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Playing Tyler by T. L. Costa

When is a game not a game?

Tyler MacCandless can’t focus, even when he takes his medication. He can’t focus on school, on his future, on a book, on much of anything other than taking care of his older brother, Brandon, who’s in rehab for heroin abuse… again.

Tyler’s dad is dead and his mom has mentally checked out. The only person he can really count on is his Civilian Air Patrol Mentor, Rick. The one thing in life it seems he doesn’t suck at is playing video games and, well, that’s probably not going to get him into college.

Just when it seems like his future is on a collision course with a life sentence at McDonald’s, Rick asks him to test a video game. If his score’s high enough, it could earn him a place in flight school and win him the future he was certain that he could never have. And when he falls in love with the game’s designer, the legendary gamer Ani, Tyler thinks his life might finally be turning around.

That is, until Brandon goes MIA from rehab and Tyler and Ani discover that the game is more than it seems. Now Tyler will have to figure out what’s really going on in time to save his brother… and prevent his own future from going down in flames.

Book Info:

UK Print
Date: 4th July
ISBN: 9781908844606
Format: Medium Paperback
R.R.P.: £7.99

US/CAN Print
Date: 2nd July 2013
ISBN: 9781908844613
Format: Large Paperback
R.R.P.: $9.99

Date: 2nd July 2013
ISBN: 9781908844620
Format: Epub & Mobi
R.R.P.: £5.49 / $6.99

Buying Info:

UK Print & Ebook | Book Depository | Waterstones | WHSmith

North American Print & Ebook | | |

Global DRM-Free Epub Ebook
Robot Trading Company

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Author Info:

T. L. Costa: WWW | @TLCosta1 on Twitter | Facebook

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Praise and Reviews:

“One part Real Genius and one part War Games, Playing Tyler has voice for miles, two damaged yet driven main characters who will simultaneously shatter your heart and send your pulse into overdrive, and disturbing plot twists that could too easily be real. The emotionally riveting prose and genuine relationships draw you in and won’t let go until the final satisfying sentence. Costa is on my auto-buy list from this day forward!”
A. G. Howard, author of Splintered

“Katniss Everdeen, Harry Potter, Ponyboy Curtis … add another name to the list of unforgettable teenage heroes: Tyler MacCandless. Ty will break your heart and make your cheer on this fast and furious thrill-ride. A breathtaking new voice in young adult fiction, TL Costa weaves realistic adventure, heartache and first love in this amazing, fast-paced story. Fresh. Thrilling. Heartfelt. I’m running out of adjectives, but trust me. You will love this book.”
Kristan Higgins, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Best Man

“I read Playing Tyler in a state of breathless excitement. The chapters switch between the unique voices of player Tyler and game designer Ani, yet Costa keeps the tension high and the reader wholly engaged with both viewpoints. But I didn’t love Playing Tyler simply because the extremely filmic story kept me on the edge of my seat. In addition to increasing my heart-rate and making me miss the children’s tea, Costa made me laugh and cry. Tyler and his brother, Brandon will remain with me long after I have closed the final page. I miss them already.”
Bryony Pearce, author of Angel’s Fury, winner of the Leeds Book Award

“Wildly original storytelling that is as authentic as it is engaging. Playing Tyler is one of the best YA books of 2013.”
Sean Cummings

“Video games, drug abuse, and the business of war combine in Costa’s of-the-moment debut novel. Seventeen-year-old Tyler McCandless is an exceptionally talented gamer, but he doesn’t fit the stereotype. He has ADHD, which can make social interactions tricky, but he’s also ripped and loves flying planes even more than gaming. Those two skills earn Tyler the attention of Rick Anderson, an businessman/mentor who hires him to test an experimental flight simulator designed by 16-year-old gamer/prodigy Ani Bagdorian. Tyler and Ani fall for each other, which complicates matters when they realize that the simulator is more than a game, as readers will guess early on. Costa updates War Games for the 21st century, asking teens to consider the ethics of private contractors, drone warfare, and collateral damage. Tyler and Ani’s rapid romance sits somewhat uneasily with the buildup of the story’s action, but Costa adeptly gets inside the heads of two idealistic but conflicted teenagers trying to balance the personal, familial, and national responsibilities that have been dumped on them. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jenny Bent, the Bent Agency. (July)”
– Publishers Weekly

