Tuesday, February 12, 2019

YA ARC Review: Immoral Code by Lillian Clark

Immoral Code
Author: Lillian Clark
Publication: Knopf Books for Young Readers (February 19, 2019)

Description: Ocean's 8 meets The Breakfast Club in this fast-paced, multi-perspective story about five teens determined to hack into one billionaire absentee father's company to steal tuition money.

For Nari, aka Narioka Diane, aka hacker digital alter ego "d0l0s," it's college and then a career at "one of the big ones," like Google or Apple. Keagan, her sweet, sensitive boyfriend, is happy to follow her wherever she may lead. Reese is an ace/aro visual artist with plans to travel the world. Santiago is off to Stanford on a diving scholarship, with very real Olympic hopes. And Bellamy? Physics genius Bellamy is admitted to MIT--but the student loan she'd been counting on is denied when it turns out her estranged father--one Robert Foster--is loaded.

Nari isn't about to let her friend's dreams be squashed by a deadbeat billionaire, so she hatches a plan to steal just enough from Foster to allow Bellamy to achieve her goals. Fast-paced and banter-filled, Lillian Clark's debut is a hilarious and thought-provoking Robin Hood story for the 21st century.

My Thoughts: This is a story about five teens in the Spring of their Senior year deciding to help one of their group scam her absentee father for the amount of money she needs to go to school at MIT. The kids are all bright, articulate, and best friends.

Nari is a computer genius who has a secret identity as a hacker. She intents to go to college and then have a career at one of the big computer/tech companies. She a self-confident steamroller who has the force of personality to get the rest of the kids to buy into her plan.

Keagan is Nari's boyfriend. He is unique in the group for not knowing what his future will bring. He has no big career plans. He does have a firm sense of tight and wrong which brings him into conflict with the rest of the kids. His parents are this century's version of hippies.

Reese is an artist and independent sort. She self-identifies as acearo which was a new sexual category for me. She dramatic and is dealing with parents who are on the verge of divorce. Her plans are to use the money she's made from her Etsy account to travel the world until the money runs out. After that, art school in New York.

Santiago is a diver who has very real Olympic hopes. He's been accepted at Stanford with a diving scholarship. His parents are Hispanic immigrants who are urging him to give up his Olympic dreams for a more practical future.

Bellamy is a genius who is fascinated with physics and space exploration and most of the other scientific "ologies." She and her mother are poor. Her mother had had at seventeen and has been working two jobs to support her all of Bells' life. She has an early acceptance at MIT but her dreams crash when the financial aid forms come back with no money. The father she's never met and who has paid minimal child support in exchange for no contact has done really well for himself. He owns a venture capital company and is a billionaire.

Nari hatches a plan to skim enough money from his company to pay for Bells' college. After he hangs up on her when she steels herself to contact him, Bells okays the plan.

This story mostly tells about their plans and the stresses it puts on all their relationships as the plan and execute the heist. It talks about how the experience helped each of the kids grow and change. While I did get a little tired of the teen-age banter, each character was distinct and their voice clear and convincing. Each chapter is narrated by a different one of the five characters which gives the reader a change to get to know them all.

Fans of heists and bright kids will enjoy this book. It is also a great picture of the lengths people will go to help their friends.

Favorite Quote:
I've never wasted my time begging people to have an opinion about me, so I'm sure as hell not going to waste my time trying to change whatever opinion they've decided to have.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an entertaining read--and quite possibly one of those "ripped from the headlines" stories.


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