Katie's Reviews > Strong Signal

Strong Signal by Megan Erickson
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Oh yeah.

Gaming. Not my thing. At all.

I mean...I played a mean Mario Kart back in the N64 days and nobody could beat me at Frogger back in the Atari days. But the world of gaming has just...exploded...in the last 15 or so years with all the technology. Though it's totally passed me by, even I can see it's truly amazing--what I do know of it, that is. The interactive gaming sounds super slick. And streaming just to watch a dude game--who knew?

The first thing I'll tell you that I loved about this book--was that even as a forty-ahem-something woman who doesn't know the first thing about what's what in gaming these days--is that I was SUPER ENTERTAINED. The gaming was not over my head. I wasn't lost in pages of geeky game-speak. It was just a strong undercurrent of a wave I had a blast riding.

These characters were it. They were the story. And they were both amaaaazing.

Kai--the master gamer, who battles anxiety and agoraphobia is witty and a bit sassy is nothing short lovable and adorable. He's everything. He's created a world within the walls of his apartment and his only social interaction is with an online community of gamers and the kid next door. The thing is, he's not a sad case. He's brilliant and has such a magnetic personality that he's become successful doing what he does within the confines of his comfort zone. I got him. I sooo got him.

Then Garrett. Wow. Drool-worthy, broody, man in uniform. What is there not to love? When we meet him, he's serving out the rest of his tour on deployment in Afghanistan and counting the days to returning home and beginning a new life as a civilian. For those of you who have never experienced that first-hand or at the side of a loved-one--it's a heady thing. It's a whole different world going from the rank and file to the private sector. And it can be scary.

The way these two meet online really made me smile. Online matches have been happening for more than 20 years now--since the days of AOL chat rooms. Now I don't think there's any corner of the interwebs where you can't meet someone and find a connection. The funny thing, though, is how there's still a wee bit of a stigma to falling in love with someone you've met online. Maybe it's just my aging generation and those before me who still think it's kind of weird. And, yeah, I've done the online dating thing...and it was all a fucking disaster of fakeness and disappointment. So...

These guys, though, it was organic. It grew at a good pace that never felt rushed. Part of that being Garrett being half-way around the world in a sand pit.

But when they finally came together face-to-face....well. I'm not spoiling it. I'll just say it was written beautifully. The hallway scene. That was probably my favorite.

Props to both authors--they are an incredible and dynamic writing team. Santino Hassell always wows me with the depth of his characters and almost always gives me pieces I can identify with--and who somehow happen to resonate with me pretty fucking deeply. And Megan, who is a master of nuanced characters who, from what I've read of her other work, are usually fighting some pretty scary demons--yet she fleshes the characters out so carefully that there's no other way but to be empathetic and compassionate.

This was smart. It was fresh. It had lots of laugh-out-loud moments and a few that brought tears to my eyes.

This first book is an electric start to a whole new series. And. I. Can't. Wait!

Also posted on BackPorchReader.com.
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Reading Progress

January 15, 2016 – Shelved
January 15, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read_not_pub_yet
February 12, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read_pre-ordered_amazon
February 15, 2016 – Started Reading
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: 5-star_all_the_love_and_stars
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: best_reads_of_2016
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: c-damaged_hero
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: c-kinda_geeky_mc
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: f-had_some_lols
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: g-contemporary
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: g-lgbt-mm
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: k-steam_factor_500
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: i_actually_reviewed_it
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: l-novel_over_201_pgs_over_50k_wds
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: p-amazon
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: read_2016
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: t-series
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: v-1st_person_mult_povs
February 16, 2016 – Finished Reading
March 10, 2016 – Shelved as: x-erickson-hassell_cyberlove

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Wendy Awesome review Katie ;)

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