Post-High School Reality Quest
Buffy is playing a game. However, the game is her life, and there are no instructions or cheat codes on how to win.After graduating high school, a voice called “the text parser” emerges in Buffy’s head, narrating her life as a classic text adventure game. Buffy figures this is just a manifestation of her shy, awkward, nerdy nature—until the voice doesn’t go away, and instead begins to dominate her thoughts, telling her how to life her life. Though Buffy tries to beat the game, crash it, and even restart it, it becomes clear that this game is not something she can simply “shut off” or beat without the text parser’s help.While the text parser tries to give Buffy advice on how “to win the game,” Buffy decides to pursue her own game-plan: start over, make new friends, and win her long-time crush Tristan’s heart. But even when Buffy gets the guy of her dreams, the game doesn’t stop. In fact, it gets worse than she could’ve ever imagined: her crumbling group of friends fall apart, her roommate turns against her, and Buffy finds herself trying to survive in a game built off her greatest nightmares.

Post-High School Reality Quest Details

TitlePost-High School Reality Quest
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseJun 13th, 2017
PublisherRare Bird Books
ISBN194557223X
ISBN-139781945572234
Number of pages320 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Science Fiction

Post-High School Reality Quest Review

  • Anna Priemaza
    December 28, 2016
    You pick up this book.> Read book. You start reading the book. It's about a girl who, upon high school graduation, starts having her life dictated by a text parser, making life into a text adventure game. It's strange and disorienting and so incredibly cool. The girl can't seem to figure out life, which you get because most of the time, neither can you. >Keep reading. As if you had a choice about that. Of course you keep reading. You can't stop reading. You need to know whether she's actua You pick up this book.> Read book. You start reading the book. It's about a girl who, upon high school graduation, starts having her life dictated by a text parser, making life into a text adventure game. It's strange and disorienting and so incredibly cool. The girl can't seem to figure out life, which you get because most of the time, neither can you. >Keep reading. As if you had a choice about that. Of course you keep reading. You can't stop reading. You need to know whether she's actually respawning when she dies or whether she's schizophrenic like the book’s doctors think or whether she has an overactive imagination like yours. You need to know whether she'll win over her crush and why he has a gun under his bed and if she'll ever be happy with any choices she makes and whether anyone in the book will ever make a good decision or whether they're all too flawed and hurting and real for that. >Keep reading. >Keep reading. >Keep reading.Are you sure? It's not too dark and depressing? >KEEP READING! You keep reading. You can't turn the pages fast enough. You need to know what happens. You read read read until the end, and then you stare into the void, thinking about life and choices and regrets and no going back and how you just want to hug every terrible, flawed character in the book.>Rate five stars. You rate the book five stars. Obviously.
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  • Laurie
    October 17, 2016
    This may be one of the most wildly original YA entries for 2017 - the only book I can think to compare it to (for sheer originality, outrageous & clever humor, and sly irreverence) is THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (it's that good - it's worthy of the comparison). Our MC, Buffy, finds herself navigating post-high school life & love while stuck inside a text-adventure video game. I am not a gamer, but you don't have to be to quickly catch on to the format (with saved lives/do-overs, This may be one of the most wildly original YA entries for 2017 - the only book I can think to compare it to (for sheer originality, outrageous & clever humor, and sly irreverence) is THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY (it's that good - it's worthy of the comparison). Our MC, Buffy, finds herself navigating post-high school life & love while stuck inside a text-adventure video game. I am not a gamer, but you don't have to be to quickly catch on to the format (with saved lives/do-overs, etc.) - and to rapidly become hooked and thoroughly strapped into this roller-coaster of a novel. I found myself laughing out loud many, many times while reading this (while shaking my head in awe "Meg Eden did NOT just pull that off..."). READ THIS BOOK. #TeamNarwhal
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  • Madeline Dyer
    March 27, 2017
    Right from page one, POST-HIGH SCHOOL REALITY QUEST grabbed me, and I just couldn't put it down. Inside these pages is a complicated and haunting story of love and loss, written in a unique and compelling style that pulls us right into Buffy's world--and makes sure we can't get out. Meg Eden handles the topic of mental illness with sensitivity and skill, while also showing just how confusing and scary these experiences are, at times, for her main character, as even the reader begins to question Right from page one, POST-HIGH SCHOOL REALITY QUEST grabbed me, and I just couldn't put it down. Inside these pages is a complicated and haunting story of love and loss, written in a unique and compelling style that pulls us right into Buffy's world--and makes sure we can't get out. Meg Eden handles the topic of mental illness with sensitivity and skill, while also showing just how confusing and scary these experiences are, at times, for her main character, as even the reader begins to question what's real and what's not. Highly recommended.
