Synopsis (From Goodreads):
Humanity is split into the App World and the Real World—an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy and a dying physical world for the poor. Years ago, Skylar Cruz’s family sent her to the App World for a chance at a better life.
Now Skye is a nobody, a virtual sixteen-year-old girl without any glamorous effects or expensive downloads to make her stand out in the App World. Yet none of that matters to Skye. All she wants is a chance to unplug and see her mother and sister again.
But when the borders between worlds suddenly close, Skye loses that chance. Desperate to reach her family, Skye risks everything to get back to the physical world. Once she arrives, however, she discovers a much larger, darker reality than the one she remembers.
Skyler “Skye” Cruz lives her life in a constant countdown, waiting for the day where she can unplug from the App World to be with her mother and sister in the Real World. The family she was placed with (known as her surrogate family) were Mr. and Mrs. Sachs and their daughter Inara. Growing up with Inara, they were best friend, sharing thoughts and matching opinion about everything except unplugging. Inara (living in the world with both her biological parents) could never understand why Skye, a Single (meaning no blood relation in the App world), would even want her real body back. After all, in class they learned about how terrible the Real World was, how their bodies grow weak with age, can be damaged so easily, and how long for their very short life they have to spend eating, drinking and sleeping. At age seventeen, it is your choice, to be unplugged from the App World, or stay there forever. Most singles do choose to go back to the real world, where love one who have already unplugged, or the ones that have been left behind. Surprises can happen, as the president’s only child, and the App World’s media favorite target, Rain Holt, decided to unplug, leaving his fan based, and everyone he knew behind. When the “cure” was discovered the App world went nuts, as finally they could be disconnected from their bodies entirely, no longer relying on the Keepers (the people left behind in the real world) to keep them alive. Skye was horrified, as because of the cure, voluntary unplugging was banned, meaning that she was stuck in the App World forever. Or so she thought, as a message came to her asking how much Skye would risk to go to the Real World, she made a deal with the devil, as Skye finds herself in the real world with two jobs: to find her family, and bring Rain Holt back.
Donna Freitas wrote about something that hits close to home for many people today: apps. Applications on your phone that run your life. From reminding you to do something, keeping an hour by hour log of your life, to even tell you how much sleep you are getting and how much calories you are taking into your body. A day without your cell phone within reach, is the day your entire life will crash down. For some the apps are not as great as the real thing. Nothing can mask the true taste of fruit, the smell of the ocean, and an actual kiss from the one you love. Skye did not care about the virtual world, only the real one she left behind. The determination she had to return her mother and older sister Jude, made her come alive. The two worlds are really brought to life through Freitas writing, both having their issues as a corrupted government runs both worlds, and the game of blood being played by both sides. Skye realizes the part she plays in both worlds, truly bringing on a major plot point that will continue on throughout the series. Rain Holt, turned out to be a different character than Skye led us to believe. This playboy Prime Minister's son, has a deep side to him that made Skye (like all the other girls) fall for him, even though she did not want to. The two of them have lots to discuss, as the shocking discoveries are made through each page you turn, Skye discovers the secrets behind mystery man Rain, and the truth about her family.