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Unplugged

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From New York Times bestselling author Gordon Korman comes a hilarious middle grade novel about a group of kids forced to “unplug” at a wellness camp—where they instead find intrigue, adventure, and a whole lot of chaos. Perfect for fans of Korman’s The Unteachables, the Masterminds series, and Carl Hiaasen’s eco mysteries. As the son of the world’s most famous tech billion From New York Times bestselling author Gordon Korman comes a hilarious middle grade novel about a group of kids forced to “unplug” at a wellness camp—where they instead find intrigue, adventure, and a whole lot of chaos. Perfect for fans of Korman’s The Unteachables, the Masterminds series, and Carl Hiaasen’s eco mysteries. As the son of the world’s most famous tech billionaire, Jett Baranov has always gotten exactly what he wanted. So, when his father’s private jet drops him in the middle of Little Rock, Arkansas, at a wellness camp called the Oasis, Jett can’t believe it. He’s forced to hand over his cell phone, eat grainy veggie patties, and participate in wholesome activities with the other kids. At the Oasis, he meets Grace, who is his polar opposite. She thrives in the wellness atmosphere and resents Jett’s terrible attitude. Then there’s Tyrell, who suffers from a dizzying list of food allergies that render him constantly itchy. And also Brooklynne, a girl who definitely seems to be hiding something. As the weeks go on, Jett starts to get used to the unplugged life and even bonds with the other kids over their discovery of a baby lizard-turned-pet, Needles. But he can’t help noticing that the adults at the Oasis are acting really strange… Jett is determined to get to the bottom of things, but can he convince the other kids that he is no longer just a spoiled brat making trouble?


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From New York Times bestselling author Gordon Korman comes a hilarious middle grade novel about a group of kids forced to “unplug” at a wellness camp—where they instead find intrigue, adventure, and a whole lot of chaos. Perfect for fans of Korman’s The Unteachables, the Masterminds series, and Carl Hiaasen’s eco mysteries. As the son of the world’s most famous tech billion From New York Times bestselling author Gordon Korman comes a hilarious middle grade novel about a group of kids forced to “unplug” at a wellness camp—where they instead find intrigue, adventure, and a whole lot of chaos. Perfect for fans of Korman’s The Unteachables, the Masterminds series, and Carl Hiaasen’s eco mysteries. As the son of the world’s most famous tech billionaire, Jett Baranov has always gotten exactly what he wanted. So, when his father’s private jet drops him in the middle of Little Rock, Arkansas, at a wellness camp called the Oasis, Jett can’t believe it. He’s forced to hand over his cell phone, eat grainy veggie patties, and participate in wholesome activities with the other kids. At the Oasis, he meets Grace, who is his polar opposite. She thrives in the wellness atmosphere and resents Jett’s terrible attitude. Then there’s Tyrell, who suffers from a dizzying list of food allergies that render him constantly itchy. And also Brooklynne, a girl who definitely seems to be hiding something. As the weeks go on, Jett starts to get used to the unplugged life and even bonds with the other kids over their discovery of a baby lizard-turned-pet, Needles. But he can’t help noticing that the adults at the Oasis are acting really strange… Jett is determined to get to the bottom of things, but can he convince the other kids that he is no longer just a spoiled brat making trouble?

