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The Game

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  5,379 ratings  ·  366 reviews
It’s the future, and most jobs are done by machines. Now that school is over, Lisse and her friends are consigned to a bleak neighborhood for the permanently unemployed. Then they receive an invitation to the Game—which transports them to a paradise. Is it a dream, or a computer simulation? Each time they play the Game, the new world seems more and more real....

Netting mor
Paperback, 183 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published February 25th 1991)
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Duane Miller It's better. Not as dependent on pop culture and actually imparts some lasting and profound lessons about what makes life in community work.…moreIt's better. Not as dependent on pop culture and actually imparts some lasting and profound lessons about what makes life in community work.(less)
Duane Miller I can help you if you're still interested.…moreI can help you if you're still interested.(less)

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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,379 ratings  ·  366 reviews

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So, when I saw this on the shelves at B & N, I thought it sounded like a mixture of The Running Man(awesome) and The Hunger Games (also awesome) and I had to buy it. Having finished it, I can't say that it is as good as either of those books, but it is definitely enjoyable. This book was originally published in the early nineties and, though the author passed away a few years ago, obviously her publisher didn't want to miss out on the YA dystopia trend. I have to say, though, that this book is n ...more
"An invitation to the game! Where had it come from? Who apart from the librarians and those horrible people we had met during our dip into the night jungle of our DA, Knew of our curiosity"?

Invitation to the Game by Monica Hughes.

Dystopian before anybody even knew what Dystopian actually is.

I cannot believe I missed this in my young adult years. Or maybe I read it. It did seem sorta familiar. But who knows...

Anyway this was really good. I had no idea what was going on with "the game" and I want
This was one of the first books I can ever remember reading and really loving. This book had a huge impact on both my reading habits and my main areas of interest. I fully believe that this book is the reason I love science fiction novels and have a great love for (read: obsession with) the end of the world and post-apocalyptic fiction.

Invitation to the Game follows a group of characters who have recently graduated with highly specialized degrees but most of whom are unemployable because of the
Reuben H.
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Review originally written on 7/4/11.

For me, Invitation to the Game by Monica Hughes is a classic. I absolutely loved it the first time I read it several years ago, and this time I loved it as well. I actually reviewed this book on a past blog when I read it the first time.

I was first introduced to Invitation to the Game by my librarian. I instantly knew it wouldn't be a "regular" teen science fiction novel, because, well, my librarian introduced it to me! This is the librarian that doesn't reall
Mindi Mallia
Aug 31, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is the first book in a really long time that I haven't been thrilled with. I picked this up while browsing through the store one day and thought it looked interesting. The book is really short, I assumed it would be a quick and easy read. Realistically it would have been, but it took me forever to get through because I just wasn't interested in it. The only part that I was mildly interested in was the last 40 pages or so, and only because the twist was so far out of left field that I read c ...more
N.T. Embe
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoy mild Dystopian/Sci-Fi! It's a fun experience! Anyone can read it!
Recommended to N.T. by: Library in Middle School
This book, is absolutely a fantastic read! The writing style is so easy and clear that you flow right through the book and are sucked into it before you even know it! Everything runs so smoothly! It's amazing how well Monica Hughes makes this book run, and I have only the highest compliments for her. It's a short book as well! Under two hundred pages which makes it an even easier task to go through swiftly, but the pace is never rushed, even though you can read it within a few hours if you're a ...more
Anna K
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: teacher
To say the least I did not enjoy this book. The dialog is forced and cringe worthy, the characters do not develop at all, the plot is predictable and very basic. It takes a lot for me to not like a book but this book definitely did it. The only reason I stuck with it till the end (which, was by all means utterly predictable) was because it was a book read for school and refusing to read school material can do a toll on your grade. The characters are stagnant and don't change over the course of t ...more
Sep 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, ya
In a future dys/utopia, Lisse and her friends have all just graduated from school. But there are too many people and not enough jobs, and they are each left unemployed, on the dole, and at a loss for how to live in a highly regimented society with no place for them. They quickly learn hard lessons about dumpster-diving and squatting, and even faster, they lose interest in the hard-partying lifestyle of their fellow unemployed youths. When the group is invited to play a free virtual reality game, ...more
Mar 21, 2011 rated it liked it
This was almost really good. It felt like a mash-up of 1984, The Running Man, and The Hunger Games, but not quite as good as any of them. Definitely an interesting concept though - and a new one that I wasn't really expecting. But in the end, I felt the book was lacking depth. And where it was lacking depth, I felt that Hughes had made the ending too clean for my taste. ...more
VERDICT: 3 YA/juvenile stars. Adult rating: under 3 stars.

FIRST LINE:   It was the last day of school and the terror of the previous weeks had crept up on me again.

PLOT: High school grads in a future dystopia... with rumors of a mysterious Game.

IN SHORT: A more juvenile, uber-lite Hunger Games* -- minus the details and depth. And romance. And weapons. And most everything else. BUT... with a plot twist you will NOT find in The Hunger Games books.

* Hunger Games was first published in 2008. [INVITA
I tried to think of a reason to give this book three stars. I really did. It's true it entertained me for two or three hours. I never wanted to put it down; I had to know what would happen. Hughes' writing is certainly engaging. And the premise is so intriguing!

But... there are so many things wrong with it.

