other. Setting his book in a not-too-distant future where Seth Meyers is considered "old school" and political lines are drawn not between Republicans and Democrats but instead between Technology and Luddites, Ahmadi creates a nice balance between the familiar and the future. Characters power the story and, though there is not much action, there are still plenty of surprises and suspense. Ahmadi leaves enough loose ends dangling that a sequel is possible, which would be eagerly anticipated by readers. VERDICT Despite a slow start, this novel picks up the pace and rounds into a very entertaining story with a protagonist readers will invest in.-Erik Knapp, Davis Library, Plano, TXα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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