30 review for Unplugged

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book. As I come closer to 50 I seem to get more nostalgic about my youth. As an early teen I read all the Gordon Korman books i could and loved Bruno and Boots. One factor that made me such a fan, and the reason I requested this title was the subversive humor Korman used throughout his writing. Although there are clever scenes and dialogue in this title it did not quite give my heart a glow and my tummy a chuckle that his other Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book. As I come closer to 50 I seem to get more nostalgic about my youth. As an early teen I read all the Gordon Korman books i could and loved Bruno and Boots. One factor that made me such a fan, and the reason I requested this title was the subversive humor Korman used throughout his writing. Although there are clever scenes and dialogue in this title it did not quite give my heart a glow and my tummy a chuckle that his other books did. I would recommend this title as a good jumping on point to discover some of his other works.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Do you ever get so excited to read a book that is coming out next year? Yes, next year! I don't know about you but I really do get excited. It honestly doesn't even matter what kind of genre it is, I'm in. That being said, Unplugged was a pretty good book to dive into. First off, that cover is just all kinds of adorable. Second, a retreat where people unplug and connect with other people - Gasp! I mean it sounds kind of fak I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Do you ever get so excited to read a book that is coming out next year? Yes, next year! I don't know about you but I really do get excited. It honestly doesn't even matter what kind of genre it is, I'm in. That being said, Unplugged was a pretty good book to dive into. First off, that cover is just all kinds of adorable. Second, a retreat where people unplug and connect with other people - Gasp! I mean it sounds kind of fake since we are currently living through this pandemic. Yet, in this world there's no such thing as COVID-19. So, in a way, I was all for it because that just means more times for me and my books.. and less time for distractions and people. Long story short, sign me up for some peace and quiet. Besides that, the characters were okay. A bit predictable and cliché at times but I still enjoyed everything that was happening. I would've enjoyed a bit more personal growth but I can be satisfied with what was done.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus The Oasis meditation retreat, run by Magnus Fellini and his assistant Ivory, attracts all sorts of people who want to unplug, destress, and learn healthy habits. There's Grace, who is very invested in the healthy living and comes with her family every year. Brooklyn really wants to have the level of enthusiasm that Grace has, but isn't that into it. Brandon's former football player father likes the family to come so they can watch their weight, and Tyrell is so be E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus The Oasis meditation retreat, run by Magnus Fellini and his assistant Ivory, attracts all sorts of people who want to unplug, destress, and learn healthy habits. There's Grace, who is very invested in the healthy living and comes with her family every year. Brooklyn really wants to have the level of enthusiasm that Grace has, but isn't that into it. Brandon's former football player father likes the family to come so they can watch their weight, and Tyrell is so beset by allergies that he'll try anything, even the boiling hot springs. The most disruptive guest, however, is Jett Baranov, the son of the founder of Fuego industries, who invented all manner of technology upon which people have become dependent. Jett is a jerk, and after a series of unpleasant actions on his part, his father sends him to Oasis with a handler, Matt. Jett isn't happy about giving up all of his technology and eating a vegetarian diet, and he makes his displeasure known by being difficult during meditation, stealing his phone back and ordering a vast amount of merchandise, and generally proving his father's point in sending him away. When Grace finds a tiny, helpless lizard, she enlists his aid, along with that of Brooklyn and Tyrell. The four break out of camp and go to nearby Hedge Apple to get meat for their new pet, and pick up some candy bars and other goodies along the way. Grace isn't happy about that, but they are useful when they are blackmailed by Brandon, and Jett finds a side line making money selling the candy at a profit, During repeated trips to the town, Jett is intrigued by a mansion, and the owner, Snapper, who seems out of place in Arkansas. He and Brandon also notice that the parents, who do "deeper" meditation with Ivory, are acting strangely. While dealing with the lizard, Needles, Jett becomes a little less problematic, and does start to work better with others. Will the group be able to solve the mysteries that have arisen, fueled only by veggie burgers and the occasional candy bar? Strengths: Korman works are the hoodies of middle grade literature. When you don't know what else to wear, you can count on a hoodie to always keep you happy, cozy and comfortable. The characters are amusing, the plots easy to follow, the twists surprising, and the funny instances perfectly amusing. I love how his characters always manage to work together, and evolve in surprising ways. I loved Matt's path! This had a bit of a Swindle vibe that I didn't expect. Some reviewers say that the book was a bit cliche, but I look at it this way. I'm not going to wear hoodies to school every day; I'm an adult. It would be right. But like hoodies, Gordon Korman's books always fit middle school students just right. Weaknesses: Jett referred to Magnus as "Nimbus" as a derogatory term, and for some reason this just grated on me! What I really think: I think librarians and teachers should crowd fund a personal chef and personal trainer for Mr. Korman so that he lives to a healthy, productive old age!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    Jett Baranov is a mega richs spoiled brat and he has been exiled to a wellness camp in the Arkansas boonies for six weeks. The Oasis is low frills, no tech, and vegetarian. Jett is bored to tears and resisting the good life. Will the camp change him before he can change the camp? Korman gives us a rich cast of characters and some mysteries to solve. Why does Brooklynne participate so little yet know so much? What would happen if someone started selling black market candy bar around camp? What is Jett Baranov is a mega richs spoiled brat and he has been exiled to a wellness camp in the Arkansas boonies for six weeks. The Oasis is low frills, no tech, and vegetarian. Jett is bored to tears and resisting the good life. Will the camp change him before he can change the camp? Korman gives us a rich cast of characters and some mysteries to solve. Why does Brooklynne participate so little yet know so much? What would happen if someone started selling black market candy bar around camp? What is going on at the big fancy house just down the road? Books like this are so appealing to rule-followers like me. I love seeing how the other half lives. Thank you to HarperCollins and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aly

    This was a cute read. I liked the friendships, the mystery, and it had a good pace. Jett starts out as a bratty twelve year old who's forced to attend a technology and meat free retreat. He pushes back and tries to make life miserable for the other attendees until he finds a lizard that he names Needles. The secret pet brings Jett together with Tyrell, Grace, and Brooklyn. The group become friends and start to enjoy their time. The mystery was a bit silly, but I liked seeing Jett investigate and This was a cute read. I liked the friendships, the mystery, and it had a good pace. Jett starts out as a bratty twelve year old who's forced to attend a technology and meat free retreat. He pushes back and tries to make life miserable for the other attendees until he finds a lizard that he names Needles. The secret pet brings Jett together with Tyrell, Grace, and Brooklyn. The group become friends and start to enjoy their time. The mystery was a bit silly, but I liked seeing Jett investigate and the climax of it all was exciting. It also lent some drama to the story and I was happy with the changes Jett went through. He's at an age where he starts deciding what kind of person he's going to be and I think he made some good steps in the right direction. The automated voice that read the audiobook was okay, but it was a bit difficult telling the different characters apart. I'm sure once there's a human narrator that problem will go away. I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    Another great middle school book by Gordon Korman told in multiple perspectives of tweens who are sent to Wholeness Oasis summer camp. All attendees must turn in their electronic devices and be ready to eat as a vegetarian and meditate regularly. One unlikely camper is Jett, a billionaire’s son who was sent to the Oasis as punishment. Loved this one almost as much a Restart.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Etienne