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  • Maggie
    April 25, 2017
    Wow. The entire time I read this book I kept saying to myself "I've seriously never read anything like this before." I dare you to make a comparison. Post-High School Reality Quest turns Buffy's life into a game where every situation give her a chance to respawn and change her fate. Laced within the game are moments in the present (or so you think) where Buffy is in a psych ward. I kept flipping pages furiously to find out if it was real or if it was all in her head like the doctors kept telling Wow. The entire time I read this book I kept saying to myself "I've seriously never read anything like this before." I dare you to make a comparison. Post-High School Reality Quest turns Buffy's life into a game where every situation give her a chance to respawn and change her fate. Laced within the game are moments in the present (or so you think) where Buffy is in a psych ward. I kept flipping pages furiously to find out if it was real or if it was all in her head like the doctors kept telling her. If you're a lover of video games, psychological thrillers, and some dark humor to sprinkle on top, Post-High School Reality quest is the one for you!
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  • Christy
    June 5, 2017
    A unique take on the transition that happens after high school. Gamers who love quest games (and even those who are not!) will appreciate classic elements written into a book that explores the journey from teen to adulthood and all of the complications that follow. Fans of At the Edge of the Universe will love this!
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  • Kathy MacMillan
    June 29, 2017
    What a unique, wild ride of a book! Buffy’s story of trying to find her way after graduation lends itself perfectly to the format of a text adventure game. Buffy must navigate a barrage of choices about who she is and who she wants be, examine and reexamine relationships with friends and family, and somehow keep remembering to save. The book is full of witty touches that will make geeky readers laugh out loud; my favorite is the fact that Buffy has nicknamed her backpack “inventory”, so whenever What a unique, wild ride of a book! Buffy’s story of trying to find her way after graduation lends itself perfectly to the format of a text adventure game. Buffy must navigate a barrage of choices about who she is and who she wants be, examine and reexamine relationships with friends and family, and somehow keep remembering to save. The book is full of witty touches that will make geeky readers laugh out loud; my favorite is the fact that Buffy has nicknamed her backpack “inventory”, so whenever she puts an item “in her inventory”, that’s where it goes. Buffy’s quest is not without disappointment and heartbreak, and the reader will be rooting for her to fight her way through.
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  • YA and Wine
    June 18, 2017
    Post-High School Reality Quest has one of the most unique storytelling structures that I've experienced in a novel. The way the story is written is a throwback to text adventure games, which was fun and original.Despite the video game elements and entertaining writing style, this book has a lot of very serious and sometimes dark elements to it. This book delves into a lot of different and very difficult mental health issues including schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.The s Post-High School Reality Quest has one of the most unique storytelling structures that I've experienced in a novel. The way the story is written is a throwback to text adventure games, which was fun and original.Despite the video game elements and entertaining writing style, this book has a lot of very serious and sometimes dark elements to it. This book delves into a lot of different and very difficult mental health issues including schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.The story also focuses in on that sometimes difficult transition from teen to adulthood and the emotional upheaval it can cause. From making decisions that ultimately impact the rest of your life to discovering truths about the friends you thought you knew, Meg Eden pulls no punches when it comes to incorporating serious themes into this story.I did find the end of the story a bit confusing. The closing line in particular made me question what I thought I had been reading throughout the rest of the book, but that may have been the point, or very well could have just been me being a bit oblivious.Overall, I think this book is very well-written, and I do feel that fans of text adventures and classic video games will really enjoy the references sprinkled throughout.
