Book Review: Movie Game by Michael Ebner

Move Game

Publisher: Pen and Picture

Date of Publication: November 15, 2015

Dates Read: November 18 2015 – January 13 2016


It’s been three years since Joe’s father vanished. Now seventeen, he is unaware that government agents are watching him in case his dad makes contact. Joe is too distracted by his secret girlfriend, midnight swims in the pools of strangers, free drinks from his buddies at the movie game and the glamorous college student, Felicity.

But his movie-esque existence and addiction to fiction is set to collide with a heavy dose of reality this summer when he discovers everything is not what it seems: His secret girlfriend wants to be the real thing. His college fling may have ulterior motives. And the government agents want co-operation to catch his missing father. All this and the three year old death of Joe’s first girlfriend Alice are going to cause him to face some dark truths.

It’s no longer a movie game. This is his life, and he wants to win.

Buy It From: Book Depository

Note: I received an ebook copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating: ★★☆☆☆

I thought I would really enjoy this book, based on what I read from the blurb. Unfortunately, it just did not deliver as well as I was hoping it would.

My main issue is with the plot, or maybe lack thereof. There’s something about Joe’s life that’s just so… normal. To clarify, when my friends and I went to go see that movie Boyhood (2014), we liked it well enough, but it just portrayed a kid’s everyday life, which wasn’t all that exciting, except for maybe a few parts. Movie Game also did this, showing Joe’s everyday life. It just didn’t hold my attention very well because it wasn’t interesting enough. I expected an epic adventure throughout, but the only real excitement came at the very end.

Another problem I have is with the characters. I feel like there was so much more to learn about them, but I never got the chance to. They were one dimensional, which is unfortunate because I know they could have been so much more, and could definitely have improved this book.

And the way Movie Game was written was really not my cup of tea. The point of view (POV) kept switching in the middle of a chapter, and sometimes there would be multiple POV changes within a chapter. This would normally be okay if there was a kind of organization to it, but the switches were random and not clearly marked. I would get thrown off by the sudden change of voice, and it made the reading experience kind of awkward and jerky.

That’s another thing: this book didn’t have a nice flow. It never picked up enough momentum to make me want to keep reading. I was always okay with putting it down.

Now, there were some positives. The ending was my favourite part – it was really the only time we saw the characters change and grow from how they were at the start. It was also much more action-packed than the previous chapters – it was when I got to the end that I didn’t want to stop reading. I also liked that not everything was rainbows and butterflies at the end. Joe definitely still has more growing and learning to do, I just wish we could have seen more of his learning and growing.

Overall: Cool concept but it fell flat for me.

This review was originally posted on my booklr on January 14th, 2015


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