Book Review: ReWired

ReWired by S.R. Johannes
Rating: 3.5 stars
Published: 8/27/17
Genre: YA, thriller
Read: 10/29/17
Summary from Goodreads:

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.


I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ada Lovelace, a senators daughter, is a master hacker. She’s part of a hactivist group, the Orwellians, who constantly challenge each other to expose corporations. One of Ada’s latest hacks, however, lands her in an interrogation room with the FBI. Instead of taking the chance of damaging her father’s career, she agrees to a stint at a technology addiction rehab center called ReBoot. The same one that her best friend, Simone, had recently attended, then killed herself almost immediately after being released from.

Almost as soon as she arrives, Ada starts getting into trouble. She comes close to serious injury, or potentially death, several times, she quickly snoops her way back onto a computer, and she starts investigating the weird circumstances surrounding Simone’s and several other previous ReBoot attendees’ deaths.

This book started off very quickly, and the pace stayed up the whole way through. There really weren’t any boring moments. I also really enjoyed the plot. It kept me guessing up until the very end, which really isn’t common for me with mystery books. I almost always know who the bad guy is.

I loved how fleshed out all the main characters were. None of them had a flat personality, which I feel is unfortunately common with the “geeky” characters in a lot of stories. There is so much more to all of them that just being good with computers. I was actually attached to them enough that I was scared for all of their lives at certain points.

Ada dealing with losing Simone is also very well done in my opinion. Ada is a character with a tough outer shell, but of course she is still human. She still hurts very much on the inside. She’s withdrawn, and described as having irl social issues (though she seems just fine to me), and of course losing her main lifeline to the real world causes her to draw in even further. She shuts people out and refuses to let anyone get close.

Ada and Fisher’s relationship kind of bugs me. He asks her questions, the way one would if trying to get to know another person, and Ada bites his head off. This is most likely due to her putting up that wall, not wanting to feel anything for anyone, but I think she goes a bit over the top with it. Fisher greets her with a “how are you” kind of questions and she acts like he’s trying to read her diary.

I think this book could have used one more round of editing. There were a number of sentences that were missing words or used the wrong word, and these really weren’t hard to catch. And there was one inconsistency that really bothered me: Ada says in a late chapter that she’s never been afraid of heights until then. Yet several times earlier in the book, she says she’s afraid of heights. I don’t know if it was supposed to be a “those earlier times weren’t real fear, but this is” type thing. If it was, it wasn’t very well articulated. Also, there was a phrase about Fisher’s eyes reminding Ada of her Milky Way computer background that was repeated twice within a chapter or two, so either the author really liked that line, or forgot that it had already been used.


Have you read ReWired? What are your thoughts? What other books kept you guessing until the end?

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