Read the memory wall by Lev A.C. Rosen Online


There’s a fine line between real life and video games in this engrossing novel that’s part Kathryn Erskine’s Mockingbird, part Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls.Severkin is an elf who slinks through the shadows of Wellhall’s spiraling stone towers, plundering ancient ruins and slaying mystical monstrosities with ease.He’s also a character in a video game—a character that twelThere’s a fine line between real life and video games in this engrossing novel that’s part Kathryn Erskine’s Mockingbird, part Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls.Severkin is an elf who slinks through the shadows of Wellhall’s spiraling stone towers, plundering ancient ruins and slaying mystical monstrosities with ease.He’s also a character in a video game—a character that twelve-year-old Nick Reeves plays when he needs a break from the real world. And lately, Nick has really needed a break. His mother had an “incident” at school last year, and her health has taken a turn for the worse.Nick is convinced his mother’s illness has been misdiagnosed, but no one believes him. His only escape is the online world of Wellhall, where, as the elf character Severkin, he can face any problem. But when Nick finds himself fighting alongside another elf who reminds him of someone he knows in real life, his worlds begin to collide. . . ....

Title : the memory wall
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 24157391
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

the memory wall Reviews

  • Jeff Raymond
    2019-05-14 23:39

    It was probably about two-thirds through this book that I broke down sobbing on the couch.My mother has Alzheimer's. I was very close with her, my family moved back home (at great expense both personal and emotional) to help take care of her, and, as I write this, she has been in a nursing home for well over two years after having been given less than half of that to live. The Memory Wall is about a kid, Nick, having to deal with a similar situation. He's very young and his mother also has Alzheimer's. The family makes a decision that she, too, will go to a nursing home, and the kid doesn't really understand everything that's going on with the medical situation in play. He does, however, know a certain fantasy MMO that he plays quite a bit, and he's convinced his mother is playing it with him from the nursing home.It's really a heartbreaking story. I can forgive some of the realism aspects of this in what's a challenging story to tell for this age group because it absolutely digs into the emotional struggle that comes with Alzheimer's caregiving. In particular, Nick's denial of what is actually happening and his ways to try and mentally craft how the doctors have it wrong and how his mother will actually come through or recover or however you want to phrase it is extremely realistic (to this day, even though my mother hasn't recognized me for five years and I rarely see her because it hurts so much, I keep thinking, in the back of my mind, that we'll get some phone call that will never come that tells us that she snapped out of it), and the use of a video game construct to literally play out these scenarios us caregivers who struggle to let go is a bit of a genius move.I could nitpick on a lot of things here and there, but that's not the point. This book succeeds on its emotional core and the harsh realism of accepting the fate of a loved one you can't do anything for. The added helplessness of being a child in this situation is not one I can relate to directly, but will resonate for a lot of readers who might have grandparents in this or similar scenarios. It's closer to a 4.5 because of a lot of the nitpicks, but why bother when this is a book that anyone who has a situation even close to this should read. Honestly, it's just a beautiful, gorgeous account of a very real struggle. I sobbed because it was perhaps too real for me, but those who can be a little more objective might appreciate it for what it does, if not what it represents. Just an amazing read.

  • Rikke
    2019-05-23 22:44

    3.5 stars. I was unsure about this when I read its description. Half A Monster Calls sounded like something I wouldn't want to miss, but also unlikely, or at least like I would possibly be setting myself up for disappointment. Still I went for it. And I'm happy I did. I find it slightly disturbing because I have this fear that one day I'll suffer from early onset Alzheimer's, and I find the notion quite scary. Otherwise it a wonderful story, very compassionate and believable. I liked it a lot. I'll definitely recommend it to anyone. And if you enjoyed A Monster Calls you mightn't want to miss this one. At least my one and only complaint is that it felt overly long/dragging at times, the game parts especially, but then the book is rather longish for this kind of story.

