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The Game by Monica Hughes
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The Game (original 1990; edition 2010)

by Monica Hughes

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384None28,212 (4.03)26
Member:Cailiosa
Title:The Game
Authors:Monica Hughes
Info:Simon Pulse (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Wishlist (books to purchase or swap), Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Young Adult, science fiction, post-apocalypse

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Invitation to the Game by Monica Hughes (1990)

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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
I loved this book as a kid, I still occasionally re-read it. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
Great little book to read. Can read in about a day and not want to put the book down. The story is fast paced and doesn't lag at all. Very enjoyable! ( )
  stang50logan | Aug 11, 2013 |
So, when I saw this on the shelves at B & N, I thought it sounded like a mixture of [b:The Running Man|11607|The Running Man|Stephen King|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1286562591s/11607.jpg|3652165](awesome) and [b:The Hunger Games|2767052|The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)|Suzanne Collins|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1293504845s/2767052.jpg|2792775] (also awesome) and I had to buy it. Having finished it, I can't say that it is as good as either of those books, but it is definitely enjoyable. This book was originally published in the early nineties and, though the author passed away a few years ago, obviously her publisher didn't want to miss out on the YA dystopia trend. I have to say, though, that this book is not dated at all--but I did chuckle at her prediction that we'd be using e-readers in the future...

The beginning of this book is definitely not its strong point. [a:Monica Hughes|84820|Monica Hughes|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1291739338p2/84820.jpg] introduces us to Lisse, our protagonist, and her group of friends, all of whom are graduating from Government School. In a [b:The Giver|3636|The Giver (The Giver, #1)|Lois Lowry|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266448651s/3636.jpg|2543234]-type ceremony, each graduate is given their future job assignment or confirmation that they are an Unemployed. As their society has replaced more and more of its workforce with robots, an increasing number of students find themselves Unemployed. Surprise! Lisse and several of her friends join the ranks of the jobless and move to their "Designated Area," where the Government provides them with their basic needs. All around their neighborhood, they hear whispers and conversations about "The Game."

Now, don't get crazy, I'm not going to tell you what The Game is, it would ruin the whole story. But I will tell you that each kid specializes in some sort of occupation while at school. Lisse's group is balanced so each person brings something to their team. When they start playing The Game, it is clear that some people bring more to the table than others and this book was a little frustrating for me because the person who is dead weight on the team is THE PROTAGONIST. Seriously, we have a chemist, a farmer, someone medically trained, a historian, someone that knows karate, etc. And Lisse? Useless. and don't try to tell me she's "a writer." HISTORIANS can write history. And that's basically what she was doing at the end of the story. She keeps getting injured, sick, crying, and generally holding her team back.

This book is pretty interesting in that it shoves political theory into the minds of young adults. There were undertones of rebellion, questionings of authority, and at least a few discussions of the organization of society. The author really packs it all into 182 pages--it's like a clown car--but I didn't mind as I became invested in the story. In fact, I thought it was a great misdirection method--I couldn't wait to find out what The Game really was and what it had to do with the organization of this society! Answer: basically nothing.

If you really want to know what The Game is about, I'll tell you: At first, the group is doing a virtual reality exploration of a huge land. Over time, they stay for longer. In their final time playing, it turns out that all the practice gaming they'd done had been to prepare them for their actual mission to colonize a new planet. Evidently, their society has been shipping off well-balanced groups of Unemployeds to other planets to deal with their workforce problem. Each time they played, the teens were "asleep" when they played the game. The last time, I guess we are to believe that they were put under for however long it took the Government to send them on a spaceship to a planet ON THE OTHER SIDE OF OUR GALAXY. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the fact that each member of the team helped in the colonization. (Except Lisse, who was pretty useless)

