Sunday, 13 September 2015

REVIEW 'Username: Evie' by Joe Sugg

'Username: Evie' by Joe Sugg

Goodreads Synopsis:

"Like anyone who feels as though they just don't fit in, Evie dreams of a place of safety. When times are tough, all she wants is a chance to escape from reality and be herself.

Despite his failing health, Evie's father comes close to creating such a virtual idyll. Passing away before it's finished, he leaves her the key in the form of an app, and Evie finds herself transported to a world where the population is influenced by her personality. Everyone shines in her presence, until her devious cousin, Mallory, discovers the app... and the power to cause trouble in paradise. "


Hey Elementareaders!

‘Username: Evie’ is a fantasy graphic novel by the YouTuber Joe Sugg (ThatcherJoe). Joe was one of the first people I ever watched on YouTube and I absolutely adore his videos. I was so excited when I heard he was creating a graphic novel, and it certainly didn’t disappoint!

Evie is an outsider. She doesn’t have many friends in school and is bullied by her cousin Mallory. Her mother died when she was very young and her dad is ill too. Poor Evie wants to just escape her life, and sometime shuts herself in the fridge after school to get away (not the best idea, so don’t try that at home!) She is always reassured when she gets home to hear her father, a software pioneer, typing on his computer, but one day she gets home and everything is quiet. She finds that her father has passed away, and Evie is shunted off to her cousin’s house with no time to grieve before Mallory starts making her life hell.

But Evie finds a way out. On her laptop she notices an app called E.scape. She doesn’t know where it has come from, but when she clicks on it a video message from her dad plays saying that he has created this app to help Evie escape her normal life. Suddenly, Evie is transported into a virtual world, a world created entirely for her where her decisions and actions influence everything. Unbeknown to Evie, whilst she is exploring, Mallory finds the app and is whizzed away into the virtual world too. But Mallory brings with her a bad attitude and her influence soon throws the world into chaos; the people becoming monsters and fire and destruction everywhere.

Only Evie can stop the destruction. The race is on to find a way to stop it, and get out of the world before she is trapped there forever!

I’d been anticipating this book for so long. Ever since Joe announced it was happening, before even a vague description of the story was mentioned, I’d been waiting for it and eagerly lapping up any snippets and clues about the story along the way. Joe is one of my favourite YouTubers and he has such a vivid imagination that I knew anything coming out of his head would be pure gold. When the cover and blurb were finally released my excitement grew even more. I absolutely love this genre, and the graphic novel format. The image of Evie on the cover is just spectacular and just by looking at it I knew she would be a fantastic character.

And I was certainly not disappointed! This book was so brilliant. The storyline, characters, artwork; everything was just great. Evie is such a fantastic character and I think she is very relatable for a lot of young girls. I think most people at some point in their lives have felt like her, like an outsider with no means of escape. This novel really grabs onto to that idea of wanting to escape by creating a whole new virtual world, but it also really sends the message that eventually you have to go back to your real life. Evie’s virtual world was designed to help her to become a better version of herself for when she did come out of the simulation.

“Be proud of who you are, and never lose sight of the fact that you are loved” ‘Username: Evie’ pg 30.

The above quote is my favourite from the whole book. I love the message that it sends, that you should be yourself, be proud, and know that someone out there loves you. I think this is such an important message especially for the age group this book is aimed at. I wish someone had said that to me when I was in school some 8 years ago, and I know a lot of Joe’s fans are teenagers.

This book was so visually stunning that sometimes I found myself staring at one page for ages. The artwork and colouring (by Amrit Birdi and Joaquin Pereyra) was so fantastic. I particularly liked the double-page landscapes on the “Part 1”, “Part 2” and “Part 3” pages showing how the beautiful world Evie’s father created gradually went from idyllic to disastrous.

 I particularly enjoyed the fact that Evie lived in a house with a thatched roof, a nice little reference to Joe’s former job as a roof thatcher. I also had a little giggle at the fact that one of the characters was called Jaspar (if you watch Joe’s videos you’ll know why :p)

All in all I thought this was a fantastic debut book by Joe for both young people and adults alike. I would really recommend it to anyone who likes the idea of online worlds and virtual realities. I hope Joe produces more work like this in the future, as I’m sure he has plenty more fun ideas roaming around in his head!

I would give this book 5 stars :)

Places to buy:
Amazon UK
Amazon US
The Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)

Find Joe Sugg on:

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