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Head Games

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  503 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews

I'd give it a C-.

That's what fifteen-year-old Judith Ellis thinks, anyway. Reality is her former best friend not talking to her this year. Reality is her dad living three thousand miles away. Reality is what happened outside 158 West Seventy-first Street, New York City.

To Judith, fantasy rules. Particularly in the Game, which she plays online with a bunch of s

Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published August 24th 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 897)
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Sep 22, 2011 Stephen rated it really liked it
Some years ago I went through a spell where I was addicted to an on-line multi-player D&D inspired game. I first picked this book because of the on-line gaming angle. I was curious about how that would play out in print.

But, after I started I realized that this was much different than what I expected. Oddly, while my addiction to on-line gaming ended because of the events of 9/11, this girl's seem to have started with a traumatic event. While it's only hinted at in the beginning, as the gir
Feb 18, 2010 Allison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
omg i HATE the ending! uuuhhgg i lovvvve the book tho:) it was really good and i could relate to it.... in a sense.

Yeah but anyway ita bout this girl and how she lives in (in her mind) a virtual reality her life just doesn't matter to her as much as the GAME- but then she meets this guy (who everyone knows is dangerous including her mom) and she finds out he was playing The Game as well.

They quit the Game and make one of their own, bt hes falling for her, her mom freaks when the Jonathan (the
Jul 18, 2010 laaaaames rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to laaaaames by: Sarah
Why isn't Mariah Fredericks more famous than she is? Hardly anyone I know has even heard of her but she just consistently knocks it the eff out of the park. This book is sweet and sad and thought-provoking, and I must say that on a personal level it explains a lot in others' lives. Like, I've seen friends slip into something almost other-worldly, but also I've had friends yank away with only confusion and loss to explain the separation. I dunno, I feel like I'm not making any sorts of sense but ...more
Nur Fadilla Octavianasari
ceritanya rada-rada membingungkan. mungkin karena alih bahasa itu kali yaa

sinopsisnya begini. . .
Judith Ellis cewe yang suka maen game online, nah suatu ketika karaktenya dibunuh sama karakter lain yang bernama Irgan otomatis lah dia sebel banget karena mnurutnya itu games yg bisa bkin dia lupa ama temennya yang namanya Leia. beberapa lama menyelidiki dan (sdikit maksa kali yaa) taulah Jude (judith) kalo Irgan itu sbenernya Jonathan heitman tetangga apartmennya yang terkenal anak bermasalah dn h
Oct 20, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-read
I would have given it five stars, but the ending made me knock it down to four. All in all, I really loved this book.

Judith Ellis is obsessed with a computer role-playing game to the point that every where she goes and every action she takes, she imagines it's just part of the it. Then, she finds out one of the players is closer to her than she thinks, and the game is brought into real life. This is a story about friendship and coming to grips with reality, no matter how scary it is. Such a gre
Jul 24, 2008 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Melissa by: everyone
This is my favorite book. I've read so many other amazing books that are exciting or romantic, but I have never found anything that I loved more than this. I'll admit that it's a little slow, but I still enjoy everything. Judith's view of the world, and all of her thoughts just keep pulling me back. I think anyone who really loves reading can relate to her- not because she loves reading, but because she needs to get out of reality sometimes, too. I would recommend this book to anyone. And if an ...more
Kate Brown
May 22, 2015 Kate Brown rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-reads
"Head Games" started very strong and I was intrigued by Judith's ability to live in reality and in her virtual world online. When she is almost killed off in her virtual video game, Judith becomes intrigued and curious about the player who almost took her out. Surprisingly this "online player" is actually quite close in proximity in Judith' real world. Later in the book, we discover more about Judith's background and why she lost a close girlfriend. The book just has too many problems and intern ...more
Jun 11, 2014 Stacy rated it really liked it
This was a great book. Very different from the usual teen drama. The characters are dealing with very real,serious issues, and it could be a very dark book, but it isn't. I like that it has a happy ending, but not "the" happy ending. I like that her relationship with her father improves, but feel that she and her Mom need more work, but that they can still work it all out. I love that He contacts her-in his own name-and feel that they can be good friends for each other. He needed her and she was ...more
Steph Su
Apr 21, 2009 Steph Su rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Judith Ellis shuns reality. She'd rather be playing online multiplayer fantasy games than interact with the real world, where she is friendless and misunderstood. After all, why would want to communicate in a society where she lies to her father over the phone once a week and where her best friend dumped her? Fantasy is obviously better.

