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Insert Coin to Continue

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  195 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Bryan Biggins wakes up to find that his life has become a video game.

Meet Bryan Biggins. Most of the time he’s a freckle-faced boy, small for his age, who attends a school known for its unwritten uniform of North Face jackets and Hollister jeans. The rest of the time he is Kieran Nightstalker, the level-fifty dark-elf hero of his favorite video game, Sovereign of Darkness.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Aladdin
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3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  195 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Ms. Yingling
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
E ARC from Edelweiss.

Soooooo good that I can't read anything else right now. Laughed a lot, cried a tiny bit. One perfect, incredible, weird middle school day!

E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Bryan and his friend Oz have a boringly normal life are a little obsessed with the Sovereign of Darkness video game. When Bryan apparently uncovers a secret level of the game, however, his life seems to BECOME a video game. Flashing blue lights in the air ask him to "insert coin to continue" and award
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh. My. Gosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!! AAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE BEST IDEA OF A BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SOOOO GOOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I TOTALLY SHIP BRYAN AND JESS!!!!!!!!!! AND THE ENDING..... sooooooo gooooooddddd........................
Zane Jones
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Not bad at all, but not my preferred genre. My younger brother pressed it on me ;) And I must say it wasn't half bad, I just don't love reading in this genre. (:
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Personally, I really liked the concept and the challenges and everything, however, the romance was written quite unsatisfactorily (is that a legitimate word?) for me at least. Other than that, this was a pretty decent read.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
A middle schooler thinks he's a master gamer . . . until his life literally turns into a series of challenges reminiscent of his favorite games. Can he apply his skills to real-life scenarios, or will it be game over?
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was adorable!!
Brandy Painter
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I have mentioned several times before my penchant of reading a recommended book without actually ever looking at the synopsis. Such was the case with Insert Coin to Continue by John David Anderson. It was recommended and is a Cybils nominee so I just didn't bother. I assumed it was a book about a kid who gets trapped inside a video game. But that's not what happens at all. His life becomes a video game, and that's an interesting twist to
Apr 17, 2016 added it
Shelves: edelweiss-arc
*arc from edelweiss*


Bubbly middle school hijinks novel about a boy who wakes up to realize his life is a videogame. Subtle references to famous videogames like Tetris and Rock Band. While the premise sounds appealing to a wide range of reading experience levels, this book’s dry sense of humor and use of sophisticated vocabulary make it more appropriate for somewhat experienced readers. Less experienced readers looking for some video games in their books might be better off with a work lik
The Keepers of the Books
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When Bryan Biggins defeats the secret Demon King level of his favorite game, he wakes up the next morning to find his life has turned into a video game. He can see his HP, XP, and see the same information on everyone around him. As he completes the quests the game gives him, he either fails them and has to insert a coin or he levels up. He knows he will come up against a final boss, like any good video game. Will he be up to the task? What happens if he runs out of coins to feed the video game? ...more
Liz Friend
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
The story: Bryan just knows there's a secret level to the video game he just beat for the 20th time. But he has no idea that when he wakes up the next morning, HE'LL be in the middle of a virtual reality game that looks a lot like his own life--except that the guys throwing dodgeballs are out for blood, and the teachers who bust him in their lounge are zombie who'll kill him to get that Twinkie. Can Bryan use his skills to overcome the bad guys--and maybe even get a date with the girl he's crush ...more
Emily Carlyn
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome! Full of action and you absolutely never know when the next challenge will be! Bryan Biggins usually only plays his video game at home every night. Until one morning he wakes up to find the words “Insert Coin to Continue” flashing over his alarm clock. His legs won’t move, so he inserts a coin and bam! He’s back in action. That’s how his entire day at school goes. Teachers biting each other over a Twinkie and zombies in a Shakespeare story, what will Bryan earn XP or lose HP ...more
Once again John David Anderson has written a hilarious, sweet, thoughtful book! Of course, kids will probably just say hilarious, but I see what you are doing when you write, Mr. Anderson, with all of your awesome worldly wisdom . He is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. If he writes it, I buy it! PLEASE read this will not regret it! (Also, be prepared to laugh out loud...yes, it's that funny!)
Read it aloud to someone! I wish my kids were younger so I could. This book BEG
Maureen Tully
This story of a middle school boy who wakes up and finds himself in the middle of his own video game is highly entertaining. It has likable characters, an engaging plot, and some hugely funny moments - great addition to the middle school library.
Ridgewood Public Library Youth Services
A young boy named Bryan Biggins is obsessed with a game called Sovereign of Darkness. He thinks that a pulsing light behind the credits is the key to the bonus level, but can never get to it. He therefore played all fifty levels nine times. After the tenth time he played it, his life suddenly became the game itself.

He gains points and loses some. Towards the end of the book, he is challenged by the school’s bully who is on the football team to a fight after school. He and his friends think that
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I can picture a gamer who isn't much of a reader totally getting into this.