“It reveals, if not the truth about the complicated world in which they will soon be living, then the idea that the truth can be hard to find. It suggests that what is right can also be wrong. It prompts the reader to think about the world they live in just a little bit more carefully. It does all this whilst being thoroughly entertaining. Playing Tyler is YA fiction at its absolute best.” -Robin Brooks, Robin’s Books

“It’s as if John Green channeled Cory Doctorow and wrote Ender’s Game.” -Scott, Being a Big Sandwich

“This is a book you have to read, because it doesn’t just hit the spot, it tap dances all over it.” -Leo Cristea, Jet Black Ink

“Playing Tyler reminded me to open my eyes and be more invested in the world at large. For that reason alone it will stay with me for a long time to come. I wholeheartedly recommend it!” -D.G., Badass Book Reviews

“Oh my goodness, you guys. This book was absolutely beautiful.” -Ashley, The A P Bookclub

“A book filled with so many twists and turns and excitement in every chapter, this is not a book to be missed. It features military action, blackmail, love and plenty of excitement to keep you turning the pages.” -Leah Woods, Uncorked Thoughts

“This is an awesome read.” -The Inky Bumblebee

“Realistic and entertaining, Playing Tyler is a strong debut.” -Bane of Kings, the Founding Fields

“Really excellent read, I thoroughly recommend it.” -Jax Blunt

“There’s a good combination of thrills and intrigue, a very strong debut novel from a new author and an engaging read over all.” -M. Mogsy, Bibliosanctum

“Sacrifice. Love. Family. And the occasional explosion. Oh. Yeah.”-Cait, Notebook Sisters

“If you enjoyed War Games or Ready Player One and are looking for a bold new take on these that won’t let you look at Call of Duty in the same way again, or need a refreshing take on the young adult genre, I’d thoroughly recommended Playing Tyler.” -The Fiction Stroker

“Playing Tyler is a real page turner, I found myself at stupid o’clock in the morning with my eyes hanging out of my head while I continued to read, refusing to put it down so I could sleep.” -Shona, Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom

“Playing Tyler is the type of book that keeps you up at night, turning the pages because you can’t stop.” – Galavanting Girl Books 

“The themes in the book are huge, nothing less than life and death.” – Sarah Watkins

“Playing Tyler is a fun, fast-paced read” – Michelle Ristuccia

“Costa transports the reader into the head of ‘the other’ as capably as I’ve ever experienced. I can thus only assume the author psychically connected a couple of teenagers to her keyboard in sad violation of child labor law.”

-Justin Landon

“The feel of The Hunger Games or Divergent without the “dystopian” plot …a fast and addicting read ...”

-Rebecca Kuitems, Hello Giggles

“I’ll read it again. Think my kids will too–and that doesn’t happen too often”- Lisa Creane

“Tyler is smart yet he is also caring.” –Cheryl Koch

“For me, it was brilliant.” –Aa’Ishah

“Playing Tyler was a book that took me by complete surprise. I didn’t expect it to include such a huge focus on both Ani and Tyler’s family…” -Hollie

“Costa’s respect for teens is apparent from the get-go. Nothing is sugar-coated.” -Melanie

“…it’s really awesome to see a supersmart gamer and computer programmer whose character isn’t undercut by the author’s compulsion to frame her as either hypersexualized or terrifyingly sociopathic.” –Rebecca

“I felt like I got to know both of them personally through their own words and this helped me connect with both characters far better than I would have if I had only heard from one.” Book Cover Justice

“A thrilling and tautly told tale, a manic yet lovable main character, ghastly government secrets, and fractured family dynamics galore.” Book, Bones & Buffy