    3,5/5. Good audibook, the narrator was great and the story itself was fun. Not the most original middle grade «plot», but I like the setting of an unplugged retreat for children and the morale it try to pass on, with subtility to not overtake the story, but still present. The characters were a bit strong on stereotypes, but it didn't bother me much. Overall an entertaining and enjoyable middle grade book with a some depth to it, that compensate for the low originality. I like it! 3,5/5. Good audibook, the narrator was great and the story itself was fun. Not the most original middle grade «plot», but I like the setting of an unplugged retreat for children and the morale it try to pass on, with subtility to not overtake the story, but still present. The characters were a bit strong on stereotypes, but it didn't bother me much. Overall an entertaining and enjoyable middle grade book with a some depth to it, that compensate for the low originality. I like it!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Perednia

    Jett Baranov, the only son of a Silicon Valley genius whose companies are like Google, Apple and Microsoft combined, is en route to Oasis, a wellness resort in the middle of nowhere, Arkansas. He's not going willingly. He's going because he's caused one uproar too many. Accompanied by an employee of his father, Jett is determined to get back home or cause even more trouble. Or both. Giving up all his devices and deprived of tech upon his arrival only makes him more determined, especially when fac Jett Baranov, the only son of a Silicon Valley genius whose companies are like Google, Apple and Microsoft combined, is en route to Oasis, a wellness resort in the middle of nowhere, Arkansas. He's not going willingly. He's going because he's caused one uproar too many. Accompanied by an employee of his father, Jett is determined to get back home or cause even more trouble. Or both. Giving up all his devices and deprived of tech upon his arrival only makes him more determined, especially when faced when an all-veggie diet. Gordon Korman's latest middle grade adventure, Unplugged, is not only Jett's story. There are other young teens at the resort, their families, his companion and those who run the resort. Magnus created Oasis. His number two is Ivory, a tall, tough-looking woman who specializes in hypnosis counseling sessions. Magnus can do no wrong in Grace Atwater's book. She and her mother have been coming to Oasis for years, leaving her dad and dog at home while they meditate, zip line and paddle in the lake. Everything about Jett is wrong to Grace, and she wants him to leave as much as he does. Tyrell Karrigan is allergic to everything and hapless about just about everything. Brooklynne Feldman comes and goes to camp activities as she pleases. Grace and Tyrell aren't even sure who her parents are, but Brooklynne has been coming to Oasis longer than they have. When Jett finds a baby reptile in the hot springs pool, the kids band together to take care of little Needles. They end up bonding together in a story that doesn't force them into becoming friends. Their bond serves them well when Jett's trips to town to get meat for Needles lead to a surprising discovery. The discovery leads to a wild action adventure-style climax, but one that middle grade readers will enjoy. Korman, an accomplished author of dozens of novels, does a great job providing adventure and characters to care about. Unplugged is a fun and engaging novel.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alice 🌙

    I got this audiobook from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review 4/5 ⭐️ Super cute story about life with no phones at a camp and that you can actually have a life when you’re not attached to your phone 24/7.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    Cute little story, definitely about different kids, though still a little white bread with some Ritchie Rich mixed in. How do you not recognize an alligator?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kim Tyo-Dickerson

    Digital Review Copy provided by Edelweiss+ and Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins publishers. Unplugged is a great middle grade summer romp full of pranks gone wrong, forbidden technology, snarky humor and multiple mysteries that new and old fans of Gordon Korman's books will love. When Jett Baranov finds himself landing in rural Arkansas at the Oasis of Mind and Body Wellness camp, he is forced to hand over all his devices and prepare for six weeks of enjoying vegetarian cuisine, soaking in boiling hot Digital Review Copy provided by Edelweiss+ and Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins publishers. Unplugged is a great middle grade summer romp full of pranks gone wrong, forbidden technology, snarky humor and multiple mysteries that new and old fans of Gordon Korman's books will love. When Jett Baranov finds himself landing in rural Arkansas at the Oasis of Mind and Body Wellness camp, he is forced to hand over all his devices and prepare for six weeks of enjoying vegetarian cuisine, soaking in boiling hot springs, meditating in a group, and unplugging for the duration. Jett can't believe it. Sure his last stunt involving a drone and Air Force airspace was perhaps ill-advised, but what's the big deal? His dad, Vladimir Baranov, the most famous tech billionaire in the world, has always cleaned up his messes before. Jett thinks he will find a quick way to get kicked out of the camp and be back on his family's private jet with all his devices back in his pockets. But it isn't as easy as it looks. The other kids at the camp are mostly unimpressed with Jett's wealth and attitude. Grace comes to Oasis every summer and is devoted to the rest and relaxation built into the program. Tyrell for the most part follows Grace's lead every summer and is beset by multiple allergies and rashes while his parents focus on their plans for weight loss. Brooklynne skirts the edges of the camp barely participating and spending most of her time alone and watching everyone else. Jett's mouth and antics get on everyone's nerves and he is close to blowing the whole vibe of the camp until one day things change when Grace finds a small lizard near the hot springs. One by one, Jett, Tyrell and Brooklynne are brought into the secret of taking care of little Needles, named after the tiny teeth that he uses to clamp down on their fingers, and become unlikely friends while hiding their secret pet. While enjoying taking care of Needles and managing some secret trips to a local village for contraband candy bars, raw ground beef for Needles and fried chicken dinners, Jett is stunned to realize that he actually has friends. He actually loves Needles. And with his newfound connection to the others, tries to make them notice how weird the adults at the Oasis act, especially after private meditation sessions with the camp's meditation guru Ivory. Jett isn't being a jerk this time, but it's hard to change his reputation. Things get messy. And he still can't stop wondering why a massive mansion full of swanky decor and sports cars is doing in the middle of the woods not far from the camp? Jett has to reckon with his history of making trouble and fabrication when no one believes his warnings that something isn't right at the Oasis. Will his new friends believe him when he finds proof or will his reputation as an unreliable trouble-maker put them all in danger? Recommended for Realistic Fiction, Humor, and Mystery fans grades 5 and up.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Dulaney

