Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Age of Amy: Behind the Fun Zone by Bruce Edwards

Behind the Fun Zone
by Bruce Edwards
Lambert Hill Press
YA Science Fiction
216 pages

Are you a Jimmiehead, or are you still using one of those old-fashioned smartphones?
Jimmies are tiny microchips, that when painlessly implanted into your brain, magically transform your eyes and ears into the ultimate hands-free device. No more fumbling with fragile phones, loose earbuds, or clumsy controllers. Watch movies without looking at a screen. Take photos through your eyes. Text with your brain waves.
Everyone wants a Jimmie—except 16-year-old Amy, who detests technology in any form. But when thousands of teenage Jimmieheads mysteriously vanish, only she can save them. Immune to Jimmie's influence, Amy embarks on a quest to find the missing teens, ultimately revealing an ominous connection to a spooky, old amusement park that's been dark for 50 years!


For months I was finding love letters in my school locker, each one neatly folded before being stuffed through the locker’s air vent. “To my beloved Amy,” they began. “My heart aches for you,” and “I long for your affection” were commonly-used phrases. As much as I hoped that Fred was the anonymous author, I discovered they were being written by a different boy. My bold admirer tried his best to keep his identity a secret, but after catching him following me around campus, the pieces fell into place pretty quickly. He once wrote that he “admired me from afar,” which was funny, because his locker was right next to mine.

His name was Zachary Smithers. He was a full foot shorter than me, and skinny as a hockey stick. His prying eyes followed me through large horn rimmed glasses. His eavesdropping ears were somewhere under his long hair, that flipped up at the ends around his narrow shoulders. He never socialized with other students. Instead, he would be off in a corner talking on his flip phone, the kind with the little antenna you had to extend to get a signal.
Peculiarities aside, having a secret Romeo is kind of flattering. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy being put on a pedestal? For a lot of girls, dealing with schoolboy crushes is a normal part of high school life. None of this would have bothered me, except that this schoolboy was a freshman!
Another note fell into my hands as I opened my locker. Zac watched me from behind his own locker door, as if he thought I wouldn’t notice him.
“Another letter?” I said to Zac.
A sad eye peeked around the locker door and stared at me. “You’re not mad, are you?” he said bashfully.
I looked down on him like a scolding mother. “Don’t you think this has gone on long enough?”
I closed my locker door and headed down the crowded corridor to my next class. I heard Zac’s locker close a moment later, and I didn’t need to turn around to know he was following one step behind me.

And here he is. . .

Award-winning author Bruce Edwards is a former Hollywood film animator, and brings the whimsy of a character artist to his stories. A music major in college, he is also an accomplished musician and composer. His other creative endeavors include a stint as a puppeteer and performing magic at Disneyland. Bruce's thought-provoking books for young adults are never short on fun, fantasy, and imagination.



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