Virtually Me

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Pub Date 07 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 21 Feb 2023

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Using personalized avatars, a group of kids look for a fresh start in school when a virtual reality academy opens after a pandemic.

This school year, Bradley, Edelle, and Hunter will be wearing virtual-reality headsets and attending a three-dimensional, simulated school while interacting as avatars. Having a customized avatar is a bonus as some students want to hide behind a new identity.

Bradley is eager for a brand-new identity. A cool avatar will allow him to escape the bullies who have made fun of him for years and gives him a fresh start to make new friends on his own terms.

Edelle is forced to attend the virtual school by her mom who says she’s too obsessed with being at the top of the “Best-Looking Girls” list circulating at school. Even worse, Edelle’s mom insists she chooses a generic avatar. Mortified by how her avatar looks, Edelle registers under a new name so no one can identify her. But will she lose her prized social status if no one can recognize her?

Hunter is known for his popularity, charm, and his lustrous mane of hair, except with his recent diagnosis of alopecia, his hair has begun to fall out, even his eyebrows. VR school allows him to maintain his popularity—and the illusion of a full head of hair—even if it means hiding behind an avatar. He tells his friends that once his grades are back up, he’ll return to school in person. But he wonders how being isolated will affect his relationships.

As Bradley, Edelle, and Hunter get to know each other in their virtual environment, they realize that the school is not all fun and games and the simulated environment just brings different problems than an in-person school. Each student will see themselves and their world through a new lens as they learn about what true friendship means and the difference between fitting in and belonging.
Using personalized avatars, a group of kids look for a fresh start in school when a virtual reality academy opens after a pandemic.

This school year, Bradley, Edelle, and Hunter will be wearing...

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ISBN 9781639930531
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 2 members

Featured Reviews

An experimental Virtual School has just begun, and several students from a local Middle School are attending for one reason or another. Illness, emotional health, grades, peer pressure; whatever the reason, most are there unwillingly--forced into it by concerned parents after the shut-down has been lifted (caused by the pandemic).

It's a chance to start over with a new look, and a new name, for some. Edelle was obsessed with looking beautiful, being voted "hottest girl" in school, and having followers on social media. Her mother forced her to look plain and boring; she chose the name Vanya.

Bradley was depressed, withdrawn, and hated attending school because he was teased by unthinking and unkind "popular and beautiful" people. Virtually, he became Daebak, a stylish, pink-haired pop star.

Hunter had stress and health issues on his mind; losing his hair. Online he was his former self; Hunter the popular, competitive, athletic, enthusiastic, only-beautiful-people-need-apply guy he'd always been. But it wasn't working as well as he'd hoped. And he really craved cheering crowds.

Jasper and Keiko are unknowns early on in the story, but they play important parts. It's going to be a very interesting year!

The story was immersive once I noted that each chapter is from the viewpoint of a different character, and it works well for this book. It offers points of view we may not see presented in one package.

4/5 Stars

Score: After a particular event, the story effectively ends dot dot dot, new scene after school ends and the following summer is over. What? It's the opposite of a cliff-hanger, because we are assured that nothing of note happened at all in that time, however unlikely we believe that to be.

Thanks to Shadow Mountain Publishing and NetGalley for this preview of the uncorrected proof; the review is voluntary.

#VirtuallyMe #NetGalley
#ChadMorris #ChadMorrisAuth
#Shelly Brown #Shelly BrownAuth

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I just reviewed Virtually Me by Chad Morris; Shelly Brown. #VirtuallyMe Thank you, NetGalley and #Shadow Mountain, for sending me a digital copy.

Three classmates, Bradley, Edelle, and Hunter, are in a virtual classroom with different identities. Their interaction is based on an avatar they have designed.

The story is unique with virtual reality learning, customising avatars, and meeting people without interaction. However, I find it unrelatable with the futuristic setting and the lack of connection I feel towards the characters.

Overall, I would find this appealing to the younger audience or anyone who is into virtual reality.

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