  • Book Riot Community
    2019-05-15 22:38

    The story begins on the day twelve-year-old Nick Reeves and his father take his mom to a new home. Doctors say his mother has early-onset Alzheimers, and apparently Sunrise House can help manage her symptoms. Nick struggles against his mother’s diagnosis, believing that his father and the doctors are going too far. He finds a chance to help her when he starts a new online multi-player game, Wellhall, where he plays a gray elf named Severkin who is a fierce fighter and savvy problem solver. In the course of the game he comes across another gray elf, Reunne, who just might be the key to bringing his mom home.Rosen pens a compelling book, alternating between reality and gaming with ease. His world building in Wellhall is stunning, sure to draw readers in with his vivid descriptions and imagery. In the end, this story speaks to the deepest longings of our hearts and the things we do to save the ones we love.— Karina Glaserfrom The Best Books We Read In July 2016:

  • Alice, as in Wonderland
    2019-04-26 01:44

    My testament to how much I liked this book should be in the beginnings of tears in my eyes and the ache in my chest. I liked this book a LOT. I should, however, state a disclaimer about how I don't know any people who have Alzheimer's, nor am I a mixed race person who has to deal with it on a daily basis, so any glaring issues concerning faux paus of any of those things they may have passed me by. Nick as a character is someone I want to hold up and say "this, do it like this." The balance of immaturity and being genuinely likeable, I have found, is not an easy one to strike, something that I've now realized after reading so many children's books in a row. Oftentimes I have to stop myself from my criticism and say "okay, it's just a kid." I never felt that with Nick. It's not like he doesn't act like a child, his 12-year-oldness is an important aspect of the book, because it is the core of his denial. He's the one who sees the truth, everyone has given up/has misdiagnosed/etc. etc. It's a very me vs. the world viewpoint that I certainly have horrible flashbacks to, and I definitely related to him (or at least my 12 year old self did) in that respect. But at no point did I feel like rolling my eyes and giving him a shake, it was all universally understandable, and the fundamental point of the fact that he was struggling against a diagnosis that people were not giving him a full picture of is honestly dealt with toward the end of the book, and his acknowledgment of that I thought was a good point to make.I thought that his awkward conflicts with his father were really well handled, as it's clear from the book that they are both intensely hurting, though, again, Nick's level of self-involvement and self-focus stop him from understanding that particularly early on, and written in a way that didn't make me want to sigh a lot and groan. Plus, the interesting sidestep with Nick already knowing about his African-American heritage while realizing that his chance to learn more about his East German side might be crumbling before his eyes was a nice twist. Though I did make some suspicious eyes at the "I don't fit into the stereotypes" trope, because you have to acknowledge that the people who do are people too (and that you're not completely separate from them just because you don't fit stereotype) and I didn't feel that the book made that point clear enough for my taste. But admittedly these things were not the bulk focus of the book and were handled well enough for me not to get irritated by them (as an Asian American). There are definitely portions that are plain and straight-forward about it enough to be refreshing, the different types of racism that take form, from straight out mockery to slightly condescending disbelief. These are definitely do their part to enrich both Nick and Nat, and the world that they live in, i.e. our world.The book also does a great job at hinting at characters. From my interpretation, it seemed to me that Charlie was in the closet and over-compensating, which gives a lot of depth to his character and feeling like his actions are understandable, even if they're not justifiable. This happens a couple of times in the book and every time they glance enough for me to get an impression of depth without getting a ten page backstory on the character. Considering that usually me saying this is a COMPLAINT, I just liked it because it made me feel like the characters were rounded even if they weren't important enough to be vital to the story.Endings can be difficult to do, but the ending for this book came very naturally. The frustration of both Nick and his father are palpable, and his father finally being unable to continue with the lack of information, something he knows to be unfair, felt justified in its occurrence. Though several characters tell Nick to be more open, it becomes clear that that was apparently