    Gordon Korman gives MG readers and those who love their books another winner! Just like the Slacker and Ungifted series, Unplugged is not quite realistic fiction, but while immersed in the settings of regular things like school and camp, it sure seems like every bit could actually happen. In Unplugged, spoiled rich boy Jett has been sent off to a specialized summer camp designed to reduce distractions and amp up healthy eating and other good life habits such as exercise and relaxation//meditatio Gordon Korman gives MG readers and those who love their books another winner! Just like the Slacker and Ungifted series, Unplugged is not quite realistic fiction, but while immersed in the settings of regular things like school and camp, it sure seems like every bit could actually happen. In Unplugged, spoiled rich boy Jett has been sent off to a specialized summer camp designed to reduce distractions and amp up healthy eating and other good life habits such as exercise and relaxation//meditation techniques. Jett doesn’t want any part of it, but with his techie devices gone and his father-appointed adult sitter on the job, he has no other choice but to endure until he can figure out a way to cause enough trouble that he will be expelled. When a reptile named Needles, a mysterious mansion owned by a reclusive Ferrari-driving maniac, and a few campers around his age get thrown into the mix, Korman successfully weaves a storyline that will keep most any 4th-8th grade reader hooked until the satisfying, if not expected, conclusion. ELA teachers should keep this, and other Korman novels, in quantities that will allow literature circles to discover great characterization, clear plot progression, and excellent descriptive passages and libraries serving a MG population can add Unplugged to the FIC KOR shelf without any concern in regards to profanity, sexual content or violence. Highly recommended. Thanks for the dARC, Edelweiss and NetGalley.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    This was a fun Audiobook. But Korman is such a powerhouse in middle grade fiction that is to be expected. Jett is the son of one of the richest people in the world (think Jeff Bezos) and acts like it. After getting into a bit of trouble back home, dad packs him and his minder off to the backwoods of Little Rock, Arkansas and the wellness retreat The Oasis. Rule number one at Oasis? Completely unplug. This is a time for meditation, mindfulness, getting back to nature and finding yourself. The las This was a fun Audiobook. But Korman is such a powerhouse in middle grade fiction that is to be expected. Jett is the son of one of the richest people in the world (think Jeff Bezos) and acts like it. After getting into a bit of trouble back home, dad packs him and his minder off to the backwoods of Little Rock, Arkansas and the wellness retreat The Oasis. Rule number one at Oasis? Completely unplug. This is a time for meditation, mindfulness, getting back to nature and finding yourself. The last thing Jett wants to do is find himself. Grace is a “camper” who comes every summer and she loves it. She is totally into the lifestyle of the Oasis. Then there are the other kid campers and adult ones to (this is a family place after all). But Jett, especially the trouble making precocious kind will be kids. They take in a baby lizard they name Needles (because its bite is worse than it’s bark), and discover that things at the Oasis are not always what they seem. This book was a laugh riot with lots of heart. However, I thought the ending was way rushed. So much time was built building up the Oasis and trying to reform Jett, that the mystery at the end came as a bit of a shock and almost seemed out of place. This book was enjoyable, and kids will love it, but Korman has done better.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kylie

    I was provided a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. A lot of this book, I didn't really know what the plot was. It was just about a spoiled rich kid being sent to a camp where all the electronics are taken away, they eat healthy and meditate. When we finally figured out where the book was going, I really did enjoy it, but up until then it was very average. Jett was quite annoying, but that was his character, being spoiled and rich. The other characters were kind of I was provided a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. A lot of this book, I didn't really know what the plot was. It was just about a spoiled rich kid being sent to a camp where all the electronics are taken away, they eat healthy and meditate. When we finally figured out where the book was going, I really did enjoy it, but up until then it was very average. Jett was quite annoying, but that was his character, being spoiled and rich. The other characters were kind of bland to me. I think it may have been the audiobook narrator though. I didn't really enjoy the narrator. He used the exact same voice for all of the characters and the way he talked and put emphasis on some words was just weird and made it hard to listen to at some points. So I really had no idea who's POV we were listening to unless someone said the name. I loved Needles and how the kids took care of it (him?). What Needles actually ended up being and how he tied into the "big reveal" at the end was really fun and something I completely wasn't expecting. The ending was super fast paced and exciting. I think I would have enjoyed this more when I was younger, but overall it was a really cute and fun book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chaitra

