The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
My Rating: 4/5
Billy Marvin is a high school freshman in the late 80’s. Billy is a total doofus but a good kid, causing minor league trouble around Wetbridge, NJ with his childhood buddies. School isn’t for him and he spends most of his free time programming games on his Commodore 64. When the boys hear that Vanna White is featured in Playboy they make increasingly elaborate plans to steal and profit from the images around school. Amid these misfiring plans Billy meets Mary, who is the only person better at programming than he is. A friendship and partnership emerges.
A wonderfully nostalgic trip that is not heavy handed in its references. Rekulak takes the reader back to the 80’s with subtle mention of worldly happening, nods to popular music or tv shows, and, of course, tech talk. An absolutely charming tale of early teenagehood with themes of morality and responsibility. This bildungsroman left me smiling and full-hearted.