Review: Virch by Laura Resau

Posted June 7, 2024 by Lillian in Reviews / 4 Comments

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

Review: Virch by Laura ResauVirch by Laura Resau
Published by Owl Hollow Press on 2024-06-04
Length: 355 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2024, 2024 COYER Unwind

Mind-bending, fast-paced YA sci-fi with heart.

In the year 2154, virtual reality is an enticing escape… but just for the privileged. For others, like sixteen-year-old Liv, reality means living by a contaminated bay that’s sickened her little sister to the brink of death.

Liv is determined to find a cure. She ventures to a mysterious tropical island to infiltrate a tech empire owned by the world’s most powerful man. When she encounters his son, Wolf, she’s shocked. He isn’t the shallow celebrity portrayed in the virtual world—he’s an idealist with heart, committed to righting his father’s wrongs. And when Wolf promises to help save her sister, he might just capture Liv’sheart, too.

But as Liv and Wolf confront a danger beyond anything they could have imagined, they must unravel the deadly scheme at the core of the tech empire. And their world starts to crumble . . . just as they’re falling in love.

Rooted in futuristic science and ancient wisdom, Virch explores truth and illusion, human and environmental rights, and the forces of love behind it all.

Virch by Laura Resau is a fast-paced, sci-fi adventure about a teen girl’s race to save her sister and then the world. Liv is starting a prestigious internship at the Virchuous Institute, a virtual reality science center that focuses on the latest tech that can help the world from virtual reality simulations to medical and military needs. But Liv has an ulterior motive. Her sister is sick and currently in stasis to prevent her disease from progressing. From a Null zone, they do not have access to the medications and treatment Shell needs. So Liv works hard at her studies and is granted the internship where the medicine her sister needs is made. However, Liv finds herself in the middle of two brothers, one who wants to save the world and the other who wants to end it. Too bad she doesn’t know which one to trust.

This book moves at such a fast pace. I found myself completely engrossed from page one to the end. Liv is easy to relate to. Her hopes and dreams are being put on hold to save her sister. She doesn’t care about anything else until she is forced to by her dream self who warns her of impending disaster and tells her which brother to trust…that is if she believes herself.

The world in this book is similar to our world now, but also not. Technology has advanced to the point that virtual reality is how most people live their lives. Virchlenses, like contact lenses, allow the wearer to experience the virtual world alongside the real, blending the two seamlessly. Everyone has virchips that record their consciousnesses and allow medical professionals to scan, treat, and diagnosis people. Yet most of this technology is only available to the elite. Those in the lower zones, like Liv, do not have access to the techonology or to care even though a virchip was required at birth. It was an interesting look at different societal classes and how quickly the disparity between them can widen.

Overall, Virch is an exciting read. I found myself riveted as the book takes place over about 4-5 days. Liv is a great character as the narrator. I enjoyed living the book through her. The story brings up questions about reality, what to trust and what not too that I find relevant in today’s world of AI. There is a touch of romance, but mostly the book focuses on the mystery of what is happening and how to stop it. I highly recommend it for fans of YA dystopia and sci-fi.

About Laura Resau

Laura Resau is the award-winning author of ten books for kids and teens, including The Queen of Water (with María Virginia Farinango) and Stand as Tall as the Trees: How an Amazonian Community Protected the Rain Forest (with Patricia Gualinga). Her young adult sci-fi novel, Virch, is coming in June of 2024.

An avid, trilingual traveler, Laura draws inspiration from her time abroad as a cultural anthropologist and ESL teacher. Loved by kids and adults, her novels have garnered many starred reviews and honors, including the International Reading Association’s YA Fiction Award, the Américas Award, five Colorado Book Awards, spots on “best-of” booklists from Oprah, School Library Journal, the American Library Association, Bank Street, and more.

Laura teaches in the Graduate Program for Creative Writing at Western Colorado University and donates a portion of her royalties to organizations that support Indigenous rights in Latin America. You might find her writing in a cozy vintage trailer in her back yard in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she lives with her husband, rock musician son, wild husky, and a hundred houseplants.

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4 responses to “Review: Virch by Laura Resau

    • It was an interesting concept. I told my husband after I finished it that it left me thinking about everything it addressed. Kinda like the philosophical question of a butterfly dreaming they are human. 😅

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