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Play the Game by Charlene Allen
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Play the Game by Charlene Allen

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Debut author Charlene Allen delivers a captivating YA contemporary mystery about a teen boy trying to keep his best friend’s legacy alive through a video game while getting swept up in a murder investigation that points to his other best friend as the prime suspect.

In the game of life, sometimes other people hold all the controls. Or so it seems to VZ. Four months have passed and he still can’t believe his best friend Ed was killed by a white man in a Brooklyn parking lot. VZ and his other best friend Jack grieve in their own ways: Jack leads protests about Ed’s murder, but VZ can’t bring himself to do the same . . . and the two of them don’t talk much anymore.

Then Singer, the man who killed Ed, is found dead in the same spot where Ed was murdered. And all signs point to Jack as the prime suspect. But there’s no way Jack could have done it, right? For VZ, it’s time to show up for his friends. He’s going to complete the video game Ed never finished and enter it into a big gaming contest. And he’s going to figure out who actually killed Singer.

With help from Diamond, the girl he’s crushing on at work, VZ falls into Ed’s quirky gameiverse. As the police close in on Jack, the game starts to uncover details that could lead to the truth about the murder. Can VZ honor Ed and help Jack before it’s too late?