Today I’m excited to be taking part in the blog tour for the YA cyber thriller ReWired by Shelli Johannes-Wells (writing as S.R. Johannes), which was published on August 27th.
ReWired 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.
Keep reading to discover the synopsis, read my review and enter the giveaway for the chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!
About the Book
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.
About the Author
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.
Disclosure: I was kindly given a review copy of ReWired by Xpresso Book Tours for taking part in the tour. This in no way affects the integrity of my review and as usual, all my comments are my honest opinion.
ReWired is the first cyber-thriller I’ve read (my preference normally being fantasy and sci-fi) but I found it a really intriguing and exhilarating read. The protagonist Ada Lovelace (named after a mathematician considered to be one of the first computer programmers) is a teenager hacker who goes by the alias of ‘Dark Angel’ online.
Ada is a likeable character who is easy to relate to. Although she hides behind her smart, tough and unstoppable hacker persona, in real life she is the dutiful senator’s daughter, nerdy and somewhat isolated. But she’s also resilient and faces lots of risky situations to do what she believes is right. Although some of her actions are dubious, she always has good intentions.
After being busted by the FBI for a high-profile hack, Ada is sent to a technology rehab facility called ReBoot, where she begins to investigate her fellow residents and those who run the facility, determined to find out exactly what happened to her best friend Simone, who apparently committed suicide only a week after leaving ReBoot.
ReBoot is a strange place with a ‘haunted mansion’ feel. It really added a completely different angle to what I expected. There is lots of mystery and suspense in this book which kept me interested all the way through. Although many of the characters appear to fit certain stereotypes like ‘jock’, ‘nerd’ or ‘goth’, they all have secrets and hidden layers which are revealed as the story progresses. I never knew which characters to trust, as any of them could be involved in the conspiracy. There were a few plot twists that I didn’t see coming and the ending was left open for a potential sequel.
ReWired is a very modern novel filled with up-to-date slang and pop-culture references which will appeal to teens who like social media and gaming. But the technical jargon isn’t overdone, so the novel could be enjoyed by someone with very little knowledge of computers too. It raises lots of issues relevant to the ‘information age’ we live in, such as internet privacy, technology addiction and the ethics of data collection. There are a few nods to classic dystopian fiction, for instance, Ada’s hacking group is called ‘The Orwellians’. It also discusses mental health issues and teen suicide, a sensitive topic that may be unsuitable for some younger readers.
I found it to be a very easy read with short chapters that you can breeze through. The style is less literary and descriptive than the novels I usually read, but I know many young adult readers prefer straight-forward language rather than lots of imagery. I wasn’t a fan of the romance subplot as that’s not really my thing but it didn’t take over and the main story was very gripping. I was really curious to see how it all unravelled.
Overall, ReWired is a great book that I would recommend to young adult readers who enjoy reading thrillers and adventures, especially those who have an interest in technology. If a sequel is released in the future I would love to read it.