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  • Kendra
    June 4, 2017
    Far and away the most boldly original YA novel I've ever read. Jaw-dropping, shocking and unmissable. More coherent review to come -- in the meantime, do yourself a favor and preorder this rare gem, available June 13.
  • Lynn
    May 31, 2017
    As soon as I heard the pitch for this book I knew I needed to read it. As a life-long gamer with my fair share of text-adventure deaths, I appreciated all the old school video game references, and the back and forth sniping between Buffy and the game was hilarious. But aside from the fun and totally unique style, this book explored a lot of heavier important issues as well, in both Buffy and her friends. I especially loved that Meg Eden chose to write about characters from a small religious scho As soon as I heard the pitch for this book I knew I needed to read it. As a life-long gamer with my fair share of text-adventure deaths, I appreciated all the old school video game references, and the back and forth sniping between Buffy and the game was hilarious. But aside from the fun and totally unique style, this book explored a lot of heavier important issues as well, in both Buffy and her friends. I especially loved that Meg Eden chose to write about characters from a small religious school trying to figure out who they wanted to be in the context of the larger world, as it resonated with my actual experience in a way that a lot of YA set in larger public schools doesn't quite match. Overall it was a great read and I highly recommend it!
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  • Heather
    June 14, 2017
    One of the best things I've discovered on Twitter this year is Meg Eden (@ConfusedNarwhal) and her book Post-High School Reality Quest. Being a big fan of video games, I was intrigued when I saw the premise of this book: At her high school graduation, Buffy finds that her life has started being narrated/controlled by a text parser in the style of an old school text based video game. This leads to some weird experiences. She dies, comes back to life, makes extreme choices, and more over and over One of the best things I've discovered on Twitter this year is Meg Eden (@ConfusedNarwhal) and her book Post-High School Reality Quest. Being a big fan of video games, I was intrigued when I saw the premise of this book: At her high school graduation, Buffy finds that her life has started being narrated/controlled by a text parser in the style of an old school text based video game. This leads to some weird experiences. She dies, comes back to life, makes extreme choices, and more over and over again while trying to figure out not only what this voice in her head is, but what is life now that she's supposed to be growing up and going to college?Meg Eden has a way with dark humor and that certainly shows throughout the book. Buffy is having a hard time of it because not only does she have all these experiences going on, she's got the text parser bringing her back to life after major episodes, which sounds traumatic. While reading it's such an adventure, trying to tell what's real and what might not be real. Mixed in with the days that are dated for us as being in Buffy's college semester are episodes from the future in which she's in a doctor's office (her words, because the text parser says psychiatrist, which she thinks is judgmental). This method of storytelling, going back and forth, was a little confusing at first, but after a couple of chapters I got into it and was really just trying to figure the characters out. What did they mean to Buffy, were they part of this "text game", just what was going on? Real life, it seemed, was intangible at times and at others all too real. That feeling made the reading so strange and so tragic at the same time with certain passages and, particularly, when trying to decide how I felt about the ending.The formatting of the book was pretty cool too, as it wasn't set up like a normal book with the words of the text parser relegated to italics or something. I haven't played a text game or RPG in awhile, but this book brought back the feeling of one and that made me quite happy. It's an intriguing setup and definitely an effective one in relaying Buffy's story to the reader.