That is, until an annoying character named Irgan starts to harass her character. A quick investigation leads her to discover that Irgan is actually Jonathan, th
Mar 16, 2008 Smiley08 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teenagers ang ^
Head Games is a book by Mariah Fredricks. It was about a girl with no friends. She used to have one her name was Leia. They stopped being friends because Judith started getting into the online games a little too much. Her friend Leia didn't like that kind of stuff. Well there is this guy his name Jonathan Heitman. He is a typical bad boy. Jonathan got expelled like twice and does drugs. He lives in like close to her.
They are both in this game about surviving. She is known as Terryn. In the ga
Mike Herron
Sep 24, 2010 Mike Herron is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Head Games by Mariah Fredericks the genre is realistic fiction. So far Judith has been describing the people in her school. She has also been describing the game that she is in love in. the only problem is that she had to stop playing because the other player was going to kill her but he decided not to. Since he did that Judith and the other character had to leave the game. She meets the other character and his name is Jonathan he is the drug addict in the apartment building they live in. They d ...more
Sep 20, 2014 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
cerita cinta remaja yang ga biasa sih buatku. si cowo bukan tipe cowo populer di sekolah malah anak badung yang pake narkoba terus si cewe adalah cewe pinter yang lebih seneng hidup di dunia maya bahkan jadi cowo. cerita bermula dari game online yang mereka mainin, overall keren deh cuma perlu konsentrasi penuh waktu baca ini
Jan 25, 2009 Jaemi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
This book was another quick read, although in terms of its title, for me it didn't entirely hold up.

Head Games is the story of a girl who prefers to spend her time in Virutal Reality, gaming. In the world of Role Playing games, you can be whoever you choose. Therein lies the appeal. But what happens when the world you've come to trust and know even more so than the one you live in, also suddenly becomes unstable? And then on top of that turns out to be much closer than you think? Here are the he
Aug 03, 2014 Kaalomai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i was happily surprised by this random library draw. she writes w a fresh voice and point of view that really drew me in. genuine, warm, real. deals with serious issues without being even slightly depressing. highly recommend it and want to read her other work.
Emily M.
Let me just say that this book it ok. There was really nothing special about it. It was really confusing in the beginning but then got a little better in the second half. Judith is in high school and is addictied to this game where no one knows who you are. but this weird kid Jonathan lives in the same building as Jude and he also plays the game,they figure it out after Jonathan doesn't kill judith in the game. Both of them are going through a hard time and they just talk and act out stuff on th ...more
Sep 17, 2013 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memorable
Head Games was dropped into my lap by a librarian who knew very well the situation I was in at that point in my life. I'd turned to literal role-play games much like the one Judith immersed herself in, except that we chose to write everything out in novel-like detail instead of participating in any graphic virtual reality.

In short: I related to Judith quicker than any other character I'd fallen in love with at the time, and Jonathan... years later, I still think about Jonathan and his quirks. Ev
Jul 24, 2008 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This is my favorite book. I've read so many other amazing books that are exciting or romantic, but I have never found anything that I loved more than this. I'll admit that it's a little slow, but I still enjoy everything. Judith's view of the world, and all of her thoughts just keep pulling me back. I think anyone who really loves reading can relate to her- not because she loves reading, but because she needs to get out of reality sometimes, too. I would recommend this book to anyone. And if any ...more
Katrina Knittle
I really enjoyed the book, but I hated the ending. In a way when reading this book I could relate to it in certain ways. Whenever I come across a book that has relatable parts make me super happy. I loved the online game and then making your own version. A good book, with a cliffhanger of a ending.
Jan 10, 2016 Alarra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Judith has withdrawn into an online computer game to recompense for the fear she's still suffering over an incident in the real world. A new boy moves into her apartment, and challenges her on a game and personal level. I really liked this book for the way it delves slowly into Judith's past year, how both children have this teenaged voice and view of the way things are, and how their relationship grows and ebbs into friendship and trust.
Oct 03, 2012 Nancy is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This book is ok. The girl is in her Virtual Reality, gaming. It was confusing in the beginning, but then it started getting good in the middle. There's a lot of imagery between Judith and Jonathan. They both are going threw a hard time. Nobody listens to them so they have each other, and they over come their fears. They both live in their own little world. At the end it deserves way more with the part where Jonathan writes the letter.
I must admit while I was reading this book I kept on thinking, this girl seems kinda weird. Both the character and the way the story was written was something I wasn't really used to. But all in all I'm really glad I stayed with it. What I liked was the personally journey Judith goes through.I love how the guy helps her with overcoming her fears. Although he seemed like he didn't care. That's his charm I guess.
Oct 01, 2008 Merredith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-or-2-stars
in this book, a girl buries herself in a computer game after losing her best friend and other big events in her life. she progesses to a real life fantasy game (like the ones my brother and sister used to play when we were little), and eventually has to figure out her life. it was good seeing her going from living in a fantasty world to living in her own self.
Alicia turner
Jan 31, 2010 Alicia turner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is about Judith, a 15 year old girl.Her dad and mom divorce and her dad moves far away.If thats not bad enough she and her best friend stop talking, you find out why thoughout the novel.Her neighbor jonathan,is a bad boy and shes kinda scared of him, but finds out they have a little something in common.I enjoyed reading this book.
Jul 15, 2010 Courtney rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
I was really looking forward to reading this book. The summary of it sounded really good, only the summary definitely didn't go the way I was expecting. It was beyond boring. I normally try to finish books I start, no matter how bad, but this was just too boring to continue.
This book was interesting. I liked way that the author wrote and how she translated the narrator's thoughts. I also appreciate the ending. It gives you some closure without being too overboard. You're allowed to infer what happens, but it doesn't totally leave you hanging.
I was gonna give this one a five but the ending was written like "meh".
I was crazy in love with this book until then...
basically I thought the book deserved way more.
I definitely recommend for anyone looking to read a different kind of YA book.
Jun 12, 2012 Hayati rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teenlit, gpu, own, terjemahan
I'm sure, this novel is actually good but the translators from indonesia can't translate this novel with good and thus making this novel is ugly and difficult to understand >< This novel make me trauma to buy the novel translation :( ...more
Oct 14, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is pretty much exactly the style of YA book I would love to write. Terrific depiction of two outsiders who live in the same building forming a friendship that ends up helping them both.
Jane Green
Interesting read, seemed to just end suddenly which was a tad annoying but overall story was good. Relationships between the characters didnt seem authentic. Not sure if I would recommend or not.
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Mariah Fredericks is the author of the bestselling novel The True Meaning of Cleavage, which Meg Cabot called "Laugh-out-loud funny and way twisted!"

