Just City by Olga Tymofiyeva Review 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

In an effort to gain the funds to help build a new startup with his friend, a young man will discover the unjust nature of life in another’s shoes through a realistic virtual reality game and begin a journey of morality that could drive apart his friendship forever in author Olga Tymofiyeva’s “Just City”.


The Synopsis

Just City is a story of 21-year-old Nathan who dreams about creating a cool start-up with his friend Jack. To get money for the start-up Nathan starts playing a virtual reality game as part of a scientific experiment. The game forces Nathan to discover what it is like to be in the skin of somebody else, for whom the cards have been dealt differently. The depressing experiences of playing the game make Nathan question his belief in meritocracy and pick a fight with Jack. What is just and what do we really deserve? This is only the beginning of Nathan’s search for a new life credo that will have both love and reason at its core.

The Review

The author did such a stupendous job of crafting a YA read that felt both entertaining and enlightening all at once. The thought-provoking themes of social status and what it means to be human are quite profound throughout the novel and keep the reader invested in the narrative as the line between reality and virtual reality blur for the characters.

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To me, the heart of this story rests in the loaded character development the author brings to life in the narrative. The evolution of Nathan’s journey was remarkable to see, as he begins as a pretty ignorant and closed-off-minded individual but through the events of the novel he finds his world opening up far greater thanks to this virtual world. The tension that stems from his friendship with Jack and the others in his group as he befriends others who share his new views were profound, and yet it was his bond with his grandmother who kept him grounded and gave him a great philosophical inner monologue throughout the novel that made his story so moving and engaging.

The Verdict

Hauntingly beautiful, entertaining, yet thought-provoking in its delivery, author Olga Tymofiyeva’s “Just City” is a must-read YA novel! The heart and passion for which the author wrote this book seeped their way into every chapter, and the profoundly moving themes elevated this narrative to new heights as each twist and turn in the plot kept the reader on the edge of their seat. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Olga Tymofiyeva, PhD, was born in 1981 in Kyiv, Ukraine. After having lived in Ukraine and Germany, she now lives in the US and works as an Associate Professor of Neuroimaging at the University of California in San Francisco. Just City is Olga’s first fiction book, which reflects her passion for science and critical thinking.



I’m writing this in August of 2022, as my home country is under a brutal, inhumane, and unjustified attack by Russia.

I pledge that as soon as the royalties from this book reach $5,000, this money will be donated to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Thank you for making your contribution to this goal.

If you’d like to make a direct donation, you can do it here:


1 thought on “Just City by Olga Tymofiyeva Review 

  1. Pingback: Interview with Author Olga Tymofiyeva | Author Anthony Avina's Blog

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