I was excited to find that Vivian Vande Velde has a new book out that revolves around gaming and virtual reality. I loved her earlier book “Heir Apparent” with its virtual reality “sword and sorcery” adventure. I was a little disappointed to find that “Deadly Pink” takes place in a completely different kind of world. The virtual reality is a pre-teen princess universe where you must collect flowers and butterflies to amass gold coins which you can spend at the wishing fountain. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it?
But if you are involved in writing the code, you can cheat. You can then wish for all kinds of wonderful things to make life easy— a beautiful home and handsome men to wait on you. It is especially attractive if the real world has gotten too complicated and you want to escape permanently from your life.
Fourteen-year-old Grace goes into the virtual world to try and convince her older sister Emily to come back to reality. Grace thought she had a good relationship with her sister, but the girl in the virtual reality acts as though she wants nothing to do with Grace. What is going on in Emily’s life that would lead her to make the decision to commit virtual suicide?
This was a good read, even if it wasn’t what I expected. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys books about sibling relations and taking responsibility for your actions. If techie, sci-fi reads are your thing, but sure to also check out Velde’s “User Unfriendly“.