Teen Book Club: The Eyes of Minds

The Eyes of Minds 
by James Dashner
Release Date: Oct 2013
Pages: 323

Michael is a gamer. And like most gamers, he almost spends more time on the VirtNet than in the actual world. The VirtNet offers total mind and body immersion, and it’s addictive. Thanks to technology, anyone with enough money can experience fantasy worlds, risk their life without the chance of death, or just hang around with Virt-friends. And the more hacking skills you have, the more fun. Why bother following the rules when most of them are dumb, anyway?

But some rules were made for a reason. Some technology is too dangerous to fool with. And recent reports claim that one gamer is going beyond what any gamer has done before: he’s holding players hostage inside the VirtNet. The effects are horrific—the hostages have all been declared brain-dead. Yet the gamer’s motives are a mystery.

The government knows that to catch a hacker, you need a hacker.
And they’ve been watching Michael. They want him on their team.
But the risk is enormous. If he accepts their challenge, Michael will need to go off the VirtNet grid. There are back alleys and corners in the system human eyes have never seen and predators he can’t even fathom—and there’s the possibility that the line between game and reality will be blurred forever.

Share it, Skim it, or Shelve it?
Most of the teens thought this was a share it, but I had one or two that thought it was more of a skim it.

What you think of the Virtual Net? Would you be willing to own a coffin?
They all thought the Virtual Net was pretty cool and would totally own a coffin. They did think the wires going into the skin was kind of creepy, but would be worth it it to be part of the network.

Ending: Shock or saw it coming?
No one (besides myself) saw it coming. They knew something was up, mainly because of the parent issue, but they didn’t think it would be that Michael was a Tangent. The teens thought it was an interesting twist that made them rethink a lot of the actions of the book.

Do you think Michael’s friend’s knew he was a Tangent?
No, the teens are deciding to believe agent when she told Michael his friends didn’t know the truth. (I myself am not as trusting and wonder if they thought something was up.) They are interested to see how the information/body swap will change their friendships.

What did you think of Devils Destruction?
They were a bit disappointed with the game. The teens thought it would be so much more and thought these scenes were just meh. We all expected something like Halo or Call of Duty and didn’t understand why anyone would want to enter a game like this. The discussion when in many directions, but eventually the teens thought maybe the game only exists as a test from Kaine and that none of the other participants were actually real. They thought this could explain why an “adult only” game wasn’t garnering more attention.

We also had an interesting discussion on game time vs. real time. In the game, several days passed, but we aren’t the sure the same was true for the real world. The teens thought that days could equal just a couple of hours in the real world and would explain why none of their parents were concerned about them staying hooked up for days. (Although, we never see anyone’s life beyond Michael’s, so it could still be possible. We don’t even know if someone else can make you leave the game.)

Michael and Sarah: heat of the moment or think there is feelings?
All but one thought it was merely in the heat of the moment. One of those, we’re both going to die so I’m going to kiss you now kisses. One of the girls thought there were other moments of build-up, but she couldn’t convince the other teens to see the same way. They all agreed, though, that if it wasn’t a heat of the moment, Sarah would not feel the same once she learned the truth.

What did you think of the Path?
The teens thought some of the aspects were cool, like the creepy zombies, but they thought it got a bit tedious after a bit. They just felt like it was one thing after another and were glad when they were passed it.

Favorite Scene?

  • The mirror scene when Kaine is trying to scare them away
  • The creepy zombies on the path
  • The night club with Ronkia and the Kill Sims
  • The volcano scene during the path

Program 4-1-1

  • When: December 19th, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
  • How Many Teens: 13 teens; 2 boys/11 girls ranging from Grade 8 – 10
  • Cost/Supplies: $54 for 14 pints of ice cream; $168 for 15 books (graciously paid by the friends of the library)

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