Buffy is playing a game. However, the game is her life, and there are no instructions or cheat codes on how to win.
After graduating high school, a voice called “the text parser” emerges in Buffy’s head, narrating her life as a classic text adventure game. Buffy figures this is just a manifestation of her shy, awkward, nerdy natureuntil the voice doesn’t go away, and instead begins to dominate her thoughts, telling her how to life her life. Though Buffy tries to beat the game, crash it, and even restart it, it becomes clear that this game is not something she can simply “shut off” or beat without the text parser’s help.
While the text parser tries to give Buffy advice on how “to win the game,” Buffy decides to pursue her own game-plan: start over, make new friends, and win her long-time crush Tristan’s heart. But even when Buffy gets the guy of her dreams, the game doesn’t stop. In fact, it gets worse than she could’ve ever imagined: her crumbling group of friends fall apart, her roommate turns against her, and Buffy finds herself trying to survive in a game built off her greatest nightmares.
|Publisher:||Rare Bird Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Meg Eden's work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, Poet Lore, and Gargoyle. She teaches creative writing at places including University of Maryland, The Writer’s Center, and Anne Arundel Community College. She has four poetry chapbooks, and is a poetry editor for Wherewithal. When she’s not writing, she plays video games with her husband, namely Fire Emblem. She loves reading anything and everything she can get her hands on. Check out her work at megedenbooks.com.
What People are Saying About This
"Right from page one, Post High-School Reality Quest grabbed me, and I just couldn't put it down. Inside these pages is a complicated and haunting story of love and loss, written in a unique and compelling style that pulls us right into Buffy's worldand makes sure we can't get out. Meg Eden handles the topic of mental illness with sensitivity and skill, while also showing just how confusing and scary these experiences are, at times, for her main character, as even the reader begins to question what's real and what's not. Highly recommended.”
Madeline Dyer, author of the Untamed series.
"This may be one of the most wildly original YA entries for 2017the only book I can think to compare it to (for sheer originality, outrageous & clever humor, and sly irreverence) is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (it's that goodit's worthy of the comparison). Our MC, Buffy, finds herself navigating post-high school life & love while stuck inside a text-adventure video game. I am not a gamer, but you don't have to be to quickly catch on to the format (with saved lives/do-overs, etc.) and to rapidly become hooked and thoroughly strapped into this roller-coaster of a novel. I found myself laughing out loud many, many times while reading this (while shaking my head in awe "Meg Eden did NOT just pull that off..."). READ THIS BOOK. #TeamNarwhal"
Laurie Forest, author of The Black Witch
"There's so much emotion in these pages and, amazingly, none of it overwhelms the reader. Pain is countered by joy, grief with understanding, the loss of innocence with the mixed gift of knowledge. Meg Eden has written a novel that's both captivating and funny, one that follows a beautifully-flawed young woman and her friends as they try to understand the complexities of a confusing age. But Post High School Reality Quest is more than a lovely and unsentimental coming-of-age story; it's the kind of book that's destined to stand out in your memory, one you quietly, lovingly, think about long after it's finished."
E. A. Aymar, author of You're As Good As Dead
"Entertaining yet thoughtful look at figuring out who you are. The format and concept behind this book is refreshingly unique. It's told as a command-based video game, but the story is a contemporary coming of age tale. Definitely a must-read for gamers and really for YA readers in general!"
T. E. Carter, author of I Stop Somewhere
“Post–High School Reality Quest will no doubt be one of the science fiction highlights of the year.”