    I picked this book to read it with my son, but eventually decided it was a little older skewing and read it myself. It was fine, a bit silly, but I'd expected that level of silliness. The kids are jerks, each in their own way, except for maybe Tyrell. I felt a little scared for Tyrell's home situation actually - his parents are way too invested in fads and seem to absolutely not care about his allergies (those can get serious pretty quickly for goodness' sake) and his older sister is borderline I picked this book to read it with my son, but eventually decided it was a little older skewing and read it myself. It was fine, a bit silly, but I'd expected that level of silliness. The kids are jerks, each in their own way, except for maybe Tyrell. I felt a little scared for Tyrell's home situation actually - his parents are way too invested in fads and seem to absolutely not care about his allergies (those can get serious pretty quickly for goodness' sake) and his older sister is borderline abusive. But Tyrell himself is sweet. Jett is a spoiled uber-rich kid who flies drones into incoming aircraft. Grace is the good girl teacher's pet who seems to have rather scary levels of devotion to the camp. Brooklynne is a loner who knows her way around the camp a little too much for the other kids to trust her. And they all bond over Needles (it's quite obvious what Needles is, but it's not to the kids. Which probably goes to show that these kids know nothing if they're not connected to the internet. Actually, one of them does turn out to be connected the whole time, and could have easily googled it). Other than the absolutely annoying levels of vegetarian food bashing, it was an easy read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Nocita

    Jett Baranov is a super wealthy kid largely ignored by his uber busy, self absorbed parents. Consequently, he is preoccupied with getting attention by any means possible, the more obnoxious, the better. When his latest prank goes too far, Jett finds himself spirited way on the company jet to a wellness retreat in a desolate area of Arkansas accompanied by one of his father’s employees, Matt, a young programmer reassigned to be Jett’s summer babysitter. THE OASIS OF MIND AND BODY WELLNESS might j Jett Baranov is a super wealthy kid largely ignored by his uber busy, self absorbed parents. Consequently, he is preoccupied with getting attention by any means possible, the more obnoxious, the better. When his latest prank goes too far, Jett finds himself spirited way on the company jet to a wellness retreat in a desolate area of Arkansas accompanied by one of his father’s employees, Matt, a young programmer reassigned to be Jett’s summer babysitter. THE OASIS OF MIND AND BODY WELLNESS might just be what Jett needs to find his center and, maybe, a few friends. But first he needs to find a missing reptile named Needles and figure out what Ivory, the meditation director, is really up to. This is a light, middle grade mystery. Fans will recognize Korman’s trademark protagonist: snarky, under appreciated, good hearted. The plot doesn’t flow completely smoothly and character development is under developed. There’s a lot of tell versus show. The premise is not entirely believable. It almost feels like Korman drew three slips from a coffee mug plot generator and decided to see what he could do with them. Spoiled, rich kid? Check. Wellness and Meditation? Check. Alligators? Check. Jett is not a likable character but it’s hard to fault him when he has really rotten parents who are too important and too busy to even be in his life. They’re deplorable. Why is Jett sent to, of all places, a wellness retreat in the remote wilds of Arkansas as a punishment? Very weird. I was expecting there to be some mysterious reveal as to why but that never happens. And alligators? I’ll leave it at that. I’m a big fan of Korman so it pains me to say that this one wasn’t a favorite. However, I think for less discerning middle grade readers who love Korman’s other mysteries, like Swindled, Unplugged may be perfect. Thank you NetGalley for providing this Advance Reader’s e-proof courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Faith Hurst-Bilinski

    Imagine a summer camp that is so boring and horrible that four kids who mostly don't even like each other would bond over a lizard. That is The Oasis. Told from multiple points of view which are often difficult to distinguish due to the robotic reading (I can enjoy a book well enough with this voice sometimes but it is definitely suited to a one POV book better than this one) we know that most of these kids are pretty one dimensional and not very likable. I sometimes try to put myself in my stud Imagine a summer camp that is so boring and horrible that four kids who mostly don't even like each other would bond over a lizard. That is The Oasis. Told from multiple points of view which are often difficult to distinguish due to the robotic reading (I can enjoy a book well enough with this voice sometimes but it is definitely suited to a one POV book better than this one) we know that most of these kids are pretty one dimensional and not very likable. I sometimes try to put myself in my students' place when reading something like this. Then I realize that when I'm doing that, the book isn't as good as when I don't even think of that. Literature for children should be just as engaging and well developed as literature for adults. Just with different word choices and situations when necessary. These characters were all a little too flat for me. I think middle aged kids will read it and think, "That was good." I do not think they will reread it or tell their friends they should read it. I guess that is my bar.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Lonely rich kid, often ignored by famous parents and in an effort to get attention, pulls prank after prank. When his latest prank almost hurts someone, he gets shipped off to a health and wellness camp. There he is forced to give up all electronics. After doing all he can to get thrown out, he finally figures out that having friends and doing what is right might be the best way to get attention. Told in multiple POVs, this is action packed, a bit of mystery involving a townie, and humorous. Not Lonely rich kid, often ignored by famous parents and in an effort to get attention, pulls prank after prank. When his latest prank almost hurts someone, he gets shipped off to a health and wellness camp. There he is forced to give up all electronics. After doing all he can to get thrown out, he finally figures out that having friends and doing what is right might be the best way to get attention. Told in multiple POVs, this is action packed, a bit of mystery involving a townie, and humorous. Not my favorite Korman story - but well worth a read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    TheNextGenLibrarian