a one-way street. And the one-two punch that hits Nick, one in reality, one in the game, are set up well, a domino effect that Nick is no longer capable of fighting against. By the time I got to Nick's alone conversation with his mother, I was incredibly close to tears.Okay, so. I'm sorry. There are portions of this book that I didn't like and I'm going to be honest - they are the gaming scenes. I guess I should write a bit of a personal defense on this before I get started because first of all, I did really like the idea of the gaming sections - they're why I picked up the book. I'm an avid, avid gamer, and I always have been, and really like books that toy with the idea that gaming can be used for a lot of different things. I was piqued by the concept of using gaming as communication through a mental illness, though the book makes it clear fairly early on how this is probably impossible. But the book is also impressive in how much I wanted it to be true as much as Nick did, though my pessimism stopped the belief from solidifying, even if I was flying through pages just wanting to knooooooowwwww for sure. So my problem is really that I'm an avid gamer. The game described in the book is very kind of World of Warcraft-y and sort of Skyrim-y and I didn't believe a single goddamned sentence in it.Severkin looks up and sees the glimmer of her tears, feels the ache of his shoulders, there's blood on his armor that he now needs to change out of - what is this magical amazing perfect simulation game of awesome??????? I'm sure people will argue with me but on some level I will defend gaming's lack of immersion. It's kind of half the fun. Death being a relatively inconsequential thing is part of the fun. But in the book, characters take actions I would never believe someone would program into a game in the current age. I feel like every one of us gamers are disconnected from a game (it's why the fourth wall utilized in things like Silent Hill 2 and Stanley Parable work), but the gaming part of the book basically just feels like a separate fantasy novel spliced in throughout. Ironically, Nick is so immersed in the game that I get anything but immersed in the book.It would be one thing for this book to imply that the story takes place 20 minutes in the future where technology has developed this far, and Nick pops on the VR headset to play the game or whatever the somesuch, but it doesn't. Nick turns on his computer, picks up his controller and is brought to a computer generated world so realistic you can feel heat? Smell mud? Can't tell human and NPC characters apart even while communicating with them? How are you communicating with them without some sort of user input? Do they just talk back if you have a headset? What if you don't have a headset? Not to mention while being in Severkin's head we are effectively in an entirely different character - and how so? Did Nick write this character? Severkin does reflect Nick in character choice from time to time, but they're separate enough people that they feel and read quite differently. I felt like this sections could have been more effective with more intersplicing of us being shown Nick actually playing the game. Hesitations of what to say, how to say it when Reunne seems to slip into Sophie territory. Nick fumbling with controls in anxiety and panic. Nick opening a separate chat with Nat to talk about how to approach Ruenne - I know that Nick seems to be super intent on being totally caught up with the game, but while I am willing to concede that that is appropriate for the early part of the book it would have been more interesting to me as Nick begins to see his real life seeping into the game, it does for the reader as well, and Nick can't escape the reality of his situation, video game or not.I get that this is absolutely a critique of a gamer and someone who doesn't care about video games to the absurd extent I do may barely bat an eyelash, but I needed to mention it because it is basically an entire half of this book, which meant that I spent an entire half of this book having to force my sense of disbelief and not really enjoying the book. What made those sections just bearable to me was knowing the real life undercurrent through them, but again, they just felt so separate that it was occasionally something that I had to remind myself, as opposed to the two sides existing together.Before you write this off as a negative review, however, the past like four paragraphs were my rant about one aspect of the book, even if physically it was a huge chunk of the book. All said and done, this book hit me emotionally, the characters were believably 12 but not a frustrating 12, and their social status as mixed-race people, of having a family member with a hereditary mental disease, of different lives, different coping mechanisms, these were all powerful enough parts of the book to make a great whole and it is a book I would absolutely recommend.

