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Cure for the Common Universe

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  1,085 ratings  ·  244 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Jaxon is being committed to video game rehab . . .

ten minutes after he met a girl. A living, breathing girl named Serena, who not only laughed at his jokes but actually kinda sorta seemed excited when she agreed to go out with him.

Jaxon's first date. Ever.

In rehab, he can't blast his way through galaxies to reach her. He can't slash through armies to kiss
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by Simon & Schuster
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Kat Helgeson I'm not a gamer and I loved it. It probably helps if you're SOME kind of geek, but nowadays, who isn't!…moreI'm not a gamer and I loved it. It probably helps if you're SOME kind of geek, but nowadays, who isn't!(less)

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Average rating 3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,085 ratings  ·  244 reviews

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Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
4 stars

“Just because something goes wrong in your life doesn't mean you get to become the wrong in everyone else's”

This is what I call a fun easy read. Since I am a addicted video gamer, this was amazing.

Jaxon is one of the best characters I have ever read about. I relate so much to him.

Such a quirky book with a light story and lovely characters.

Jaxon is a full time gamer. He ignores everything else. Everyone else.
He meets a girl. He likes her. He wants to impress her. He doesn't know how.
Noah Nichols
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-loaned
The rehab facility was a windowless, cream-gray box of a building, nestled among dunes that stretched to the horizon. It looked as lonely as a LEGO lost in an infinite sandbox.

Pretty much everything about this book was a lot of fun. For me, the plot was immensely entertaining. I loved Jaxon (known as Miles Prower in V-hab) throughout his perilous journey, even when he was overly self-conscious about his man boobs. I liked all of the perimeter characters as well. Soup was a standout. He was j
Brooks Benjamin
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

There are books out there for everyone. Occasionally you'll get a book that you like or even love. But even less occasionally you'll pick up a book that you feel the author has written for you. Christian's Cure for the Common Universe would be that book for me.

Let's go through the items that, before I read this book, were in my head under the title of Things I'd Love Combined Into a Book One Day ™.

1) Humor.
2) Romance.
3) Strong wom
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. It has all the trappings of the YA contemporaries that I love but unfortunately it did not work for me.

One of the reasons this one didn't work for me is the fact that I never connected with the main character. Now you are not supposed to like Jaxon/Miles. He is a self-centered jerk who frankly treats people like crap. That's kind of the point here. He's not the lovable nerd that we are used to And while liking unlikable characters is nothing new for me, that c
Sarah Ahiers
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book!

Okay, I mean, I suspected I would. I'm a gamer. And this is a book about a gamer, so already I'm in. And the book did not disappoint.

Jaxon is a gamer. His specialty is the world of Arcadia (similar to WoW or Guild Wars) in which he is his clan's tank. His clan is so good, in fact, that Jaxon spends all his time playing, ignoring his dad and stepmother's entreaties to eat better, exercise, try to meet a girl.
Jaxon would love more than anything to meet a girl, of course. He knows
Rounded Up From 3 1/2 Stars

“Cure for the Common Universe” is a fun and fast-paced read with a premise and setting any gamer is bound to love.

Set in a video game rehab facility which uses a game system of points to allow the patients to be released, it almost seems like a fun place to be. That is unless you will miss your video games too much. I’m not going to lie, if I had to give up the gigantic time suck of Animal Crossing it would not be pretty. Someone has to weed my town, and it won’t be th
Aug 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recap: Jaxon (Miles) plays his favorite video game video game way too much; Miles' dad sends him to video game rehab (V-hab); Jaxon joins a group (guild) with 3.5 other nerds: Aurora, Meeki, Soup and a heroin addict; Miles' group counselor is a gentle, lonely giant named Fezzik who, when nervous, makes a Wookie sound; Miles wants to get out of V-hab as fast as possible.

So, when I heard this novel was about video game rehab, I assumed I was in for some light reading—obscure gaming references, pe
Kim at Divergent Gryffindor
I have one very big problem about this book, and it's the ending. Aside from that very big problem, however, I have no other complaints about this book. Cure for the Common Universe is such a unique and fun book to read, while showing us the main character's quest towards self-discovery.

I really enjoyed reading this book. Jaxon was committed to video game rehab by his dad for spending hours and hours playing video games, and there, Jaxon has to earn 1 million points to be released. Since Jaxon
Rahul Kanakia
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The first two thirds of this book are great fun: they're full of weird, but sharply-written, characters, and a really strange, but very relatable, quest. And, of course, lots of video game references.

But the last third of the book is where its heart lies. That's when the book does some really interesting, really bold things with its characterization. And by the time the book ends, you'll have a completely different outlook on what you've just read. In some ways, I'm jealous, since it treads gro
Valynne Maetani
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
Heidicker's writing is full of wit and heart. You can't go wrong with this book, especially for reluctant readers. ...more
April Sarah
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: bookclub
Waffling between 2.5 and 3
May 20, 2015 marked it as anti-library  ·  review of another edition

Jun 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Come discuss with us over at Tales of the Ravenous Reader!

Cure for the Common Universe is Ready Player One meets Recovery Road. There's just enough contemporary in there to help non-gamers feel welcome and plenty of gaming references that only the most L33T will get it.

