Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Social Code

The Social Code
by Sadie Hayes
St. Martin's Griffin, 2013
Reviewed from NetGalley
Format:  eBook
Audience:  15 and Up
ISBN: 9781250035653
Publication Date:  September 3, 2013

Amelia and Adam Dory are two scholarship kids at Stanford, finally living the life they imagined-in a way.  These twins only have each other after being in the foster care system, especially after the last family they were placed with used them for corrupt purposes.  But now that they are in California, all that is behind them.  Amelia is a computer genius, much more comfortable behind the screen that in front of it, while Adam is charming and gregarious and he wants everything that the students around him have, namely fame and fortune.  Using Amelia's skills, Adam is sure that they can have it all, but there are some very powerful people that would also like to see them fail.  Combining all the glam of  California with the techie-ness of Silicon Valley, The Social Code is a series to watch.

Imagine that, a New Adult book I actually enjoyed!  Yes, New Adult Week is starting to look up.

Amelia is a strong character.  She's talented and has incredible morals.  She never wants to create a company and sell her ideas, like Adam, rather she would like to open source everything and let people use her product.  She invents an app called Doreye.  From what I can understand it's a radio transmission product that lets you control virtually everything from your phone:  TVs, garage door, toy cars, etc.  It's revolutionary and she does end up getting financing from a techie philanthropist to work on her product and code.  

But this is not just Amelia's story.  There's a whole cast of characters behaving badly and stirring up trouble.  There's Amelia's roommate Patty, who is in love with her sister's fiancé.  T.J. Bristol who works with the Dory's on their product, but might want to destroy them or help them succeed to anger his father.  There's Lisa Bristol who is fooling around with Adam, but she's in a serious relationship on the side.  And Amelia is secretly in love with Lisa's serious boyfriend.  

This book has just a few irons in the fire.  

But despite all of that, it's a touching story.  Readers will be very sympathetic to Amelia and her desire to keep Doreye from becoming some flash in the pan.  Plus, with all this action, the plot never stalls.  Instead of spending pages describing a characters dreamy eyes, Hayes is describing code, backstabbing, and the beautiful Stanford scenery.  

Another reader on Goodreads put it perfectly by saying that The Social Code is slightly reminiscent of Gossip Girl in that so much is happening.  But it is not as shallow and consumerist so it will hopefully appeal to more readers.  I could see this as an ABC Family show however, and I would probably tune in myself.

Now for the Girls Test and Readability Scale.  Girls fans might want something a little more angst-ridden, they might want more struggle and frankly, more sex.  But there is a ton of action and drama in this book, making it great for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl.  I would say that The Social Code isn't a total failure on the Girls Test, but it's not a success either.  

As for my own Readability Scale, it's the best so far.  With several plot lines, The Social Code wouldn't exactly suffer if all the sex was taken out.  Maybe there's not even enough for this to be considered New Adult, but I am going to say that The Social Code excels in characterization, plot, setting, and overall feel where the other NA books that I have read all fail.  

For a quick read about techies behaving badly, pick up The Social Code.

Happy Reading!

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