Seventh grader Nick Reeves is having a tough time. His mother has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's and has had to move into a nursing home; Nick is convinced of a misdiagnosis, and is determined to rescue his mother.
Despite a heavy premise, Rosen manages to keep the story from being bogged down by angst and loss, with moments of lightness and well-rounded secondary characters, particularly Nick's father, and his friend Nat. The story is also broken up by weaving it together with immersion in a video game, Wellhall, a Skyrim-like MMO that Nick plays - and believes his mother is using to try and communicate with him.
I loved this book for how well-crafted the story is, and how deftly Rosen deals with issues like illness, grief, friendship, and race (Nick is bi-racial, as is his friend Nat), and to me it stood out from the crowd of "issue" or "tragic" books because of how real it felt in its characters, interactions, and emotions. I'd recommend it to readers ages 10 or 11 and up, particularly fans of Counting by 7s, or Lynda Mullaly Hunt.