  • Julian Valle
    2019-05-16 03:54

    Nick Reeves is a young middle schooler that has had some trouble in his life recently. His mother has had some problems with her memory, and was later diagnosed with an illness. Nick is in denial, and believes that it was a misdiagnosis. He uses his video games to get away from the real world, and because he could do practically whatever he wants in them. The book is a young adult fantasy genre, and is very interesting. This book is very well written, but seems to be forced at some times, but nonetheless a great idea, a well written, and has a plot not too bad. The plot twist where a character, that the main character theorizes is his mother, betrays the main protagonist was poorly executed, and doesn't seem to be important, and is brushed over very quickly.The time is in the present, and in the protagonist's, Nick Reeves, middle school years. The place is mostly in Nick's school and house, but is also sometimes in the nursing home where his mother is. The conflict is protagonist v. himself. This is because, throughout the whole book, he believes his mother is not ill, despite being told she is multiple times. This is where the setting comes in. Had the protagonist been older, say 20, he would've accepted her mother being ill sooner. But because he was very young, he couldn't accept the fact that his mother was ill, putting him in denial for a long time. He only stopped this belief when a character, that Nick thought was his mother, named Reunne, betrayed him, shattering the thought that his mother was Reunne. This snapped him out of his beliefs, because his only shred of evidence that his mother wasn't sick was that the character was his mother, helping him throughout the game and teaching him. His belief shattered because he knew his mother would never do that to him. The book starts out with Nick telling about how he is waiting for the delivery of a video game while also talking about how he is told that his mother has Alzheimer's, and him not believing it at all. He then goes on with his life, never believing it without any evidence other than himself having a gut feeling that he was right. Him and his family eventually find a home for his mother. He wishes for relief, and does so by playing a game called Wellhall, in which he could do practically whatever he wants. In school he finds someone else, a girl, that plays the game as well. They naturally become friends, because of their shared hobby. The new friend is named Nathalie, or Nat throughout the book, and tried to help Nick accept that his mom is ill, while playing the game online with him. While playing the game, both Nick and Nat start to feel a bond with Reunne, unbeknownst that she shall soon betray them. They go through many obstacles in the game to retrieve 3 items, the Staff, the Spear, & the Hammer. Once they think that they have retrieved them all, and they return the items to someone, they find out that the weapons are fake life-like replicas. Nick and Nat both go to Reunne's dwelling, and find out that Reunne had been planning to take the weapons for a long time. After a few lives and fights, Nat & Nick defeat her, and retrieve the weapons, as Nick realizes Reunne is not his mother. After saving and leaving the game, Nick goes to his mother's nursing home, and says something he knows he should've done earlier. He says goodbye to his mother.The first person view affects the story by putting the reader into the shoes of the character, and makes the reader feel a bit more attached to the characters, so when a tragic moment happens, such as a plot twist, the reader feels more emotional and has more feeling. Throughout the book the protagonist, Nick, is motivated by his belief that his mother is not ill, and that she was misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's. Whenever he spoke to his father, he questioned whether or not she was really ill, and also told everyone he met what he thought of it. In the end of the book however, as mentioned previously, he finally believes his mother is ill, because his only shred of evidence that she was not ill, was disproven. The title, "The Memory Wall," relates to the book because makes a reference to an event in the book, where Reunne shows a wall, showing all of her ancestors and lost family, written in dwarven writing. The setting of the protagonist being in his middle school adds to the conflict because had he been older, as said before, he would have given in and accepted the fact that his mother was ill sooner. But because he is younger, he held on to his belief for long.I liked how the author tried to appeal to younger audiences by making the protagonist a gamer, and making the entire story about a video game. However, I dislike how the author how the author emphasizes this, as the protagonist seems to have his life revolve around them, as if it was a lifestyle. Nonetheless, the author made a good attempt to appeal to them. I was surprised with the plot twist, where Reunne betrays Nick & Nat. I legitimately thought the author was going to reveal Reunne as Nick's mother in the end. I could not believe the way Nick acted throughout the book, not believing his mother was ill. Though I do realize he was young and had a very strong bond with his mother, I do certainly wish that he had accepted it earlier than he did, as it had driven me insane reading the book. I can relate to the character Nick the most, very loosely, because I too play video games as a hobby, and love them, &, as Nick does, I like open world games, where you could do practically whatever you want.I would rate this book a 3 out of 5, because it is well written, is a good book, in my opinion, and the main protagonist is a gamer, which is rare. Though it tried, I had not cared at all for the protagonist being a gamer, as the author had not created a bond with me, the reader, or a real reason for it to be there. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy or young adult, as those two genres seem to stand out the most. There were few interesting things about this book, other than the fact that the main protagonist was a gamer, which makes the book special already, and the protagonist's mother's very dark & unique background.

  • Serina
    2019-05-09 01:58

    A boy in denial about his mother's early onset Alzheimers. Check that strong denial. Double-check that extreme-mind-numbingly-I-will-refuse-to-believe-anything-you-say-denial. But then thats how people hope with that sort of news. There's a double narrative of him playing the video game which does tend to drag on. I started skim it when it started to get too lengthy so I really feel that whole bit could have been skipped. There's also the side aspect of him being mixed which I really liked how they handled that topic. My father is german and my mom black. My sister whos 6 years older than me is very defensive about it like the lead girl in the book. However I'm more like the boy where there's no desire to prove you're one race or another. You simply are who are.