Hannah Scorfield, NeonBooks.org.uk
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I received a review copy of this book from the author. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. This is another book I have complicated feelings for. It's so wonderfully original and unique but as a consequence, it took me a while to get used to the story and the ending left me confuzzled. Let's get into it, shall we! 1. The POV. Normally, I start off with the characters but I think it's really important to begin with the POV because it kind of impacts everything else. As it says in the blurb, this book is narrated by a game. You know those games that just write out what's happening and then you select your reaction to events. They're called text parser games (you can look it up if you still don't know what I'm talking about because honestly I don't know how else to describe it). So the entire book is a mix of first and second person which I found to be pretty cool, honestly. I've never read a book in second person before and now I understand why not many books are written that way. It can be really tricky getting it right and there isn't a whole lot of depth to be found. However, mixed in with the first person, it was slightly better and was a bit more readable. 2. The concept. This is another thing I think I have to address right away. This review is getting all kinds of turned around! From the blurb, you'd think this book is all about finding out what's going on in Buffy's head and her learning to live with her quirks and life in general. While that's generally true throughout the book, there isn't much focus placed on it and the ending completely disregards that idea. I think there was a bit of a disconnect between what the author wanted it to be about at the beginning and what ended up happening. It isn't a bad thing at all but because of what happened, there are some inconsistencies and near the middle I was questioning what the point of the book was at all. To that end, I really liked how the book ended but I wish the author would have more fully developed the whole idea. In summary, there were two final takeaway's directly contrasting with each other and each didn't receive enough attention: life is a game, and the challenges of mental illness. 3. The characters. I really enjoyed this part of the book. Being in Buffy's head is so fascinating and I loved seeing how she would react to different events. She has such an interesting and creative mind and always reacted in unexpected ways. I don't know if I would go so far as to say she's likeable or that I wasn't frustrated with her from time to time, but I was never bored and she kept me on my toes. The supporting characters are also very well imagined. Sephora (Buffy's 'friend') is especially interesting and I was intrigued by her attitude towards life. 4. The romance. Romance is a significant part of this book and it was very sweet to read. There is a fair amount of teen drama, though, but there isn't much of a love triangle. While the romance itself was sweet (and pretty entertaining), I think the author could have played up the tragedy a bit more. In general, there are some aww moments but there aren't any really heart-wrenching scenes. There were highs and lows but the lows were pretty downplayed for some reason (perhaps it was a product of the second person POV) and it was kind of weird to read a sad scene and not feel anything at all. The Final Verdict: An interesting spin novel writing with some muddiness. 3 stars
What a unique, wild ride of a book! Buffy’s story of trying to find her way after graduation lends itself perfectly to the format of a text adventure game. Buffy must navigate a barrage of choices about who she is and who she wants be, examine and reexamine relationships with friends and family, and somehow keep remembering to save. The book is full of witty touches that will make geeky readers laugh out loud; my favorite is the fact that Buffy has nicknamed her backpack “inventory”, so whenever she puts an item “in her inventory”, that’s where it goes. Buffy’s quest is not without disappointment and heartbreak, and the reader will be rooting for her to fight her way through.
Post-High School Reality Quest has one of the most unique storytelling structures that I've experienced in a novel. The way the story is written is a throwback to text adventure games, which was fun and original. Despite the video game elements and entertaining writing style, this book has a lot of very serious and sometimes dark elements to it. This book delves into a lot of different and very difficult mental health issues including schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. The story also focuses in on that sometimes difficult transition from teen to adulthood and the emotional upheaval it can cause. From making decisions that ultimately impact the rest of your life to discovering truths about the friends you thought you knew, Meg Eden pulls no punches when it comes to incorporating serious themes into this story. I did find the end of the story a bit confusing. The closing line in particular made me question what I thought I had been reading throughout the rest of the book, but that may have been the point, or very well could have just been me being a bit oblivious. Overall, I think this book is very well-written, and I do feel that fans of text adventures and classic video games will really enjoy the references sprinkled throughout.
Wow. The entire time I read this book I kept saying to myself "I've seriously never read anything like this before." I dare you to make a comparison. Post-High School Reality Quest turns Buffy's life into a game where every situation give her a chance to respawn and change her fate. Laced within the game are moments in the present (or so you think) where Buffy is in a psych ward. I kept flipping pages furiously to find out if it was real or if it was all in her head like the doctors kept telling her. If you're a lover of video games, psychological thrillers, and some dark humor to sprinkle on top, Post-High School Reality quest is the one for you!