The book is about a 7th grade gamer, Bryan, who defeats a video game multiple times, trying to find the secret level that is supposedly hidden. He realizes he's finally found it, when one night, his computer apparently crashes. The next morning, when he's trying to get out of bed, he sees blue letters hovering above his alarm clock. They say, "Insert coin to continue". Once he finds a coin from his floor and drops it int
Goshen PL Childrens
It was fun to read a gamer middle grade book. There is a lot of humor, middle school turmoil (but not in the annoying angsty way) and gaming fun. I really liked the way Anderson used gaming terms and the power/level up to enhance the story. The scene from Romeo & Juilet was classic. I think this had the realm of gaming down pat much more that some of the other middle grade attempts I've read recently.

**Side note: I love Ready Player One . Unfortunately, I compare every game world book to it
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Aimed at 8-12 year-olds, my two sons fit the demographic perfectly - 8 and 11 year-old video game fans.

What they liked: It was funny. Some of the teacher's names were puns. The great and powerful Oz. Romeo and Juliet re-imagined.

They also liked figuring out which video games were being referenced - frogger, mario brothers, etc.

What I liked:

Some stereotypes were maintained, but others were stood on their heads. It gave us good fodder to discuss bullying, cliques, and prejudice.

The "romance" was a
Walter Silveira
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I like to spontaneously pick up and check out the books I find lying out of place at the library. It's pretty hit or miss as a selection method, but sometimes.... sometimes you strike gold.
John David Anderson's "Insert Coin To Continue" was a wonderful, lighthearted, laugh-out-loud-with-tears-in-your-eyes read. If you're a fan of "Ready Player One" or Austin Grossman's
"You", find a copy of it and read it. Now. You won't be disappointed.
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
A perfectly fine YA fantasy book, very similar to the premise of Tron, where the main character gets sucked into a video game world. This would be great for the fifth or sixth grade boy crowd, I’d imagine.
Giovanna Forsyth
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
A little much for me, but my 10 year old loved it.
The Brothers
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Asher (11yo) read. "Really funny. I would actually like to play the 'bonus' level on Sovereign of Darkness."
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Funny, full of action, and video game-based. Perfect for middle school boys.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
didnt read yet
Feb 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018, juvie
A bit too stereotypical for me, but my son enjoyed it!
April C G
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
My 10 year old wanted to share this. It’s SO GOOD he says and recommends it to anyone who loves escape the room games and video games.
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Couldn't put it down, it was that good!
Becky B
Bryan Biggins is so sure that there's a secret level at the end of the Sovereign of Darkness video game he is playing it through for the 10th time (ok, and he kinda likes video games too). At the end of the 10th win, it does do something new...but then it proceeds to fry the computer. He goes to bed frustrated. But when he wakes up the next morning, things are seriously weird. He has to put a coin in a slot over his alarm clock to get out of bed, when he looks in the mirror his clothes have blue ...more
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't think I've been a huge fan of his other books, but I really liked this one! Bryan gets to the secret bonus level of his favorite video game, and the next thing he knows, his life is turning into one! Funny and a realistic middle school.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

John David Anderson once hit himself so hard on a dare by his sister that he literally knocked himself out of a chair and nearly blacked out. He has since translated this passion and singularity of purpose to the related arts of novel writing and pizza eating. The author of STANDARD HERO BEHAVIOR, SIDEKICKED, MI
“We are all conditioned by our environment. We are all creatures of instinct, driven by our need to survive, but capable of learning through experience. In that way we are actually no different,” Tomlins said, reaching beneath him and pulling up a wire cage from under the table, “from mice.” 1 likes
“thin glasses that seemed to get lost on his wide red face. His balding forehead glared in the overhead lights. He reminded Bryan a little of that Muppet—the puffy-faced science guy with glasses but no eyeballs on his melon head. “For example, the next time that bell rings, all of you will immediately forget everything I’ve told you. You will scramble for your backpacks, and you will rush out that door without so much as a simple thank-you for all the mind-blowing knowledge I bestowed upon you today. You will do so mindlessly, as you have for the last several weeks of school, because it is a conditioned response. The bell is a stimulus and you are conditioned to act a certain way when you hear it.” Like ducking behind someone taller as soon as you spot Tank Wattly coming down the hall, Bryan thought. Or losing your ability to say anything witty or intelligent whenever this one girl in particular so much as looks at you. “We are all conditioned by our environment. We are all creatures of instinct, driven by our need to survive, but capable of learning through experience. In that way we are actually no different,” Tomlins said, reaching beneath him and pulling up a wire cage from under the table, “from mice.” Susan Onesacker screamed, but the rest of the class bent forward to get a better look at the tufts of white fur huddled against one another in the cage. There had to be at least a dozen of them in there. Beady little red eyes. Twitching noses. Some of the mice lifted their snouts to the air. Others started clawing to find an exit. They didn’t” 0 likes
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