  • Ms. Yingling
    2019-04-25 20:36

    There are lots of books out that have to do with video games now, but this one is more YA-- off to a slow start, very introspective. I'll stick with Insert Coin to Continue, Slacker, and Pete Baxter Levels Up for middle school.

  • Alexandra
    2019-05-17 05:02

    A touching book that explores the fantasy of childhood mixed with the reality of growing up.The main character is a middle school boy coping with the watching his mother's descent into Alzheimer's by escaping into a Skyrim-like video game. The chapters alternate between the point of view of Nick and his video game character, Severkin. There are strong analogies between the fantasy world and the real world.I didn't really know what I was getting into when I started this book. Actually, I had no idea it was Young Adult until I marked it on Goodreads. I have to say, the parts written "within" the game were my favorites (but I'm a big sci-fi/fantasy reader). I was expected more fantasy and more mystery, but ended up instead with a fairly straight-forward contemporary novel. I enjoyed the way it approached big issues of losing family, Alzheimer's, expectations, and race without diverging from the story. They were presented in a way that is very appropriate for young reader's - straightforward, free of preaching or philosophizing. For my tastes, I probably wouldn't read this again (or listen to it, in my case, though the narration was wonderful). However, I wouldn't feel right giving it less than three stars. It's a solid book and I think it accomplishes what the author intended. I'm just probably not the right audience for it.

  • The Keepers of the Books
    2019-04-28 03:39

    When his mother is put in a long-term care facility for early-onset Alzheimer’s, Nick’s only escape from reality comes in the form of the video game Wellhall. As he plays his character, Severkin, he meets a dark elf who he could swear is his mother. Her mannerisms, speech, and skill reminds is very similar. Unfortuantely, no one in the game uses their real name. Could his mother’s diagnosis be a mistake? Is his mom trying to reach out to him? The characters in this book are easy to sympathize with and relate to. The handling of Alzheimer’s is tactful and well done. The plot is well written and touching. Fans of realistic fiction, books dealing with hard issues, and/or video games will enjoy reading this book.Recommended for Grades 7 to 10, Ages 12 to 15.This book was featured on The Keepers of the Books' Weekly Reads 12 episode. For more book reviews, recommendations, or online librarian advice, please visit us at: You may also find a copy of this review on

  • Lois Haight
    2019-04-25 23:41

    The Memory Wall tells the story of Nick, a biracial seventh grade boy who's mother has just entered a memory care facility for early onset Alzheimers. He uses video games as a way to escape from his grief but after awhile the video game seems to start mirroring his real life. This is a beautiful story about family, grief, and legacy told through the lens of a high fantasy video game. Because of the video game element, this book is a mixture of realistic fiction and fantasy. It is suited for students ages 9-13. I chose to read this book because I love playing video games and I also currently work with many individuals with dementia or Alzheimers. In the reading classroom, this book would be useful for teaching about symbolism and point of view. Because of the genre-blending, this book would appeal to lots of different readers, including gamers.

  • Cecilia Rodriguez
    2019-05-11 02:41

    Twelve year old Nick Lamont is struggling with his mother's diagnosis of earlyonset Alzhiemer's and the fact that she has chosen to move into a care facility.As a way to escape, Nick plays: Wellhall, an online multiplayer game.While in the game, Nick meets Reunna, and is convinced that she might beable to help "cure" his mother.The story has a good message about bullying and dealing with a family member who hasa serious illness.

  • Sarah W
    2019-05-18 21:53

    This was an interesting read on how one teen deals with his mother's diagnosis of early Alzheimer's and her move to a care facility. Part of the story unfolds in an immersive computer game he used to play with his mother. The book also ties in elements of bullying, standing up for one's self and growing up biracial. East Berlin and the fall of the Berlin Wall are also elements in the story.