    Adorable cover! I really disliked the audiobook’s narrator so I had to download the ARC from Netgalley. I enjoyed the premise of this book: rich kid needs to unplug to find out who he is and wants to be. I would have liked a bit more personal growth, but really enjoyed the idea behind it. I believe we all need to unplug more in our lives. It’s a good message for kids. Thanks Netgalley for an ARC. All opinions are my own.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Adri

    I must admit...I audio booked this book, haha. It was an amazing book! I loved it! A mystery it was, from finding the mansion to the alligator farm...I was yearning for more. I was so surprised at some parts my jaw dropped to the floor! Very intriguing looking forward to a possible trilogy or series!! I recommend it if your looking for an exciting mystery. Final Grade- A

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Very entertaining middle grade read about kids who have to “unplug” at a wellness spa that is more than meets the eye. The rag group of kids soon puts 2 and 2 Together add a baby alligator And chaos ensues. An exciting page turner to the end.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Thomas

    It's a good twist on becoming "unplugged" It's a good twist on becoming "unplugged"

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sage

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. funny and good i liked how he was spoiled, but how did he not know needles was an alligator?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Julie Carpenter

    I've been a fan of Gordon Korman's books since I discovered the 39 Clues. I loved them. I've enjoyed other of his books since the 39 Clues series. Even though I'm past the age for the main demographics this book is geared towards, I still enjoy reading them. The characters are fun and their dry humor can pull a laugh from me. The cover of this book is fabulous! I saw it and instantly wanted to know what this book was about. Reading the synopsis further clinched my desire to dive into this one. I I've been a fan of Gordon Korman's books since I discovered the 39 Clues. I loved them. I've enjoyed other of his books since the 39 Clues series. Even though I'm past the age for the main demographics this book is geared towards, I still enjoy reading them. The characters are fun and their dry humor can pull a laugh from me. The cover of this book is fabulous! I saw it and instantly wanted to know what this book was about. Reading the synopsis further clinched my desire to dive into this one. It was quite entertaining and kept me company while I listened and did work around my home. Get ready to meet an eclectic cast of characters. Teenagers and up. Jett is our main character, who has gotten himself into a few too many scraps and problems. His dad is done and without Jett knowing, sends him to The Oasis. Where Jett gets to try to tap into a world of mindfulness without any comforts or distractions of technology or any outside resources. Good luck Jett! He instantly meets several different characters who are also at The Oasis. Some of them by choice because of their parents taking the whole family, and others not quite by choice but by life. Jett's commentary is pretty funny. He doesn't make the best impressions but soon there are a couple things that draw the other characters close to his age together. This mysterious lizard. Sneaking out of the compound. Snickers. And a little subterfuge. The other characters get to throw in their thoughts as well, as the POV changes. I loved getting more little bits and pieces of all of their stories as these clues led to the ending and some possible friendships. Definitely a book I think several middle-grade readers will really enjoy and those readers who are still kids at heart. Content: Clean I received an audiobook copy from the publisher, Harper Audio (Balzer + Bray), via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions in the review are my own. Happy Reading!!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Mommy Booknerd http://mrsmommybooknerd.blogspot.com

    #FirstLine - Matt says I could see the majestic beauty of the American Southeast if I’d bother to glance out the window. Korman has a way he writes that captures your attention and ignites your imagination simultaneously. I loved this book so much. YA readers are going to love Unplugged, whether you listen to it or read it. I had the pleasure to do both and enjoyed both reading experience very much. This book has everything...an original story, adventure, suspense, mystery, great characters and #FirstLine - Matt says I could see the majestic beauty of the American Southeast if I’d bother to glance out the window. Korman has a way he writes that captures your attention and ignites your imagination simultaneously. I loved this book so much. YA readers are going to love Unplugged, whether you listen to it or read it. I had the pleasure to do both and enjoyed both reading experience very much. This book has everything...an original story, adventure, suspense, mystery, great characters and a plot that moves quickly. I thought the various perspectives added depth to the story. You were able to enjoy the story from multiple points of view, which made it so fun to read. I adored the humor and dialogue too. It was spot on. Kids and adults alike will love this book. I highly recommend this amazing action story!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This was the best YA book that I have read in a while. I would definitely use this book as a read a loud in the classroom. Jett is a famous billionaires son. He has once again done something that it hard for his dad to clean up with money. Him and his "caretaker" are shipped to a Wellness Center. Phones are taken away right when you walk in. The beginning Jett tries everything to be kicked out. Once he realizes that something fishy is going on at the center, he begins to friends. What will happe This was the best YA book that I have read in a while. I would definitely use this book as a read a loud in the classroom. Jett is a famous billionaires son. He has once again done something that it hard for his dad to clean up with money. Him and his "caretaker" are shipped to a Wellness Center. Phones are taken away right when you walk in. The beginning Jett tries everything to be kicked out. Once he realizes that something fishy is going on at the center, he begins to friends. What will happen when he realizes

