Monday, March 28, 2011

The Virtual Life of Lexie Diamond, By Victoria Foyt- Review

Victoria Hoyt's assistant was kind enough to pass on a copy of The Virtual Life of Lexie Diamond to me recently.  Despite coming out in Hardcover in 2007, I'd somehow never run into it before

Lexie is a computer geek, and loves it. Her computer, lovingly called Ajna-Mac, is her portal to a world she identifies with more than the every day one she lives in, so when her mother dies suddenly in a car accident it's Ajna-Mac she turns too.  But as Lexie soon learns, life has a way of sweeping you up, even if you're not interested in participating.
It took me a bit of time to adapt and warm to this story, mainly because Lexie thinks and talks in terms of computers and Internet...about everything.  Phrases like:
"Since Lexie was so plugged into patterns and sequences, she couldn't avoid the one her grandmother had just presented.  Up to now, she hadn't really considered that she might never make it back to home page.  If it had been her father speaking, she would have immediately deleted his advice.",
 abound through the first part of the story, and I had difficulty relating to them.

But then she starts to make real friends, and she became much less insular and much, much more relatable.  Once the story became less about her online world and more about her actual day to day life I became way more involved and found myself enjoying where the story was taking me.  More than anything I felt like Lexie became significantly less flat once she was forced to interact with others, but it did make me regret it didn't happen sooner.  I imagine the first part of the story would put some readers off, which would be a shame since the last two thirds or so become much less stiff and hit you with several unexpected and fun surprises.
The mystery aspect of the story wasn't a huge shocker, but oddly enough, the non-mystery story line of her online friend webrider was the fun twist and surprise to me.  Sadly, after the reveal I wished her emails with webrider had been more prolific, it felt like a part of the story which would have both made Lexie more interesting in the beginning as well as added a bit of fun to the twist at the end, so I regret that relationship wasn't a bigger part of the story.

It's very possible I was simply not the right audience for the computer/Internet obsession of Lexie's, I loath to date myself in this way, but when I was her age, there was no Internet as we know it today.  And I freely acknowledge that may have made my life significantly different at 14 then it was.  I did however, enjoy her actual story, once it got rolling, so if the constant computer references put you off then hold out.  I promise it gets better.

The Virtual Life of Lexie Diamond, by Victoria Foyt
Published by HarperTeen, March 2007
The Lexie Diamond website
Buy The Virtual Life of Lexie Diamond at Amazon

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