Monday, March 4, 2019

Book Review: Immoral Code by Lillian Clark

Title: Immoral Code
Written by: Lillian Clarke
Published: February 19, 2019 by Delacorte (Random House)

(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: 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.

I wanted to love this book, I really did. But unfortunately, for me it didn’t quite deliver. It’s not a bad book, it just didn’t impress me in the way I was hoping.

For one thing, I went into this book exciting for a YA heist novel which is something you don’t see very often and I am very interested in reading. And while this book has a heist in it, the actual heist itself was only about 20% of the book and didn’t happen until about 60% of the way into the book. I wanted more from the heist, more about the heist. As the kind of reader who prefers a plot-driven story, I was left kind of disappointed by the fact that this was more of a character-driven story.

I should have realized this was going to be more character-driven when I realized this book have five different perspectives. It’s about a group of five best friends and each of them takes a portion of the story. We get to be in their head, learn about who they are and what makes them tick. They are a diverse group of people who you wouldn’t really expect to be friends but they very obviously care for one another. One of the thing I liked about them is that they felt like teenagers. Their voice felt very young but it realistic. The author succeeded in making them high school students in an effortless way. But I think their “voice” from a narrative standpoint kind of blended together for me. I found myself completely forgetting who the chapter was about and wanted to go back to the start to remind myself of that. It just kind of muddied the narrative for me.

And while this was a short book, I don’t know that I would call it a fast read. I mean, I did read it in just a few days but it also took awhile before I really connected with the story. I read the first half in four days and the second half in a day. The pacing definitely built up to an exciting ending but it had such a slow start. If this was a 400 page novel I think I probably would have DNF’d it because I couldn’t see investing the time. It had a satisfying ending but it took me longer than I would have like to get to what had interested me in the book in the first place.

What I want to convey to potential readers is not that this is not a bad book. It’s just a more quiet and character-driven read. It’s about friendship and family, both found and forced. It’s about making certain decisions and then having to live with the consequences. It’s about morally questionable actions for justice and how maybe getting what you wanted isn’t what you needed. It is not, however, a heist novel.

I give Immoral Code by Lillian Clarke 7 out of 10 stars

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Bypass. Like I said, this is not a bad book it just isn't the book for me. But that being said I don't know that I would recommend it. I think there are other books that I would suggest more than this one.

Have you read Immoral Code? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!

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