A young man’s life is turned upside down after he starts playing a virtual reality game as part of a scientific experiment in Tymofiyeva’s engrossing debut. Twenty-one-year-old Nathan hails from a wealthy family of achievers, but getting help from his father to set up his first start-up is something he has no intention of doing. When his grandmother asks him to play a virtual reality game as part of a scientific experiment in exchange for money, Nathan immediately agrees, unaware his life will never be the same again. This absorbing story is full of young adult intrigue and human drama. The use of video game culture anchors the story in today’s culture, while themes of identity, young adult angst, family, friendship, mental illness, empathy, understanding expectations, drive, success, and failure are woven nicely into the fast-paced narrative. Ell-rounded secondary characters add texture to the story. At the center is Nathan, fully realized and achingly real in his pain and confusion. Urban-fiction readers will enjoy this, but it will also appeal to any YA or adult reader seeking an inspiring read that’s both fast-paced and entertaining.