Published By: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 2014
Page Count: 400
Buy it at The Book Depository
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Young Adult - Science Fiction
M-Bands (an all-powerful cross between a Fitbit and an iPhone) are compulsory for all US citizens. They monitor everything from your location to your heartrate, and also, how likeable you are to other people. Since the development of phera-tech, allowing pheromone signals to be recorded and interpreted, people have been rating each other. The higher the rating, the more compatible the pair. But there are those who aren’t compatible with anyone. They are known as negs. It’s a fact that negs are over represented in prisons and are more likely to commit crimes, so it was only a matter of time before negs started being rounded up and shipped off pre-emptively.
Maggie Stevens experienced this first hand, and has spent two years preparing a rescue mission. Key to her success is Quentin Mercer, who just happens to be the son of M-Corp’s founder, and her popular and attractive classmate. After manipulating Quentin into a fake relationship, Maggie sets out to take down his family and restore her own. But getting what she wants could ruin everything, and the price will be higher than she could imagine.
I will come straight out and say it: I loved this book. From the first page the near future world Jessica Shirvington has created is all too believable. It’s basically what would happen if Apple or Google were run by a megalomaniac who managed to convince the government to hand over complete control of society.
Maggie is a brilliant character, an idealist who will do whatever it takes to reunite her family. She will use anyone and anything to get what she needs, but despite that she’s a likeable and sympathetic character. Her actions are fueled by concern for others, rather than her own gain, and this is what keeps her from losing the reader’s sympathy. Quentin is a privileged rich boy who expects everything handed to him on a plate. When he is forced into a partnership with Maggie, he is blind to the true nature of the family business. When he realizes the truth, he faces a difficult choice. Gus is Maggie’s reluctant sidekick. A tech genius, he is being blackmailed into helping Maggie on her quest. He might have to help her, but that doesn’t mean he has to like her. I loved the relationship between Maggie and Gus. So much snark.
I read this book pretty much in one sitting, finishing at 3am, and I am so glad that the sequel is available now. If I’d had to wait a year for it, I’d have been super impatient.
A sci-fi thriller with a hint of romance and a killer ending, this is definitely one to add to your TBR pile.
What if a microchip could identify your perfect match?
What if it could be used against you and the ones you love?
Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation’s M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it.
Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loves most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it.
Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer – heir to the M-Corp empire – has become key to Maggie’s plan. But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin’s involvement destroy everything she’s fought for?
In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.