ARC REVIEW: The Impossible Fortress – by Jason Rekulak

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Title: The Impossible Fortress
Author: Jason Rekulak

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction
First published: February 7th 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Finished reading: February 3rd 2017
Pages: 304
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“So we stood up there for a long while, watching the sunset and discussing how it was one of those things you could never truly capture in 8-bit, not with the simplistic definition of violet (CHR$(156)), orange (CHR$(129)), and yellow (CHR$(158)). There were too many other colors, thousands of colors. The hardware could never do justice to it.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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The Impossible Fortress caught my attention the very first time I laid my eyes on it, and not just because of the colorful cover. I love feel-good stories and this debut by Jason Rekulak promised to be chock full of 80s nostalgia and flashbacks. I’m a 90s child myself, but I guess I was born close enough to the the year the story was set in (I was only minus one!) to be able to connect to the story instantly. It’s simply such a brilliant read! I completely fell in love with the writing style, plot and characters and it’s just such a great feel-good story… I loved the computer/nerd talk and it definitely brought back memories of my childhood where I taped radio songs, had to use floppy disks and didn’t have internet access to write quick messages. I loved all characters, although Billy and Mary have just a little extra magic about them… And the plot of The Impossible Fortress is almost endearing as the three boys mess up again and again during their ‘mission’ to get a copy of the Playboy. I had so much fun reading this coming of age story and I can recommend it to any contemporary fan! A huge bonus: you can actually play the game that is created by the main characters at jasonrekulak.com!

shortsummary1reviewqqqIt’s 1987 and the Playboy has just published photos of Vanna White, popular for her role in the TV game show Wheel Of Fortune. The three teenage friends Billy, Alf and Clark don’t know a thing about women and the Playboy is almost like a Holy Grail for them: they are desperate to get their hands on a copy of the Vanna White photos and decide to create a plan to steal a copy of that month’s Playboy. But stealing a copy isn’t all that easy and the boys fail and fail again… Then they think up a new masterplan: swipe the security code to Zelinsky’s convenience story by seducing the owner’s daughter Mary. It’s up to Billy to become close to the girl and get the information they need, but Billy might need Mary for other skills instead. She loves computers and is actually a way better coder than Billy is… Mary might be able to save the game Billy is creating, but he is soon faced with the tough choice to either deceive Mary or break a promis to his best friends.

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If you are looking for a well written coming of age story that will bury you under a crate full of nostalgic feelings and 80s flashbacks, you have found your next read. The Impossible Fortress is basically a time machine in book form and will make you feel as if you went thirty years back in time… I was hooked right from the first page and both the writing style and main characters were simply lovely. I had so much fun reading this story!


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You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramBloglovin’.

WWW Wednesdays #123 – February 8th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m currently reading one of my pending Netgalley ARCs, Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer. I requested this one after hearing a lot of great things about it, and it definitely doesn’t disappoint so far. I’m also about to start Rebel Of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton… I’ve been wanting to pick that one up for a while, and now I’ve been approved for the sequel there is really no excuse to pospone it any longer. 😉  I haven’t made any progress with my newest audiobook (Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison) this week though.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I was able to finish since last week is Missing by Monty Marsden. This one sounded like such an intriguing read and I still like the setting in Italy, but it took me a long time to finish it. I know this story is actually a translation, but it just all felt too chaotic and it took a long time before things started making sense. The many POV switches distracted from the main plot and had me confused which characters were actually important in the story. Claps was an interesting character though.
* I then read The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak, which was actually published yesterday. It’s such a brilliant read! I completely fell in love with the writing style, plot and characters and it just such a great feel-good story full of nostalgic feelings and flashbacks to the 80s. And even though I grew up in the 90s myself, it was really easy to connect to the story anyway.
* The last book I managed to finish is The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I was really looking forward to this one and maybe my expectations were just too high, but this story wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. I was actually confused by the chapter introductions for a while and didn’t get a proper feel for the story straight away. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, but it took me longer than I thought I would to finish it and frankly I expected something a little more ‘mindblowing’. Note to self: get the Chaos Walking sequels ASAP!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I’ll probably pick up my Netgalley copy of Traitor To The Throne by Alwyn Hamilton as soon as I finish the first book… Although I have been wanting to read both The Song Of Achilles by Madeline Miller and Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult for the Beat The Backlist challenge as well.  My latest TBR jar pick is still The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson


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You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramBloglovin’.

WWW Wednesdays #122 – February 1st

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m currently reading The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness; I’ve been wanting to read another of his books for ages now and I’m glad I finally decided to pick one up. It’s not as mindblowingly good as I thought it would be so far though… I’m also reading Missing by Monty Marsden, a pending Netgalley ARC I wasn’t able to read before the publish date last December. Lastly, I’ve started a new audiobook: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. So far it’s without doubt interesting, although it’s going to take me some time because the file is HUGE (18+ hours…)

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I was able to finish since last week is Stake-out by Lily Luchesi, a paranormal fantasy story with vampires I ended up enjoying a lot better than I thought I would given I’m normally allergic to fanged characters. There were a bunch of other supernatural creatures as well and I liked the whole clash between ‘real’ world and supernatural.
* I then finished Blink by K.L. Slater, which was BRILLIANT. I was already looking forward to this psychological thriller, but boy this one is definitely a treat. Basically I was on the edge of my seat the whole time trying to figure out what was going on, and I ended up being SO wrong about everything. Excellent prose, excellent plot and plot twists, excellent use of suspense, excellent character development… The main characters maybe are not all that likeable, but I didn’t care. I loved every single minute of this story anyway. Also the ‘paralyzed’ chapters are without doubt intriguing and add an extra original touch…
* And just when I didn’t think it could get better, I was presented with another title that would give me a book hangover. I had already heard great things about Making Faces by Amy Harmon, and that’s why I basically broke down the request button as soon as I saw it at Netgalley. All the raving reviews were right: this story is a little masterpiece. I fell in love with both the characters, writing style and plot, and this story will definitely stay with me for quite some time. Sure, some of it might be a little cheesy. But if you have characters like Fern, Bailey and Ambrose, it’s really easy to forgive the story for it. I LOVED the war veteran elements as well; it’s such an important topic and definitely deserves more attention.
* The last book I picked up on a whim after browsing my kindle: The Wrong Side Of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne. It turned out to be a bittersweet read after all the immigration chaos that is going on right now in the US IRL… I did appreciate the immigration elements in the story, but it took me a while to really connect to the main characters and it all just felt a bit too cheesy for me. Not a bad read, but maybe not exactly for me.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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The first book I’m picking up next is another pending Netgalley ARC: The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak, which is due to be published next week. I also want to read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, as well as the ARC Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer. My newest TBR jar pick is still The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson.


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You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramBloglovin’.

Friday Finds #108 – November 18th

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FRIDAY FINDS showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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