The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

fortress

Release Date : February 7, 2017

Book Blurb from Goodreads.com

Billy Marvin’s first love was a computer. Then he met Mary Zelinsky.

Do you remember your first love?

The Impossible Fortress begins with a magazine…The year is 1987 and Playboy has just published scandalous photographs of Vanna White, from the popular TV game show Wheel of Fortune. For three teenage boys—Billy, Alf, and Clark—who are desperately uneducated in the ways of women, the magazine is somewhat of a Holy Grail: priceless beyond measure and impossible to attain. So, they hatch a plan to steal it.

The heist will be fraught with peril: a locked building, intrepid police officers, rusty fire escapes, leaps across rooftops, electronic alarm systems, and a hyperactive Shih Tzu named Arnold Schwarzenegger. Failed attempt after failed attempt leads them to a genius master plan—they’ll swipe the security code to Zelinsky’s convenience store by seducing the owner’s daughter, Mary Zelinsky. It becomes Billy’s mission to befriend her and get the information by any means necessary. But Mary isn’t your average teenage girl. She’s a computer loving, expert coder, already strides ahead of Billy in ability, with a wry sense of humor and a hidden, big heart. But what starts as a game to win Mary’s affection leaves Billy with a gut-wrenching choice: deceive the girl who may well be his first love or break a promise to his best friends.

At its heart, The Impossible Fortress is a tender exploration of young love, true friends, and the confusing realities of male adolescence—with a dash of old school computer programming.

My Review:

Billy, Alf and Clark are fourteen year old boys living in the late ‘80’s. Vanna White from the gameshow “The Wheel of Fortune” has just graced the cover of Playboy magazine. It is now available at the local convenience store and they will do anything to obtain a copy of it.

When their first attempt at buying the magazine fails, they come up with a plan to steal it. They have extra incentive after collecting money from classmates seeking to view Vanna naked. The plan involves breaking into the convenience store after hours. The success of the mission relies on Billy becoming romantically involved with the store owner’s daughter, Mary.

While carrying out the plan, Billy finds that he and Mary share the love of computer programming. Mary likes a game he has created and encourages him to enter it in a contest from a prestigious gaming company. She offers to assist him on the project together at the store. It is during this time that Billy finds himself at a crossroads and has to choose between Mary and Vanna White.

I enjoyed the flashback dialogue along with the ‘80’s nostalgia. I was brought back to the days of floppy disks and life without social media. The writer does a realistic job portraying the interaction between the teenagers while learning life’s lessons.  

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