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jenna Rideout

    Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for granting me access to this title in exchange for an honest review. Unplugged in the story of Jett, a 12-year-old spoiled rich kid whose father is a billionaire tech mogul. After getting in trouble one too many times, Jett is sent to spend his summer at the Oasis, under the watchful eye of one of his father's employees, Matt, and to Jett's utter dismay the Oasis is a hippy-like commune of mindfulness, lots of yoga, a vegan diet, and absolu Thank you to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for granting me access to this title in exchange for an honest review. Unplugged in the story of Jett, a 12-year-old spoiled rich kid whose father is a billionaire tech mogul. After getting in trouble one too many times, Jett is sent to spend his summer at the Oasis, under the watchful eye of one of his father's employees, Matt, and to Jett's utter dismay the Oasis is a hippy-like commune of mindfulness, lots of yoga, a vegan diet, and absolutely no personal electronics. It's also in the middle of swampland, Arkansas. While at Oasis, Jett butts heads with the other kids in attendance, who've all acclimated to the atmosphere of the place and find his rebellious attitude disruptive. Until they rescue a small lizard in need of non-vegan sustenance, that is. For most of the book, this is the story of unlikely friends bonding over shared responsibility for a contraband pet. In a vacuum, I like this concept of this novel. Spoiled tech brat thrown into a tech-free situation and forced to socialize in person. The idea has a lot of potential, and while I haven't personally read other titles by this author, I recognize many of his titles from seeing them in the homes of friends with younger siblings in my teenage years. That, combined with the very attractive cover art and curiosity over the experimental pre-production synethetic voice audio ARCs now being offered are what made me request this title to review. In execution, this book fell short of my expectations. It has far too many POV characters who have such similar voices that I was rarely sure which character I was reading. We've got a whiny spoiled brat, a kid who's way too into the Oasis mentality, a kid who's allergic to everything but not too bothered by it, somebody's sister, some bully, Matt the programmer-turned-baby sister, and I think the surprise reveal girl is yet a different character and not one of the previously mentioned kids? My opinions on the POV characters ranged from neutral detatchment to annoyance to hatred. (Jett is insufferable.) None of the characters made me care, and some made no meaningful impact on the story. This book could have been written with half the POVs (and likely half the pages) and still tell the story it set out to tell. Since I was listening to an audio ARC, I increased the playback speed and powered through, but had I been reading the text for myself this would have been a DNF for me. I would like to give my compliments to the cover artist, as the cover caught my eye and made me want to read the book no matter what it was about. Featuring the "lizard" Needles (why did none of the kids call it a baby gator for 99% of the book? It's clearly a baby gator...) was a great choice, as he ended up being my favourite character. This book is 2 stars for me because I could not get past my dislike of all the POV characters. Perhaps someone younger would connect better with the characters. I'm 32, a mother, and the daughter and sister of teachers. These kids are our nightmares. Perhaps teenage readers who haven't had experience working with spoiled brats would be more forgiving.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    “He has no idea how having friends — human and reptile — changes everything about a guy’s priorities. And how doing the right thing can be more important than doing what makes you happy — even when it hurts.” They have all come to the Oasis of the Mind and Body. Some by choice and some not. Run by Magnus Fellini and Ivory Novis, Oasis follows the motto Be Whole and relies on the pillars of Meditation, Good Nutrition, and Physical Exercise to achieve that motto. In practical terms, that means no t “He has no idea how having friends — human and reptile — changes everything about a guy’s priorities. And how doing the right thing can be more important than doing what makes you happy — even when it hurts.” They have all come to the Oasis of the Mind and Body. Some by choice and some not. Run by Magnus Fellini and Ivory Novis, Oasis follows the motto Be Whole and relies on the pillars of Meditation, Good Nutrition, and Physical Exercise to achieve that motto. In practical terms, that means no technology, no meat or sugar but lots of meditation, hot springs and yoga classes. Forced into this situation is Jett Baranov, son of super rich Vladimir Baranov, owner of the tech giant Fuego. Jett is your typical spoiled rich kid, kicked out of three private schools and always relying on Daddy's money to smooth over any problems he causes. He earns his ticket to Oasis by flying his drone into the air space of the San Francisco Airport and causing chaos. In his own words: “Fertilizer meet fan.” Also at Oasis is Grace Atwater, who comes every summer with her mother. Grace is the “follower of rules, asker of permission, recipient of awards for good behavior and perfect attendance.” She believes in Magnus and Ivory and their philosophy and participates heartily. Tyrell Karrigan, who is with his family including angry sister Sarah, participates but is in agony most of the time due to extensive allergies. And then there is Brooklynne Feldman, the unknown quantity. She never participates in activities but seems to know the grounds better than anyone. She “always has a lot of inside info, but she’s pretty short on details about how all the seeing and knowing happens.” Is she some sort of spy for Oasis? What brings these four very different kids together is Needles, a very strange lizard that Grace finds. She knows that Needles can't survive on his own, so it will require her to break a boatload of rules to keep Needles safe and fed. Who better to help her than Jett, who is master of