First of all, there are ten main characters. I can list seven. I can describe none. No one had a distinct personality, even the narrator. For example, Katie knows karate. That is literally the
I read the Invitation To The Game by, Monica Hughes. I think this book is wonderful to read,I think it's wonderful because i like books/movies about the future and i wish we had flying cars like in old movies sad 2015 would be like. The main setting is inside the game and in the Designated Area. The main characters are children named Lisse, Scylla, Brad, Rich, Paul, Katie, Alden, Trent, Karen and Benta and robots. The conflict was the robots were doing jobs for the kids and others but the other ...more
Allen Johnson
The book I read was Invitation to the Game the author is Monica Hughes. I really did like the book because there is robots who take all the jobs and so the kids have to survive with a group. There is many settings like there house, the nightlife Barton oaks, and the virtual reality. The main characters are Karen, Benta, Brad, Lisse, Scylla, Charlie, Alden, Katie, Paul, and Rich. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes science fiction I would recommend this book to them because it is a re ...more
Matthew Campbell
Based on my memory of reading the book in '92. At the time, it was a fairly 'hard' dystopia starring wayward and dead end kids that captured a very particular version early late gen-x/early gen-y zeitgeist of economic fatalism. ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers

Why did I read this book: This previously published early '90s book has been coming up in talks with other dystopian-minded bibliophiles (including the wonderful author Megan Crewe who mentioned the book as one of her favorite YA dystopians in this month's newsletter!), and when I learned that Simon & Schuster had recently republished the book, I knew I had to track it down and give it a shot. Although I must say, I think I prefer the totally rad 1990s co
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
So this was first published in 1991, but oh wow, it could've been written in response to the events of today. Robots taking over jobs! And the comments about unemployeds living off taxpayer money? Owwwwww, that was hard to read.

So that was interesting and I liked this for the most part, though the characters didn't really stand out to me. The ending weakened it. (view spoiler)
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This holds up surprisingly well! There are times when the worldbuilding is a little weak -- are there still countries in this time? The kids mention Australia, e.g., but it also seems like the Government is somehow global -- but it detracts minimally from the story. The other thing that struck me rereading this after over a decade was the pacing. I'd forgotten how these big chunks of time pass.

Both the thinness of the worldbuilding and the pacing can easily be put down to this being very much a
Mitchell D. 8B
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book that everyone should read, you don't even know that is happening until the end! ...more
Kevin Flynn
This was just OK. I thought it kinda sucked. I took some righteous vape hits while I read it though
Emily Dean
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this one! I wasn't sure where it was going and I could see this being expanded upon for a longer, more up-to-date YA novel, but the story was interesting and I enjoyed the characters. ...more
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Invitation to the Game was a fascinating, thought-provoking and fun book to read.

My only problem was that there was pretty poor characterization through the story, though that is kind of part of the dystopian genre I think. Finding your identity.

The author takes you through three different main settings (and many other different atmospheres in those settings), and this was written in a seamless way that really engrossed me. You do have to get used to the writing style, and the quotes are not def
Monica Hughes has long been a hero of mine. Her books DEVIL ON MY BACK and THE KEEPER OF THE ISIS LIGHT are amazing, and I read them over and over as a child. Long before YA books like THE HUNGER GAMES were common, books that asked hard questions of teen readers and put teen characters in truly desperate situations, she was writing things like this. DEVIL ON MY BACK doesn't have a happy ending, it has a hard ending, where the main character has to decide whether to give up happiness in order to ...more
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1. Who was Charlie really? What was the point in his part of the story? Why was he so powerful? I don't know. Was he a government spy or thought police who was supposed to see if this group was strong enough for The Game?

2. Didn't the other group on the Subway say that this was their second year at The Game? Does that mean that they got stronger as a group and were ready for drop off to another planet?

3. So Lisse's special thing was being a writer. Gotcha. That's the reason I am forgiving of the
Duane Miller
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: end-of-the-world
The book is set in a dystopian future wherein human labor is being replaced with that of robots. A group of students graduate from the government boarding school and are shipped to their 'area'. They are not allowed to leave the area without permission. They basically live off of meager welfare and their craftiness.

But the thing is, these kids really are intelligent. They decide to live together which gives them more latitude in choosing a place to live, as there are no individual dwellings avai
Oct 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Oh my. This book sure is a trip. I was having some weird Minority Report, I, Robot, and Titan A.E moments when I read this.

So, since this book is really short, you obviously can point out key areas where there would be good places for expansion or more in depth development, like the characters or certain plot elements but it’s fun by itself. I liked how the characters worked together and puzzled things out even though some of their interactions seem a bit contrived or forced.

It feels dated a bit
Feb 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best post-apocalyptic dystopian interstellar colonization story EVER. Specific, yes. But you know what, nothing else in children's lit scratches this itch! It's maddening! Enough that I re-read it earlier this year (preparatory to trying to make my youngest sister read it.) And it was still good, because frankly it taps into the same childhood fantasy you would have every time you went to the mall. 'Wouldn't it be COOL if I was locked in here, after hours, especially with a bunch of my friends? ...more
Jul 30, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love sci-fi, but this book was absolutely awful. It's fundamental premise, that almost all jobs have been filled by robots and created a huge unemployed class, unravels with the lightest application of logic (the unemployed all have many, many needs and wants that are not met, but they are forced to scrounge through the trash rather than make and sell products and services to each other). The characters are whiny and one-dimensional and really not all that different from each other. The story ...more
Ann aka Iftcan
Interesting book set 150 years in the future. It deals with 10 young people who have just graduated from School--and are now Unemployed, (yes, that's capital U type Unemployed, as in that is the title of what they do now) and living in a grim, grey city with no hope for a job. The Game, which they learn about very soon after settling into their new "home" is something that they decide that they want to play, and see if it gives them any way to make the days less tense and more fulfilling. Altho ...more
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Monica Hughes was a very popular writer for young people, and has won numerous prizes. Her books have been published in the United States, Poland, Spain, Japan, France, Scandinavia, England, and Germany. She has twice received the Canada Council Prize for Children's Literature, and was runner-up for the Guardian Award.

She is the author of Keeper of the Isis Light, an American Library Association B

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