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  • Kelsey
    June 12, 2017
    It took me awhile to get use to the writing format of this book. It's like reading a video game script and Buffy's brain is the narrator. But once I got use to it, the story really started to unfold. It was really strange and disorienting. Some parts gave me chills. Buffy just keeps struggling to figure out life. Which some people may be able to relate to because right after high school might just be the most difficult time for someone in life. I had to keep reading to know if Buffy was actually It took me awhile to get use to the writing format of this book. It's like reading a video game script and Buffy's brain is the narrator. But once I got use to it, the story really started to unfold. It was really strange and disorienting. Some parts gave me chills. Buffy just keeps struggling to figure out life. Which some people may be able to relate to because right after high school might just be the most difficult time for someone in life. I had to keep reading to know if Buffy was actually respawning when she dies or whether she's schizophrenic like the book’s doctors think or whether she just has an overactive imagination. If you're a lover of video games and psychological thrillers I reccomend this book to you.
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  • Hauntedbybooks
    June 16, 2017
    You need this book in your life. I love how original and creative this book is and how unique the format it is written is. .I couldn't stop reading this book once I started it. I had to know what would happen next. This book also handles some tough topics, but it handles them well. I really enjoyed this read and I think you should read this book. You won't regret it!
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  • Meg Eden
    May 31, 2017
    Can't believe it's just a couple weeks until PHSRQ comes out!
  • Laura Shovan
    June 29, 2017
    I don't review books, but I do blog about them. Meg Eden, author of Post-High School Reality Quest, stopped by for "5 Questions for the Author." http://laurashovan.com/2017/06/5-ques...Congratulations on your debut, Meg! Let’s dive into the interview.1. I love quest stories with female leads. How does Post-High School Reality Quest follow and/or break with the traditional quest narrative?You could say Buffy’s quest is for Tristan, but there’s nothing epic about it. She’s not going to any dramati I don't review books, but I do blog about them. Meg Eden, author of Post-High School Reality Quest, stopped by for "5 Questions for the Author." http://laurashovan.com/2017/06/5-ques...Congratulations on your debut, Meg! Let’s dive into the interview.1. I love quest stories with female leads. How does Post-High School Reality Quest follow and/or break with the traditional quest narrative?You could say Buffy’s quest is for Tristan, but there’s nothing epic about it. She’s not going to any dramatic lengths to get him, despite how much she might want him. What might be more accurate is to say that Buffy’s quest is to survive, to return to normalcy. When I think of quest narratives, I think of journeys and characters that actively travel to get what they want. Buffy isn’t “setting out” on a quest. In fact, her desire is antithetical to “setting out”—if it was up to her, she’d be “setting in,” remaining in the comfort of her patterns. But instead the world is changing around her, the text parser is calling her to action, and she’s just hanging on for the ride.2. It’s interesting that many girl-led quests are about a return to normalcy. There’s Alice, Dorothy, Coraline. But that’s a topic for another day.It’s clear from your main character’s name (Buffy!) that there are a lot of Easter eggs in PHSRQ for geeks and gamers. Can you tell us about a few of those without revealing any spoilers?Buffy’s name for her backpack is “inventory,” a shout-out to a vital attribute in pretty much every game ever. There are some beautifully illustrated memes, including a nod to “You don’t say” Nicholas Cage and “I know that feel, bro.” Merrill’s house has the address number 404, as if it doesn’t exist (a reference to 404 website errors). There’s a love letter written out like code, and a birthday cake written in binary. There are Slave Leia costumes, an NES Super Scope, multiple Pikachu instances, a prized Pokemon Stadium N64 cartridge, and all sorts of other things I’m currently blanking on.3. Your book is written in second person. That’s a challenging point-of-view to write from, but fitting for a novel about video games. Would you explain the importance of the “You” voice for non-gamers?Post-High School Reality Quest is the form of a classic text-adventure game–that is, those old MS-DOS games, before graphics, where the game would narrate what was happening, and you would type in commands to interact with the game (e.g., “You are in a room. There is an axe. Exits are: out.” and to move out of the room, you’d type “out”). By narrating in second person, these games attempted to place the player in the environment as a character in their story. You could say that in text-adventure games, there are two distinct voices: that of the narrator and that of the player. This would be totally different if the games were narrated as “I”—they would make the game and the player one in the same.Narrating from the “you” in PHSRQ allowed me to create conflict between the text parser and Buffy, to have two different narrators and two different goals. First or third person narration wouldn’t inherently carry this conflict.Read the entire post here: http://laurashovan.com/2017/06/5-ques...
