Zevin’s novel is the story of two friends and gamers who collaborate on a videogame that becomes wildly popular.  The success of their game, however, complicates and erodes their friendship.

Sadie has been friends with Sam since childhood, yet she believes he has put her in harm’s way to get the game engine and has unfairly taken credit for the game that they co-created.

Sam has also, at various times, believed that Sadie was using him. As a child, he believed she befriended him for her community service project. Later, he feels she is pretentious and wrong-headed.

On one hand, this is a novel about friendship—how a friend can lift someone up from utter despair—but it’s also a novel that demonstrates how misunderstandings can loom large. Zevin writes about race relations, love triangles, identity and success.

Biracial, brilliant, and lonely, Sam cannot express the love he has for Sadie; the only he can reach her is through a medium they both understand–games.

Chantal Walvoord