breaking rules? Interestingly enough, as they care for Needles, a strong bond of friendship grows between the four of them. This is especially new territory for Jett, who generally has no friends at home. But can they trust each other enough to solve a mystery that seems to have something to do with the huge mansion in town and the mysterious one-on-one meditation sessions that the adults at Oasis all have with Ivory Novis? Great voice and a fun adventure for students to read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Thank you so much to Harper Audio and NetGalley for letting me listen and review this fun MG audiobook. It was done in with a synthetic voice so I can't comment on the narrator. It was enjoyable listening to the voice galley and I liked this entertaining MG story a lot. It was a bit of a slow start for me when listening to this story, but it picked up a little way into it, and then it kept picking up as the story kept moving along and the last half was the more intense part of the story where a l Thank you so much to Harper Audio and NetGalley for letting me listen and review this fun MG audiobook. It was done in with a synthetic voice so I can't comment on the narrator. It was enjoyable listening to the voice galley and I liked this entertaining MG story a lot. It was a bit of a slow start for me when listening to this story, but it picked up a little way into it, and then it kept picking up as the story kept moving along and the last half was the more intense part of the story where a lot of the action happened. It had a great ending and some good lessons and subjects that could be discussed from it that would be good for MG kids and also, anyone, could enjoy it and get a lot out of it. This was a very uplifting and enjoyable camp story about kids and their families/friends that end up at a wellness camp and have to unplug. They have to learn how to work on being healthy, active, and doing things without always using phones and technology. It's about the main character, Jett, who's a spoiled rich kid because his Dad is a rich tech billionaire. Jett has always gotten what he wanted and then he goes too far with some stunts he pulls so his Dad has him sent to this wellness camp called The Oasis. At the camp, Jett and everyone else has to hand over their cell phones, eat veggie burgers and other healthy foods and participate in wholesome activities like meditation, ziplining, and so forth. After being angry for a bit, Jett finds that he starts to enjoy himself and make friends with a few others who he bonds with over having a pet lizard they name Needles. Jett notices after a while thought that all the adults at the camp act weird and he starts to wonder what's going on and then investigates to find out if there's something wrong and what it is. He has to figure a lot out by himself at first and then hopes the others will listen to him. They end up finding and figuring out some interesting things and learning more about themselves and that life outside of the plugged-in world is good fun and educational for them too. It's a very entertaining, enjoyable, and great MG story with adventure, mayhem, uplifting mood, and great fun for everyone. Make sure to put it on your list so you can be ready to read and enjoy it when it comes out!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    "I don't know if I'm doing the right thing, but I'm positive it's the right thing for me." I'm a big Gordon Korman fan. He writes great stories for middle grade readers and I have yet to meet a middle school kid who doesn't like Gordon Korman's work. I was thrilled when I found Korman's latest middle grade book in my approved NetGalley releases - and even more thrilled that I got a listening copy as I knew I would actually read this one by publication date! Note to self: the advanced listening co "I don't know if I'm doing the right thing, but I'm positive it's the right thing for me." I'm a big Gordon Korman fan. He writes great stories for middle grade readers and I have yet to meet a middle school kid who doesn't like Gordon Korman's work. I was thrilled when I found Korman's latest middle grade book in my approved NetGalley releases - and even more thrilled that I got a listening copy as I knew I would actually read this one by publication date! Note to self: the advanced listening copies are a treat of their own. They feature a synthesized voice reading the book, so it's not quite the listening experience I was expecting. Ha! Unplugged features a similar Korman lineup: a wide cast of narrators, with some characters worming their way right into your heart and other characters taking a while to warm up to. We start the story meeting Jett, the son of a famous billionaire who is always up to no good. He's been dropped off at Camp Oasis, a camp focused on overall health and wellness but with zero technology. Jett is not at all thrilled he has to give up his cell phone, be forced into a vegetarian eating cycle, and meditate on a regular basis. The other kids at the camp don't seem to be as upset as Jett and the adults sing nothing but praises for the camp. Later on, some of the kids find a carnivorous lizard they name Needles. They swear themselves to secrecy because at the Oasis pets are strictly prohibited. This is where the book takes a Carl Hiaasen turn and we find out that some of the adults at the Oasis are up to no good and Needles isn't quite as cute and innocent as we thought. This was a fun read and one that middle school readers are sure to enjoy. I enjoyed the different character narrations as I've come to expect that from Korman's work. However, this book fell short for me simply because I've read Carl Hiaasen and I love the twists and turns that happen in his bizarre eco-adventure (is that a genre?) stories. Hiaasen writes these stories so well and unfortunately, Unplugged isn't written by Hiaasen. Had I not read Hiaasen before, I probably would have liked this story more. I'm going to leave the eco-adventure storytelling to Hiaasen and hope that Korman goes back to his more regular contemporary storytelling. *Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced listening copy in exchange for my honest thoughts and review.*

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