Poor Jaxon. He's forced into Video Game Rehab just as he sets up his first date. Jaxon isn't likable - Give him a fedora and Mt. Dew and he's totally a Reddit meme. He's in it to win it and doesn't care who he has to trample on
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen Fortunati
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow - loved this ARC! Heidicker is a fabulous writer and the story of 16 year old Jaxon's exile to video game rehab days before his very first date is packed with humor, cracking dialogue and tremendous characters. I think that's one of the book's strongest points - a incredibly vivid cast! Jaxon's real life quest is to achieve enough points to garner an early exit from rehab to make his date. Along the way, he begins to realize the impact of his mother's addiction and his own reasons for escapi ...more
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
3.5 stars

A solid book. I did like the main character even though he clearly had a lot of problems but that's what being human feels like. We're not perfect and we can't please everyone. Plot was unique and interesting. A bit predictable but that's what you get with most contemporary novels these days.

I will definitely check out Christian McKay Heidicke's next book because I think he can write realistic characters which aren't afraid to voice their opinion. We need more of those in young adult l
Baker St Shelves
Jun 27, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I... don't even know what I just read... This book reached new levels of bad. It had an interesting premise that could work, but this end result was a slow progressive ride on a broken rollercoaster. The characters have few redeeming qualities, we dragged on far too long inside the rehab facility, our main character does every dirty trick in the book for pure selfish reasons, and the ending was confusing and had zero character growth. Safe to say that this book sucks! People comparing this to Re ...more
Tengku Haryani
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. But what's up with that ending? I'm confused. Initially it was a solid 5 stars but i didn't enjoyed that ending. It was as if the author did not have any ideas on how to end it. But i really enjoyed the beginning and the middle. The things that they did in the rehab was fun. The friends he made was diverse and really funny. But what happened to everyone in the end???? come on ...more
Completely Melanie
Oct 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: unhauled
I give this a 3.5. This was a lot of fun. With the exception of them being able to drive, I felt the maturity level of this book was more middle grade. Though be warned that there is quite a bit of cursing in here as well. I enjoyed the video game references. The ending fell flat for me though.
Before I start this review, I'd like to make it clear that I, by no means, am a gamer. Jaxon, the protagonist of Christian McKay Heidicker’s CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE, absolutely is. We start off the novel with a brief introduction of Jaxon's life; we know Jaxon is the member of a guild through the game "Arcadia" called the Wight Knights, and spends his days playing video games. Until one day he meets a girl at a car wash who actually seems to be interested in him --- something that in his 16 ...more
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Hmm still processing this one. Review to come.
UPDATE: 3.75 stars.
I love the gamer nerd world and Heidicker portrays it with accuracy and humor. The video game rehab camp is brilliantly fleshed out. Our cast of characters:the female characters are unrelentingly fierce,the dweebs are innocent and sweet, the bros are jerks, but our main character, Jaxson/Miles Prower is awful. I was really, really hating him by the end of the book. What an awful self-absorbed little turd. The end of the book does h
Lea (drumsofautumn)
DNF at 111 pages. I skim-read the ending (last 50 pages or so) to know how this would end and it would not have been worth it to read the whole thing.
The main character is an asshole, which is fine but he does not learn anything throughout this novel. There is no character development whatsoever. Everything he does is still all for his personal gain. “It’s not like being a nice guy is a coat of paint that you can just slap on.” is a sentence said by one of the side character and god, do I apprec
Krys Mcintyre
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This first novel by Christian McKay Heidicker is an absolute joy to read, and I'm not just saying that because I won an advanced copy. (Thank you, Simon & Schuster!)

Jaxon (aka Miles Prower, get it?), our possibly lovable, definitely flawed narrator, is forced off to a video game rehab facility in the middle of the Utah desert. There, among a throng of intriguing, vividly portrayed misfits, each with a self-selected alias, "Miles" pines for the beautiful girl he just met, and schemes to get out
Avery (ThePagemaster)
DNF at pg. 268(86%)

Not gonna have Jaxon/Miles treat or talk to Soup like that! NOPE!

Now with a book about video games--in this case, "video game addiction"--it seems like a win/win. The book read fairly easy and sped through a bulk of it within a couple of days; LOADS of video game references, tie-ins, jargon, that bordered something from a Ernest Cline novel; and the scenes involving team games/tournament things together were very enjoyable to read.

With that said, all the in between was just.
Munro's Kids
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cure for the Common Universe, despite a few low-points, turned out to be an excellent read. The protagonist was aggressively unlikable and the tropes were tired and over-played. Or so I thought... Christian Heidicker pleasantly surprised me by flipping all of this on it's head. Everytime that I thought I knew what predictable turn this book would take, it threw me for a loop. The ending is one of my favourites of all time, including "adult" books. My only criticism about this book would be that ...more
Andrew Brumbach
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much, for its irreverence and humor and cultural relevance, but also for the way it manages to have something really worthwhile to say about taking a hard look at yourself and tackling the difficult challenge of growing into a better person without ever being preachy. In fact, if you’re like me, you’ll burn through the whole thing in one or two sittings with a big smirk on your face and only a subconscious awareness of the profundity of the message. I genuinely cared about t ...more
Jan 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was absolutely a light, quick, and fun read for me. I really enjoyed reading about all of the unique characters. There were loads of geeky, video game references and quotes, which totally made my inner nerd cheer. The only thing that kept me from rating this five stars was the ending. I felt like it just kind of flopped at the end, where I was looking for more. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a quick read or video game lovers.
Layla (Between the Lines)
“When your insides are like skinned knees and curdled milk, you gotta learn how to feel better all by your lonesome, without pills or games or anything like that, or else those bad feelings will just keep coming back.”

I wasn't expecting to take anything serious away from this book but it reminded me of one important thing: people aren't medicine.
Carter Bates
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this book so much! It was amazing! (I didn't know how much I need a book about video game rehab until I found it ...more
Genevieve C 3
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Super trashy, but kinda funny?
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