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  • Sarah-Jayne Briggs
    June 16, 2017
    (I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).(This review may contain spoilers).When I originally read the blurb of this book, I was immediately intrigued by the concept. The second person perspective did take a bit of getting used to, though. There were a couple of times I found myself almost linking to Buffy, but in a way, I felt that she was more of a one-dimensional character. Even the things she liked weren't really expanded upon. The possible exception was her playing the (I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).(This review may contain spoilers).When I originally read the blurb of this book, I was immediately intrigued by the concept. The second person perspective did take a bit of getting used to, though. There were a couple of times I found myself almost linking to Buffy, but in a way, I felt that she was more of a one-dimensional character. Even the things she liked weren't really expanded upon. The possible exception was her playing the video games, but that happened very rarely.I did find the supporting characters to be more interesting, especially Sephora. I thought it was interesting to see how her friends had problems that Buffy was unaware of. I did like Tristan as a character, but I couldn't really see what Buffy saw in him. In a way, it was like she'd built him up in her mind, and therefore in my mind as a reader... and he just didn't live up to that expectation.I did like seeing the interactions between Buffy and the 'text parser', but although some of the footnotes amused me, I found it a bit harder to get the jokes, as I kept missing where the footnotes were in the narration.I did also find it hard to differentiate between Buffy's roommates. There wasn't a whole lot of depth to them, as all they seemed to be doing was partying and I didn't even know what they were studying. And I would have liked some more details about Jeremy and Alice, as the book kept providing conflicting views of what was really going on between them.I felt there were times the book didn't really follow its own logic. For instance, there were saves and resets that it wasn't clear if it was in Buffy's head, or if reality was just resestting. And I was a bit disappointed to see that the scenes in the psychiatric hospital didn't really seem to go anywhere. I wasn't sure at what point they were supposed to be.Up until the ending, I'd thought this book was one genre in particular and I found the ending to be somewhat more confusing. I did find this book easy and quick to read, though, and the idea was a really unique one. I wouldn't read it again, but it was entertaining to read the first time.
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  • andrea caro
    June 26, 2017
    This book might have been a 4-4.5 star read for me, but there was some excessive slut-shaming and I just couldn't deal. The format is weird. The book is really fucking weird. Stylistically, it was excellent. I don't think I'll ever read another book quite like this one.
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  • Kester Nucum
    May 19, 2017
    Review to come!
  • E.A.
    October 14, 2016
    There's so much emotion in these pages and, amazingly, none of it overwhelms the reader. Pain is countered by joy, grief with understanding, the loss of innocence with the mixed gift of knowledge. Meg Eden has written a novel that's both captivating and funny, one that follows a beautifully-flawed young woman and her friends as they try to understand the complexities of a confusing age. But POST HIGH SCHOOL REALITY QUEST is more than a lovely and unsentimental coming-of-age story; it's the kind There's so much emotion in these pages and, amazingly, none of it overwhelms the reader. Pain is countered by joy, grief with understanding, the loss of innocence with the mixed gift of knowledge. Meg Eden has written a novel that's both captivating and funny, one that follows a beautifully-flawed young woman and her friends as they try to understand the complexities of a confusing age. But POST HIGH SCHOOL REALITY QUEST is more than a lovely and unsentimental coming-of-age story; it's the kind of book that's destined to stand out in your memory, one you quietly, lovingly, think about long after it's finished. E.A. Aymar, You're As Good As Dead
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  • Meg Eden
    January 1, 2017
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