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Chapter 1 1. Play You don't know me yet. But here I stand, soaked in mud, blood stained across my diamond disco dress--and I'm not even sure where I am. My heart is splintered glass inside my chest. Un corazón roto. How I arrived is a story too twisted to believe. So let me center myself and take in my surroundings. I'm trapped. I was thrown into a sterile white room with no windows, the closest thing to a jail cell I have ever seen. And the maddening silence makes me wish this place came with a minibar and a lobotomy pick. Anything to help me escape my current reality. But isn't that all the rage these days? People hide behind an online profile, a facetuned image, or a filter--when, in reality, their face doesn't need a filter; it needs a double cappuccino. Like my mom always said, La cara es el espejo del alma. And how right she was--no matter how much you try to hide, your eyes will always reflect who you truly are. And in my eyes, they found someone who would never back down. I guess I'm difficult. Which is basically why I'm here. At least they had the decency to let me keep my Walkman. I press the headphones tight to my ears. It will help me tell my story. Let me introduce myself. My name is Luna, but lately I've earned a few others. You might think I'm locked away because I killed someone--or maybe you think I robbed a bank. Assault and battery. Not quite. But this year we did create a revolution, and I was there on the front page. Because this year we were invincible. Or so we thought. Now my heart is burned by the flames. My friends disappeared, never to be seen again. And the blood is dried on my hands. My music fades out, and I wipe black tears of mascara from my eyes. I don't need a mirror to know that I probably look like a hungry, rabid raccoon. The tape has ended, but the story is far from over--so let's bring it back to the very beginning. To the first song of the soundtrack of my life. Excerpted from Retro by Sofía Lapuente, Jarrod Shusterman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
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Trade Reviews
Publishers Weekly Review
Structuring their unevenly told high-concept thriller around a playlist, Lapuente, a debut author, and Shusterman (Roxy) take on social media usage and Big Tech. To get revenge on blond, popular friend Samantha for shoplifting and scapegoating her, 17-year-old Luna María Valero Iglesias, who's Spanish and Mexican, anonymously posts a video of Samantha drunkenly trashing classmates at their small-town Northern California school. Regret sets in, but not before the video goes viral on high-profile social media site Limbo, after which Samantha attempts suicide. Limbo, facing bad press for the algorithm that promoted the post, holds a contest at the youths' high school: the teen who goes without any technology made after 2000 for an entire school year wins a full-ride scholarship to the college of their choice. The contest, which makes Luna's life feel like something out of one of the glamorous retro movies playing at her mother's indie theater, brings Luna new friends and internet fame. But as contestants begin to vanish, Luna realizes that Limbo's plan may involve more menacing motives. Indistinct dialogue across the quirky cast undercuts thoughtful meditations on capitalism and technology, making for a thinly fleshed out novel with a charmingly vintage vibe. Ages 14--up. Agent: (for Lapuente and Shusterman) Andrea Brown, Andrea Brown Literary. (Jan.)
Booklist Review
After Luna posts a revenge video of her ex-best friend trashing other students at their high school, the video goes viral. The fallout prompts the proprietors of Limbo, the social media app hosting the video, to step in to rectify the situation. The company unveils a new program in partnership with the school: the Retro Challenge, which invites students to eschew modern technology to simplify their lives and earn a full college scholarship. As Luna and other students set aside their online lives, they initially feel a newfound freedom. But as she progresses through the challenge, Luna begins to suspect that Limbo has ulterior motives for its generous offer. Despite a somewhat contrived premise, the story explores the divides modern technology can create in young people's lives. The story hews close to sci-fi, with the Limbo company employing futuristic resources that must be countered by the young protagonists. Even so, the themes of the book are prescient, asking readers to consider how much they are manipulated by the devices that are supposed to make life easier.
Kirkus Review
A no-technology challenge in a small Northern California town turns sinister. After Samantha shoplifts but lets her friend Luna take the fall for her crime, Luna is rightfully enraged--and not least because her mother, a Spanish immigrant, is at risk of losing her visa to remain in the U.S., making any sort of criminal activity especially harmful. Luna uploads a video of a drunk Samantha bad-mouthing her friends and other classmates to Limbo, the social media app everyone's obsessed with. Even though she has regrets and deletes it shortly after, she isn't fast enough, and the video goes viral. The harsh response results in Samantha's attempting to take her own life. The fact that she survives alleviates some of Luna's guilt, but she still sends a private message to the app developers, explaining her role in what happened and asking for their help as she seeks accountability. Much to everyone's surprise, the Limbo CEO comes to their school and proposes a challenge: Any student who manages to go the entire school year without using technology, including their phones, will receive a full-ride scholarship to college. As the year progresses, however, some of Luna's friends disappear and the real nature of #RetroChallenge becomes clear. Though the fast pace will appeal to reluctant readers, it comes at the expense of character development and relationship-building, making it hard to feel attached to any of them. The stilted dialogue poses another obstacle. A disappointing, unfulfilling journey with forgettable characters. (Thriller. 13-17) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
What starts off as a lighthearted competition to live without modern technology for a year turns into a fight for survival in this unputdownable young adult thriller by New York Times bestselling author Jarrod Shusterman and debut author Sofía Lapuente.

It was never meant to happen this way.

Things were never supposed to get this out of hand.

After a cyberbullying incident at her school goes viral, Luna Iglesias finds herself at the heart of a brewing controversy. When the social media company Limbo--who are also implicated in the scandal--sweeps in with an offer that sounds like an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and receive a scholarship to the college of her dreams, she's happy to jump on the new trend. It's called the Retro Challenge, where contestants live without modern technology, wear vintage clothes, party as if the future weren't already written, and fall in love as if they were living in a movie.

At first, the challenge is fun. But then things get dangerous. Kids start disappearing, including Luna's friends. There are voices in the woods. Bloodred markings on the trees. And Luna increasingly begins to wonder if all these strange happenings are connected with the Retro Challenge.

Secrets. Lies. Betrayal. The weight of her family on her shoulders. There's so much on the line for Luna, not to mention she's falling in love with the last guy she expected. Unless she can figure out the truth behind who's sabotaging the challenge, the next person to disappear may be Luna herself.
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