“Playing Tyler by T.L. Costa is a fast-paced YA novel that is part thriller part treatise on modern warfare.” – Happy Pretty Sweet

“I loved the romance.   Gamer or not you will enjoy this book.”- A Novel Review

“I was hooked from the first page. I love a guy’s point of view, but reading Tyler’s point of view was just amazing. My 13 year old told me that was exactly how his mind worked, an alarming thing to know since he’s medicated for his ADHD. Tyler’s mind is like a whirling dervish and it makes for fascinating reading.”-Heather

“It’s Young Adult but not a fantasy novel, more modern day science fiction that acts as a cautionary tale about the current direction global warfare is heading. It’s pretty heavy stuff compared to most YA out there, but I would definitely encourage young readers to give this book a read.” – Ryan at Fantasy Book Review

“PLAYING TYLER is a quick, fun read.” – Liviana

“it was an interesting read” –Autumn

“It reads quick and the pacing of the story works. I enjoyed it and think others will as well.” –Mari

“I would suggest that teen boys struggling with the percieved lack of YA books “for boys” would probably enjoy this book with it’s fairly “masculine” focus. Obviously, there’s absolutely no reason for girls not to enjoy it either.” –Tsana

“I will look for more books by this Author. I enjoyed the relationship between Ani and Tyler, he was definitely in awe of her at the start.”- Bernadette

“Playing Tyler came across as a modern day war games.  I loved the way how realistic the relationship between Tyler and Ani were.  This book was a suspenseful mystery, one I enjoyed thoroughly.  I also loved how they discussed the morality and ethics of what was really going on.  Playing Tyler is a brilliantly written first novel, and I look forward to more from this author!” -Inspiration by Simone 

“This novel is one for the books. Filled with conspiracies, three-dimensional characters, technology and a plot to die for, I highly recommend Playing Tyler.” –Kayla

“”Playing Tyler” is a poignant look at the Generation Y kids and the lives that they lead. Author T.L. Costa brings a sense of empathy for her characters in this intriguing story of two brilliant kids who are caught up in a very adult situation that they soon find they have no control over.” – Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

“This writer totally captures the imagination of the gaming teen and their world.  It was an exciting story and an absolute page turner. This is very modern day story with some twists which could make for a really good movie.”– Karma for Life Chick 

“I think the author dealt with the difficult subjects – drug addiction, depression, parental death, bombing – really well. Nothing is sugar-coated but at the same time not too heavy. Playing Tyler is TL Costa’s debut novel and after reading it I am really looking forward to seeing what she brings us next.”– What Should I Read Next? 

“This riveting story presents elements of geeks, games and moral issues. Kept me guessing through the end.” – VVB32 Reads

“Playing Tyler is an excellent book for teens (and adults who enjoy YA). It has romance, suspense and is an easy read.  The author made me feel connected to the characters and I cared what was going to happen to them. There’s a point in the book where I even shed a tear. I’ll be recommending this book to my 15 year old daughter to read.”– Simply Stacie

“Playing Tyler is a gritty and thrilling novel on how a game can be all too real. A wonderful debut novel from T.L. Costa! I will certainly read her next books!” – Diane at Oops! I read a Book Again

”TL Costa rocked the male teen voice and I was totally swept up in her stream-of-consciousness narrative style that put me squarely in Tyler’s ADHD brain.” – PJ Sharon  Writing Secrets of the 7 Scribes

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Genuinely no matter if someone doesn’t be aware of afterward its up to other users that they will help, so here it happens.

[…] Playing Tyler, T.L. Costa ’98, Strange Chemistry 2013. This young-adult novel tells the story of Tyler MacCandless, a teen with a troubled home life who gets involved in a mystery surrounding a dangerous video game. This is Costa’s first book, and it received five stars from the San Francisco City Book Review, and an honorable mention in the Great Midwest Book Festival. It recently won the 2013 U.S.A. Best Book Award for Young-Adult Fiction. […]

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