ReWired by S.R. Johannes

“YA cyber thriller, ReWired, by Shelli Johannes-Wells (writing as S.R. Johannes), which offers a fresh and exciting new take on the genre, and could be described as Ally Carter’s HEIST SOCIETY meets THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO for teens.
Sixteen-year-old Ada Lovelace is never more alive and sure of herself than when she’s hacking into a “secure” network as her alter ego, the Dark Angel. In the real world, Ada is broken, reeling from her best friend Simone’s recent suicide. But online, the reclusive daughter of Senator Lovelace (champion of the new Online Privacy Bill) is a daring white hat hacker and the only female member of the Orwellians, an elite group responsible for a string of high-profile hacks against major corporations, with a mission to protect the little guy. Ada is swiftly proving she’s a force to be reckoned with, when a fellow Orwellian betrays her to the FBI. To protect her father’s career, Ada is sent to ReBoot, a technology rehab facility for teens…the same rehab Simone attended right before killing herself.
It’s bad enough that the ReBoot facility is creepy in an Overlook-Hotel-meets-Winchester-Mansion way, but when Ada realizes Simone’s suicide is just one in an increasingly suspicious string of “accidental” deaths and “suicides” occurring just after kids leave ReBoot, Ada knows she can’t leave without figuring out what really happened to her best friend. The massive cyber conspiracy she uncovers will threaten everything she cares about–her dad’s career, her new relationship with a wry, handsome, reformed hacker who gets under her skin, and most of all–the version of herself Ada likes best–the Dark Angel.
With a deliciously twisty plot, the topical bite of Cory Doctorow’s LITTLE BROTHER, ReWired delves into technology addiction, internet privacy, and corporate/government collection of data, as it vividly illuminates the universally human questions about ethics, privacy, and self-definition that both underpin these socio-political issues and dovetail with classic coming-of-age themes. Ultimately, ReWired is about the daily choices we all make about who we want to be, how much of ourselves we choose to share with others, and the terrifying risks and exhilarating rewards of being ourselves, online and off.”

-Synopsis from Goodreads

Hello, guys. Allison here. It’s time for my review of ReWired. This time I have a netgalley review. I believe it is my first netgalley review too.

First off, I would like to thank the publisher and author for providing me this ARC in an exchange for an honest review. Please note that the version I read was an advanced copy, and certain events/language may be changed in the published edition.

Stars (Out of 10): 3/10

Don’t spend money on this book. Go read a fanfiction instead. It will give you a similar feeling. The writing is very simplistic. Writing takes practice, and this book gives off a vibe of being that practice. This book appears to go through an identity crisis. We start off with a realistic fiction with a slight twist to it (the focus being on hacking). We then go into a mystery with slight suspense. We take a brief stroll into a teen slasher. And then we somehow end up in a dystopian final confrontation. It’s like the book wanted to be too many things.

Judging from the acknowledgements in the beginning, this is a republish or rewrite of a novel done in 2012. This causes an issue in the fact the characters did not age well. While the characters may embody stereotypes, we are now in an age where books are taking long-done stereotypes and turning them around. This book does not do that. Instead, it starts with the cliche and keeps the cliche until the end. Even the rushed romance feels off.

However, you could say the plot would be interesting if done differently. I would love to read a book about a rehab group for tech people if the characters were more interesting, the mystery was more developed, and the ending was better. First point of view is always hard to write, so I understand the challenges the author had to be facing when writing Ada. Ada spent more time describing Simone and her friends than establishing herself. It’s hard to balance a well-developed first-person protagonist and a detailed book. She could establish her personality by doing things that compliment her personality rather than just comparing herself to Simone. In general, Ada just wasn’t an easy character to like. It’s hard to enjoy a book when you don’t like the protagonist.

All in all, this book just needs updating to fit into 2018’s standards.


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