  • Kana1434
    2019-05-06 23:55

    I simply picked up this book and checked it out of the library by accident.morale of the story.... Best accident I've ever made.

  • Ginger
    2019-04-30 23:02

    I wish it was a little more condensed -- it got sort of slow and faltered a little at the end.

  • Maranda
    2019-05-22 01:52

    https://thelibrarianstoolbox.wordpres...The Memory Wall by Lev AC Rosen walks the line between reality and fiction. Nick Reeves is a twelve-year-old boy of mixed races who faces everyday problems like bullying, starting middle school, and making new friends. But he also has a very atypical problem. Nick mom has Alzheimer’s, or at least that is what they tell him. Nick doesn’t believe his mom is forgetting him and tries to convince everyone that it must be something else. But no one believes him and the book begins with Nick and his dad dropping his mom off at a home.To escape his problems, Nick plays a MMORPG called Wellhall. In this game he plays an orphaned grey elf names Severkin, who goes on adventures and battles giants. Nick is convinced that his mom is playing the game at the home and is leaving hints for him in the game that will somehow bring her home. Nick’s new best friend Nat also plays the game and together they hunt for clues and work to uncover the truth.This book is told from two perspectives: that of Nick the middle-schooler and Severkin the grey elf. When edges blur and the game begins to feel like reality, will Nick be able to recognize the truth when he sees it?This book would be very prevalent with a certain audience: children and early teens dealing with a parent who is ill or even struggling with addiction. In this vein, The Memory Wall does a great job of showing how many kids deal (and let’s be honest adults) with a serious shake up in their routines. Denial, anger, frustration, bargaining, making excuses, and more. We see all of this in Nick. In this sense Nick is very relatable and could be very important to kids dealing with the same sorts of problems.Now, I picked up this book for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to read a middle school book I could recommend for boys. Something that would appeal to my often reluctant boy readers. And what better than a book that includes online role-playing video games that are so popular with that crowd. I’ve also played MORPG games in the past, so I was intrigued. Lastly, the idea of a video game colliding with real life seemed like such a neat idea to me because let’s face it, people get SOOO into these games that it can take over ones life. But this isn’t really what happens in the book–it is but only on a superficial level. Part of me was hoping to read a book where real life was influenced by the game, not the other way around.A few problems I had with this book was that it had a really slow start. I just couldn’t get into it and the mystery element of is she or isn’t she, doesn’t show up until a good 50 pages in. There were also a few loose ends that were frustrating. We get this bully, Charlie, and he says awful things and we even get his back story but that’s it. We don’t find out if our suspicions are correct and there is no real resolution there. There are a few instances like this throughout the book .Overall, this was a read that will be very meaningful to certain people. For what it is, it was well done. I’d even recommend it to young gamers because the Severkin chapters were really well done. But I think I will be in the minority in my ranking of 3 stars. It was a fine book but I felt like I was only reading it to finish and that is never a good feeling.

  • Becky
    2019-05-27 04:49

    This was an interesting way to present Alzheimer's to young readers. However, I think that there is a definite audience for this book and many readers may not connect with the characters or the gaming aspect of the story.

  • Bexa
    2019-05-05 22:33

    Nick is a young boy who's mother is leaving home. Not for an adventure or fun, but because she's suffering from early onset Alzheimer's, except Nick thinks everyone is wrong. He sets out to prove that his mom is still there and he's going to use his video game to do it. Convinced that one of the NPCs in the game is actually a real player and his mom, he does whatever he can to try and prove it. When he's not playing the game he's struggling with starting seventh grade with a crazy mom and fighting with his dad because no one will tell Nick anything. His new friend Nat also plays the game and is willing to help him figure out what is really going on with his mom, even if it's not the answer they expect. I really loved this book. My grandfather suffered from Alzheimer's and passed away a few years ago, and the struggle with understanding what was happening was very similar to what Nick went through. It was heartbreaking reading his confusion and anger and only wanting his mom to get better and come home. Having visited my grandfather a lot at the home,it was always difficult not letting him leave with us,even though he just wanted to go home. I miss him,and it sucks, and this book was wonderful.

  • Mary Librarian
    2019-05-15 22:34

    Interesting plot - early on set Alzheimer and video games. Honestly didn't think it was going to peak my interest but it did. I think gamers will be drawn into the story.

