"Like anyone who feels as though they just don't fit in, Evie dreams of a place of safety. When times are tough, all she wants is a chance to escape from reality and be herself.
Despite his failing health, Evie's father comes close to creating such a virtual idyll. Passing away before it's finished, he leaves her the key in the form of an app, and Evie finds herself transported to a world where the population is influenced by her personality. Everyone shines in her presence, until her devious cousin, Mallory, discovers the app... and the power to cause trouble in paradise. "
‘Username: Evie’ is a fantasy graphic novel by the YouTuber Joe Sugg (ThatcherJoe). Joe was one of the first people I ever watched on YouTube and I absolutely adore his videos. I was so excited when I heard he was creating a graphic novel, and it certainly didn’t disappoint!
Evie is an outsider. She doesn’t have many friends in school and is bullied by her cousin Mallory. Her mother died when she was very young and her dad is ill too. Poor Evie wants to just escape her life, and sometime shuts herself in the fridge after school to get away (not the best idea, so don’t try that at home!) She is always reassured when she gets home to hear her father, a software pioneer, typing on his computer, but one day she gets home and everything is quiet. She finds that her father has passed away, and Evie is shunted off to her cousin’s house with no time to grieve before Mallory starts making her life hell.
But Evie finds a way out. On her laptop she notices an app called E.scape. She doesn’t know where it has come from, but when she clicks on it a video message from her dad plays saying that he has created this app to help Evie escape her normal life. Suddenly, Evie is transported into a virtual world, a world created entirely for her where her decisions and actions influence everything. Unbeknown to Evie, whilst she is exploring, Mallory finds the app and is whizzed away into the virtual world too. But Mallory brings with her a bad attitude and her influence soon throws the world into chaos; the people becoming monsters and fire and destruction everywhere.
Only Evie can stop the destruction. The race is on to find a way to stop it, and get out of the world before she is trapped there forever!
I’d been anticipating this book for so long. Ever since Joe announced it was happening, before even a vague description of the story was mentioned, I’d been waiting for it and eagerly lapping up any snippets and clues about the story along the way. Joe is one of my favourite YouTubers and he has such a vivid imagination that I knew anything coming out of his head would be pure gold. When the cover and blurb were finally released my excitement grew even more. I absolutely love this genre, and the graphic novel format. The image of Evie on the cover is just spectacular and just by looking at it I knew she would be a fantastic character.
“Be proud of who you are, and never lose sight of the fact that you are loved” ‘Username: Evie’ pg 30.
This book was so visually stunning that sometimes I found myself staring at one page for ages. The artwork and colouring (by Amrit Birdi and Joaquin Pereyra) was so fantastic. I particularly liked the double-page landscapes on the “Part 1”, “Part 2” and “Part 3” pages showing how the beautiful world Evie’s father created gradually went from idyllic to disastrous.
I particularly enjoyed the fact that Evie lived in a house with a thatched roof, a nice little reference to Joe’s former job as a roof thatcher. I also had a little giggle at the fact that one of the characters was called Jaspar (if you watch Joe’s videos you’ll know why :p)
All in all I thought this was a fantastic debut book by Joe for both young people and adults alike. I would really recommend it to anyone who likes the idea of online worlds and virtual realities. I hope Joe produces more work like this in the future, as I’m sure he has plenty more fun ideas roaming around in his head!
I would give this book 5 stars :)
Places to buy:
The Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Find Joe Sugg on: