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Item - You Are a Millionaire

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(School edition, second printing)
(School edition, second printing)
(School edition, second printing)
(School edition, second printing)
(Third printing)
(Third printing)
(Third printing)
(Third printing)

Combined Summary

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 98
Translated Into: Ty - millioner [Ты — миллионер] (Russian)
Author: Leibold, Jay (pseudonym used by Montavon, Jay)
Illustrators: Mattingly, David B. (cover)
Wing, Ron (interior)
Date: February, 1990 (First printing)
ISBNs: 0553169475 / 9780553169478 (School edition, second printing)
0553283510 / 9780553283518 (First printing, School edition, second printing)
User Summary: You are playing baseball with your friend Bruce in a vacant lot when you find a briefcase filled with over a million dollars, and no sign of whoever left it there....
Enigmatic Synergy's Thoughts:

While I do like the underlying message this book seems to tout, I cannot help but feel that the story(ies) could have been better. In terms of Jay Leibold's work, this one seems to be a bit weaker than his book, Fight for Freedom, which would be released 9 months after this book. The premise of this title may initially seem to offer numerous possibilities to the reader--finding a large sum of money and having loads of options in terms of decisions. However, the book, in my opinion, somewhat fails to capture the essence of what one would actually do with a million dollars. This could simply be because of my own expectations considering the title; in my mind, I envisaged something along the lines of the Give Yourself Goosebumps book, Scream of the Evil Genie, where the reader starts with a variety of big decisions to make based upon the magical genie's ability to "grant wishes," with the money in this book being synonymous with the genie. This book does not take that approach, though.

With that being said, I did enjoy some sections of the book. Even though some of the threads were a bit odd and a number of the endings could have been better (always in my opinion, of course), the book, at times, takes a realistic approach to the idea of finding random money. In this story, as well as every other title I read, I always look at the context of the book and the underlying themes and notions that the book stirs up. In terms of this, I think this book is pretty decent. Overall, I still cannot say that this is one of the better CYOA books.

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Fireguard's Thoughts:

This book seems to be the other side of the coin of Instant Millionaire from the Twistaplot series. Where Instant Millionaire was basically a cartoon that gave you a million dollars out of nowhere and sent you off to have wacky adventures spending it, You Are a Millionaire is a more serious book about the nature of money in real life. You find a bag of money in an empty lot, but how did it get there? Do you tell your friends so the money can be used for the betterment of the whole group, or keep it a secret because otherwise you'll have to either give it back or become a target for unscrupulous people. Do you bury it in your backyard to come back to the money a few years later when you're more ready for it? Does being able to buy lots of fancy stuff really make you happy? These are the kinds of questions the book tries to confront you with.

I hate to say it but that's exactly why I probably wouldn't have enjoyed this book as a kid, and stuck with Instant Millionaire. Back when I was actually in these books' target audience I wanted to have fun adventures reading them, not be lectured about grownup problems. Not yet. Now that I am an adult I can appreciate what the author was trying to do more with this book, even if the message is kind of predictable.

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stonemason's Thoughts:

This is a good, well-written adventure based on a common childhood fantasy. There are so many things you can do with a million dollars, but not all of them end happily.... The continuity is good; the reason why the money ended up in the vacant lot is always the same, but you might not learn it, depending on which ending you reach. It might not be very realistic, but it's fun!

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Waluigi Freak 99's Thoughts:

I liked this adventure. It moved along pretty quickly, although there are some pointless page jumps where the information could have been placed on only one page. A lot of choices require you to use your common sense, as opposed to making a choice where you have no idea what you're doing. The replay value is there, and most of the adventures were very fun to follow, and some original and good humor was thrown in here and there. My only complaint, and a minor one, at that, is that barely any excitement seems to come around unless you illegally keep the money for yourself. But, if you don't mind choosing to do the wrong thing every now and then, you'll walk away with a few memorable experiences.

More reviews by Waluigi Freak 99

Errata:In some printings, the title page lists the ISBN as 0-533-28351-0, which is not a valid code.
Special Thanks:Thanks to Mason Green for the plot summary.
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Known Editions

First printing
School edition, second printing
Third printing

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