Alyssa’s Reviews – Otherworld by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

“I don’t understand. It’s just virtual reality,” I say. Kat leans forward. “No, see, that’s the big secret,” she whispers. “It’s not virtual reality if it changes who you are. All of this is real, Simon. It’s real.” – Otherworld, Pg. 271

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

For the past few weeks I have been wanting to read an interesting dystopia/sci-fi/alternate reality book that was not “Ready Player One” (don’t have much interest in reading this right now). So, when I found out about “Otherworld” by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, I drove over to Indigo to pick up this book! And let me tell you… it did not dissapoint!

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Synopsis (Goodreads.com):

The company says Otherworld is amazing—like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive—that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.
Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.
And it’s about to change humanity forever.
Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.

WOW! This book was by far one of the best dystopian books I have ever read. I was literally hooked in from the synopsis on Goodreads! While I have some interest in Ready Player One in the future, this book appealed to me more because of the romance/real life aspect.

I absolutely loved all of the characters in this novel right from the very first chapter. Simon Eaton, the main protagonist, is one of my new favourite YA characters and was a fantastic narrator. His emotion was written out so clearly by Segel and Miller, which helped myself connect with him from the beginning. Kat, Simon’s love interest, motivated Simon to do basically everything in this novel, therefore she played a huge role in this book. In YA books, there are typically 3-5 main characters in a novel that the author will focus on throughout the book. However, in Otherworld, there were a lot of minor characters that impacted the storyline greatly, and contributed significantly to the long term plot line. There were also some characters that were vaguely described at the beginning of the book that were reintroduced during the end of the novel, but with an explanation and more detail (for example, Busara and Marlow). Even though there were a lot more “main” characters than you would typically expect in a YA novel, they all were really great to read about and had a lot of connections with both Kat and Simon.

Because I am jewish, I really appreciated the humour surrounding his “kishka”. While the “Jewish nose”, is a HUGE stereotype in the Jewish community, I found his jokes about his grandfather and his appearance “because of his religion” very funny.

During the first few (three?) chapters of the book, Simon described his home-life, past relationship with Kat, and other very important things that had happened to him in his past, that would somehow affect the story in one way or another. These chapters were detrimental to the success and overall enjoyment of this book, and were very needed to understand how Simon shaped up to become the man he is in Otherworld.

Like I said before, Simon’s connection with Kat motivated him to discover and save her from the Otherworld. His motivation made the book very fast paced and a quick read overall. Nothing in this book dragged on, as each event was crucial in the flow of the plot.  It was very action packed but did not seem confusing during any part, which made for a successful fast-paced novel. The plot twists in this book were completely unexpected, but when I went back to previous chapters, I noticed a lot of foreshadowing that I originally didn’t catch.  After I was finished the book, I couldn’t believe that it was over 350 pages!

The setting and world building in this novel was done exceptionally well. Even though simon was going through a variety of different types of regions of Otherworld, they were all described very well and made it easy to visualize. The diversity and environmental changes of each area of Otherworld was very reflective of our world today. While the book was based around Simon’s movement within Otherworld, I liked how he flashed frequently back into the normal world after being in the Otherworld for a few days at a time. This made the book much more realistic since people in the real world kept checking up on him and helping him shut down the Company that produced Otherworld.

The technology in Otherworld was honestly quite frightening. The AI in this book were so technologically advanced, much more advanced than anything we have ever seen. They acted as if they were their own person and had their own souls. It’s crazy to think that our technology could create in the future.

Most of the time, I will evaluate the overall success of a first book in a series by seeing if I would continue the series or not. In this case, I will definitely be continuing the series (Blog Spoiler: I already read the second book and will have a review up for it later this week!) and reading about how the Otherworld and surrounding issues continue on. “Otherworld” left readers with quite the “plot hanger” (a cliff hanger that doesn’t pertain to a certain concluding event, but rather the continuing development of the plot as a whole).

Overall, I loved this book and gave it 5/5 stars on Goodreads! To read my thoughts on this book while reading it, click here!


Thank you for reading my review of “Otherworld” by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller! Have you read this book? Let me know on Twitter, and we can talk all about it!

Good Night Book Owls!


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