Mariah accepts that cats are her superior in every way and would never dream of insulting one by trying to own it. However, she has been reading tarot cards since she was a teenager, and while she knows that it is lame to believe in fortune-telling, h
More about Mariah Fredericks...

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“I end up watching this movie about some girl who's supposed to be so smart and edgy and unpopular. She wears glasses, that's how you know she's so smart. And she's the only one that has dark hair in the school- a place that looks like Planet Blond.

Anyway, she somehow ends up going to the prom- hello, gag- and she doesn't wear her glasses, so suddenly she's all beautiful. And she's bashful and shy because she doesn't feel comfortable wearing a dress. But then the guy says something like, "Wow, I never knew you were so pretty," and she feels on top of the world.

So, basically, the whole point is she's pretty. Oh, and smart, too. But what's really important here is that she's pretty.

For a second I think about Katie. About her thin little Clarissa Le Fey.

It must be a pain being fat. There are NO fat people on Planet Blond.

I don't get it. I mean, even movies where the actress is smart- like they seem like they'd be smart in real life, they're all gorgeous. And they usually get a boyfriend somewhere in the story. Even if they say they don't want one. They always, always end up falling in love, and you're supposed to be like, "Oh, good."

I once said this to my mom, and she laughed. "Honey, Hollywood... reality- two different universes. Don't make yourself crazy."

Which made me feel pretty pathetic. Like I didn't know the difference between a movie and the real world.

But then when everyone gets on you about your hair and your clothes and your this and your that, and "Are you fat?" and "Are you sexy?" you start thinking, Hey, maybe I'm not the only one who can't tell the difference between movies and reality.

Maybe everyone really does think you can look like that. And that you should look like that.

Because, you know, otherwise you might not get to go to the prom and fall in love.”
“My dad said to me a few years ago: "There's no harm in thinking." We were talking about Crazy Uncle Albert and whether it was right to use your brain to build weapons.

He said, "You can't expect people not to think. Not to know things just because they COULD be bad."

I said, "Yeah, but then they built it and a hundred thousand people died."

My dad laughed and said there were a lot of steps between the thinking and the doing.

Which I know, duh. All I was saying is that when you think of doing something, you don't always know the consequences. For a while people THOUGHT about building the bomb, but nothing happened. In the end it was a lot of different people doing a lot of different things, most of which had nothing to do with the bomb, that did make it happen.

I think about that sometimes. Who was the person who had the first thought, the one that started it all?

And after they had the thought, what was the first thing they did?

I know my uncle never thought, Hey, all this great science- one day I'll use it to kill a whole bunch of people. You just look at his picture; he's not that kind of person.

And yet, I guess in a way he sort of is.”
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