Book Review: Cure for the Common Universe By Christian McKay Heidicker

Title: Cure for the Common Universe By Christian McKay Heidicker

My Ratings: 4 Stars

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster

Source: Pansing Malaysia

Goodreads Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Jaxon is being committed to video game rehab . . .

ten minutes after he met a girl. A living, breathing girl named Serena, who not only laughed at his jokes but actually kinda sorta seemed excited when she agreed to go out with him.

Jaxon’s first date. Ever.

In rehab, he can’t blast his way through galaxies to reach her. He can’t slash through armies to kiss her sweet lips. Instead, he has just four days to earn one million points by learning real-life skills. And he’ll do whatever it takes—lie, cheat, steal, even learn how to cross-stitch—in order to make it to his date.

If all else fails, Jaxon will have to bare his soul to the other teens in treatment, confront his mother’s absence, and maybe admit that it’s more than video games that stand in the way of a real connection.


My Review:

This book reminded me alot of READY PLAYER ONE by Ernest Cline, which reminds me, have you read it yet? It’s super awesome and you are missing out my friend! Just like RPO, there are many games references in this book which baffles me completely. As a non-gamer, I truly find many things/ references about this book so strange. Lucky for me, this book has a solid plot and amazing characters.

The protagonist- Jaxon is a self absorbed, non reliant and an awful boy. He value himself very much which is why it makes him truly realistic. He was sent to this rehab by his father and a rather young step mom who find too addicted to video games. However, this happened at a rather unfortunate time, just when he scored his first date with this gorgeous girl!



So, he was determined to leave the Rehab ASAP, with the hope that he can make it to his date! The rehab was unique, because the whole concept resembled games itself. By earning enough points, he may stand a chance to escape this rehab in a couple of days!

One of the biggest strength of this book are the diverse characters who will steal your heart. We meet strong women, a drug addict, a game master and boy who hangs at Jaxon’s every single word. Typical but definitely have a lot of lessons to teach us.

What I didn’t love about this book? The pace. It was too slow for my liking, and since most of the plot took place in the rehab, everything seem to be moving too slow which definitely irks me. There were time I thought of DNF it, fortunately I did not.

One more notable point about this book- I loved how it stayed practical towards the end. Not everything will end in a happy note. Whoops. Did I spoil the ending for you? Well, perhaps the journey is more important than the destination.

Share with me on your thoughts if you have read this book, I would love to hear it! Thank you Pansing Malaysia for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. I always wonder if books that are built upon references (Ready Player One and this book) sort of trip themselves up for appeal to larger audiences because of them. RPO uses a lot of pop culture references, so I think it is probably in a better position, but video games are still a niche interest in comparison to larger pop culture. I think the premise of this book sounds interesting, though your comment about the pacing does give me pause. Great review!

    1. Thank you for such a great thought! I think so too, but for us who are not a fan, the appeal factor is pretty low. If you need a break from typical YA drama, this book is a great substitute! 🙂

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