I am absolutely raving…. About this book. Did I have you scared for a second? No?
Well I am kind of mad, actually. Turns out I went 17 years before YA started to turn towards this techno/hacking magic, leaving me behind! Okay that’s a bit melodramatic, but the point of this mini rant is that Rewired impressed me.
The Young Adult market is oversaturated with tired cliches floor to ceiling. Yet, this book managed to come up with a premise I HAVE NEVER HEARD. Johannes has got some serious creative chops to do that.
Ada Lovelace is an elite hacker and member of The Orwellians, a group of white hats trying to defend privacy rights. When a new member appears- Caspar- and dares them to take their skills to the next level in a friendly competition. Ada has to hack into the white house… Did I mention her father is a senator.
When Ada gets caught in the mainframe of the largest social media platform in the world, she is sent to Reboot. Meant to cure her addiction to the internet, she gets sucked farther into a world of hacking competition and lurking risk. Caspar is appearing everywhere and her new friends Crash, Fisher, and Raven all have secrets of their own.
You will love two things about this book.
First, the characters are wonderfully written and complex. As their secrets are revealed we come to understand things they do in the first chapters. Fisher and Ada have a tentative but totally endearing romance (I know. I like a romance and also pigs are now flying). Raven is badass. Varian is hilarious and obsessed with WoW. Crash is a mute enigma whose friendship with Ada is sweet and real.
Secondly, the plotting is superb. Every chapter advances in ways that you will not comprehend till the end. As Ada evades jail time, she also protects her father’s career, uncovers the secrets of her best friend’s suicide, and fights against a company giant that threatens to steal and sell data from teenagers the world over. She is unfailingly clever against the author’s onslaught of misfortune against her.
Sidenote to Johannes: you are cruel! But in a good way.
If you love sci-fi this book is for you. If you love complex, well-written female protagonists then this book is for you. If you love female hackers then this book is for you. If you love imminent peril then this book is for you.
I’m giving this a good 4.5/5 stars and beg you to get it down below.
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.
S.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling Nature of Grace thriller series (Untraceable, Uncontrollable, and Unstoppable). She is a winner of the IndieReader Discovery Award in YA, an IPPY a Silver Medalist for YA Fiction, a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Young Adult Fiction, and a Finalist in US Book News Best YA Book.
Since leaving Corporate America, she has followed her passion for writing and conservation by working with The Dolphin Project, the Atlanta Zoo, other animal rescue organizations, and by weaving conservation themes into her books.
Currently, she lives in Atlanta, GA with her English-accented husband and the huge imaginations of their prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world.