Hello there you caged elephants. It’s Saturday, so it’s time for another Top Shelf Book Review, where this time I feel embarrassed for having liked a book. The book in question is Virtually Perfect by Dan Gutman.
I’m pretty sure I also got this book at McKays..
Looking at my top shelf, there are actually plenty of books that don’t come from McKays, I just haven’t reviewed them yet.
Anyways, I don’t have much background information on this book for you, other than that I read it when I was 8 or 9 years old, and deemed it one of my favorite books. Before we get into this books many flaws, know that I had no idea how dated this book is, despite only being released in 1999, because I didn’t really comprehend the technology stuff in the book then.
On to the review!
What really kills this book for me is that while many Sci-Fi stories have managed to stay relevant and make sense decades after release, this one doesn’t. The reason for that is that most Sci-Fi is set so far in the future that you don’t need to worry about us passing the technology in that book and it becoming dated. Take Star Wars and Star Trek for example.
While some of the concepts explored in the book relating to artificial intelligence are mildly interesting, almost everything in it is predictable. Other than Yip’s Grandpa, every single character in the book was two-dimensional and boring. Yip and his family were all just stereotypes of the traditional roles of the family personified. You have the main character, the son, who has trouble connecting with people at school and just wants a friend, the main character’s sister, constantly falling in love with boy after boy in high school, the mom, who sure can make cookies (which is literally all she does the entire book), and the dad, who is a tech junkie. You need to have almost no other details when talking about these people, because what you just read now and how you’re imagining them is exactly how they are.
While I am going to put a little spoiler warning in front of this next part, I don’t think anyone should read this book, so you should ignore the spoiler warning even if you have read it. I’m leaving it there on the off chance that someone still wants to read it.
The plot was also cheesy and uninspired. The virtual person, or as the book calls him “vactor”, wants to test his limits in reality, so he goes to school, robs a bank, and then tries to kill the president before Yip’s family figures out how to stop him.
However, I do realize that this book is intended for 8 and 9 year olds, and I liked it then, so i’ll go a little easier on it than I would have normally. Either way, this is definitely coming off of my top shelf.
I rate this book 5/10.
Thanks for reading all the way down to the bottom of this review!
Hints for Next Review: farewell foreigner