Jeba – Xronixle

Great Read (but how the hell do you say the title?)

Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Girl falls out of love, so boy makes a digital copy of girl, who turns into a cyber god bent on revenge. Just your typical teenage romance for the digital age, right?

Aside from the title (which, seriously, how the hell would you pronounce that?), I really loved this book once I got going with it. The characters are beautifully drawn, if slightly annoying sometimes with their obsessions, and the representation of what life could be like a few years from now is eerie and resonant. The novel gets slightly repetitive in places, with X constantly revisiting and reliving scenes of his time with C, but that seems to be a deliberate choice on the part of the author. With our entire lives available for replay, it’s easy to fall into a loop, living in the past. I also had a slight issue with how quickly everyone falls into obsessive, “I would die for you” love, but they are all teenagers, so I guess it’s not that strange.

One thing I did dislike is that one of the main characters, typically represented as a good guy, gets disturbingly rapey at one point. It’s never addressed afterwards, and there are no consequences for him. I know that that’s how things often play out in real life, but I feel like the author could have taken a stronger stance against it.

I read this after Veneer, a novel by the same author, and when I realized it partway through my enjoyment of it definitely increased. If possible, I definitely recommend reading Veneer first, even though this comes earlier chronologically.

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