I don't regret buying this one, nor do I regret reading it. The writing style (especially the dialogue) were annoying at points because the characters (who were basically cardboard, let's not kid ourselves here) had simplistic conversations and then they went to a club where the author said a Pierrot approached them. Now, I had an idea of what a Pierrot was, but I had to look it up to confirm my suspicion. Who the hell is the audience for this book? In most respects, I feel like it is middle readers, but every once in a while it felt like a teen book. I am clueless who I'd recommend this book to amongst my friends, but it was worthwhile. ( )
  FlanneryAC | Mar 31, 2013 |
RGG: Set in a dystopian world, in which teenagers graduate from high school with no opportunity for employment, a group of teenagers participate in a "game" of survival. While character development is weak, the description of the settings and an urgency to know what's really happening make this a good read. Reading Level: 12-YA.
  rgruberexcel | Sep 3, 2012 |
The copy I read did not have this exciting a cover. Though its cover was more accurate than the one showing here. I think this is a book I would've really liked to have read as a kid. Unfortunately, the timing was a little off. I was already 15 or 16 by the time it was published. I don't think I was reading a lot of new books then. Unless it was a Star Trek novel.So it's the future and robots have taken over most of the jobs, so it's a really big deal to be able to have a job. This is decided upon your graduation (if you were lucky enough to go to school). The main character joins the ranks of the jobless. Though they're provided with a place to live, clothes, and adequate food. And allowed to scavenge for other things they might need or want -- like mattresses. She bands together with other classmates who also didn't get a job and they set up house together.Then they hear about The Game and wonder what it's all about, how to get invited to it. But these are no 'fight other jobless to the death' type games. It's more a puzzle game. A game you have to explore and figure out. But how much of it is real? Is it all a hypnotic trance? Drugs? Technology? Real, unreal? Hmmm.I really liked that the focus seemed to be on teamwork and cooperation. And it's an interesting premise overall.I saw the twist, if you can call it a twist, coming a mile away. Which is why it definitely would've been a different experience for me to read it as a kid. Before I've gotten all sophisticated and jaded. Though maybe I would've guessed it even then. I had read a lot of science fiction by 1990.There's a dated feel to the whole thing. Not really because of the mention of hypnosis, which was a big thing in sf decades ago and not so much now. But just.. hmm.. the 'niceness' of it, perhaps? The 'innocence'? Neither of those is quite the right description of it. But you wouldn't mistake it for a YA novel of 2010. You might mistake it for 1960, 1970, or 1980. In fact, I wouldn't have guessed 1990. For the same reason it feels dated to me, it also feels like a Marion Zimmer Bradley book to me.I read this book because a friend listed it as one of her favorites. And I'm really shocked that I had never before heard of Monica Hughes or any of her books. There's a lot of them! And they look right up my alley.They reissued this, possibly to cash in on The Hunger Games mania. But it's not a bad idea. If you liked The Hunger Games, there's a definite chance you'll like this one too. If you're worried about the brutality of Hunger Games, then this is a good alternative. ( )
  Jellyn | Jul 23, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
even several years later and many forgotten details later i still believe this is one of the best books for teens to read
added by allandnnn | editna, Tommy Hickok (Mar 3, 2010)
 
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It was the last day of school and the terror of the previous weeks had crept up on me again. My classmates were already gathering in the Assembly Room for what we jokingly called the Last Rites, and I had run upstairs to the dormitory for my journal, forgotten under my pillow in the excitement of the Last Day.
I was only just in time. The domestic robots were already busy stripping the beds, bundling up the sheets for the laundry, and folding the blankets into neat rectangles, each topped by a pillow, to be placed on the mattresses."
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Invitation to the Game was republished as The Game.
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Book description
It's the future, and most jobs are done by machines. Now that school is over, Lisse and her friends are consigned to a bleak neighborhood for the permanently unemployed. Then they receive an invitation to the Game, which transports them to a paradise. Is it a dream or a computer simulation? Each time they play the Game, the new world seems more and more real...
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Unemployed after high school in the highly robotic society of 2154, Lisse and seven friends resign themselves to a boring existence in their "Designated Area" until the government invites them to play The Game.

(summary from another edition)

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