Book Review: Bluescreen

By: Dan Wells
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Release date: February 16, 2016
Genre: YA dystopian
352 pages
Source: galley kindly provided by publisher

Bluescreen is the first in a new series by Dan Wells, who has seen success with his Partials series, John Cleaver series, and a few stand alones. This book has a gorgeous cover, and fantastic blurb by James Dashner, and an exciting dystopian concept.

The book is set in a futuristic Los Angeles, where it seems that technology has only gotten progressively pervasive, and the divide between the haves and the have nots has widened. In this society, there is a new drug problem: viral programming that affects the senses via the tech that is directly wired into people's brains.

Mari is a fantastic average girl main character who outwits her opponent to save her city while she is saving herself. I'm excited to see a Latina main character in a YA sci fi; she's not only racially diverse, but she's a girl, which is rather unusual for the genre. her friends represent a diverse population as well, which is not only refreshing, but an accurate representation of teen social groups.

I particularly love that Mari doesn't get so caught up in a love interest that she loses sight of her other significant relationships. Wells gives her an interesting web of friends who all participate in her adventure, and a loving family who are equally proud of and frustrated with her. Thank you, sir, for illustrating that a character does not have to be isolated to thrive in YA.

This book moves at breakneck speed, and Mari spends much of book just ahead of a mounting tide of trouble coming after her. The resolution is satisfying for the time being, but absolutely left me eager to read the next in the series.

Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it.

Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.

Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence, returns with a stunning new vision of the near future—a breathless cyber-thriller where privacy is the world’s most rare resource and nothing, not even the thoughts in our heads, is safe.


  1. So glad you liked this. It's coming up on my reading list and now I'm really looking forward to it. Thanks for the great review.


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