  • Sharon
    2019-04-28 03:39

    The Memory WallBy Lev AC RosenNarrated by Prentice OnayemiBlackstone Audio, 2016Prentice Onayemi’s subtle character creations intensify the complex life of biracial middle schooler, Nick Reeves, whose mother has moved to a memory care facility due to early-onset Alzheimer’s. Denying the reality of his mother’s illness, Nick takes refuge in a video game, playing the role of Severkin, a gray elf adventurer. Differentiating characters through accent and vocal pitch, Onayemi transitions between Nick’s dual worlds by differentiating characters through accent and vocal pitch, which works very well for the boys and men, easily delineating young Nick’s speech from his richly-voiced alter-ego in the gaming world. However, the high tonal quality of several women and girls is somewhat less successful. Still, Onayemi is an able interpreter of this emotionally-charged novel.

  • Megan Highfill
    2019-04-26 05:01

    Author Lev Rosen creates a unique reading experience that reads as both realistic fiction and fantasy. The alternating chapters allow the reader to connect to the characters in different ways, though the connections still feel related. Rosen does not assume immaturity or ignorance, portraying his story in an honest and real way. For young readers, the experience is different as Rosen does not skirt the issues or ignore very complex feelings. As usual, I am impressed with Rosen's ability to create something so interesting and different from the brilliant works he has published prior. Highly recommend to anyone, but would feel especially comfortable sharing this with my middle and high school readers.

  • Robin
    2019-05-25 02:52

    A boy uses gaming as a means to work through and make sense of his current challenges and circumstances. The author uses a mystery style which worked well and kept me interested. The characters were engaging and relatively complex for a JF novel. The gaming component gave this contemporary story a fun fantasy feel that I enjoyed. I like JF books that ask the reader to look beyond their own human experience. This story achieves this. I loved how the author took his time to unfold a difficult situation in a way that gave me time to cope with circumstances along side the character. Great read for 5th and up.

  • Lara
    2019-05-08 01:01

    It's a very compassionate book, and I appreciated that. Everything Nick is dealing with is never trivialized, not even the unthinking racism of some of his classmates. A story like this could have slipped very easily over the line into pathos and saintly moralizing, and it didn't. I also (speaking as a gamer who's been happily tramping through the remastered Skyrim for the last month) really enjoyed the descriptions of the Wellhall game. Mr. Rosen must be a gamer to some degree; he knows how they look and how they play out, right down to the info-dump conversations you have with NPC characters and the casual habit of looting every dead body you find.

  • Shoshana
    2019-05-21 21:45

    4.5 (maybe even 5)So astounded by this book. The Memory Wall is incredible: evocative, emotional, and very real feeling. The video game scenes are very visual and easy to follow. My heart hurt for Nick as he navigated his mother's illness and his true belief in misdiagnosis. The characters of his father and his friend Nat are well-rounded and stand out for the very real - if sometimes clumsy - way they handle Nick and his pain. Moments of lightness keep this story from being dark or depressing, and issues of race and friendship play great parts too. Absolutely loved this.

  • Great Books
    2019-05-07 03:36

    Twelve-year-old Nick's mother is placed into a home for Alzheimer patients. While Nick searches for clues of a misdiagnosis, he loses himself in the video game of Wellhall as Severkin, an elf who can face down any problem or enemy. Here he meets another gray elf on a quest who seems familiar. Could his real life be colliding with his fantasy world?Reviewer # 24

  • Aubrey
    2019-04-27 21:51

    I loved how Lev wove his story with threads of fantasy and reality. The narrative was very compelling and he dealt with big issues, including: illness, the importance of family and ancestry, race, grief, friendship, loneliness and so much more.I am always so impressed with Lev's work and this book blew me away. Can't wait to see what he does next ;-)

  • Lisa Wolf
    2019-05-12 00:38

    Review to follow.

  • Emily
    2019-05-23 00:35

    Loved the real-life parts, struggled with the parts that took place in-game. But overall a really good read and the narrator was excellent.

  • Fried dog and rice
    2019-05-18 23:48

    this book is boring