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Loved it! 😍

A compelling and unique approach to the dangers of both artificial intelligence and social media communication.

Erin Ulman is the new girl, and despite her popularity at her last school, she is anything but popular at her new school in Glen Coast, Maryland. Her computer coding skills and comfortable fashion choices are not appreciated by her classmates, and Erin often finds herself discussed on SocialNet whenever her behavior falls too far outside the norm. A mysterious package arrives for Erin one day, tempting her with the call of the unknown as she fits the pieces together and starts a computer program she has never seen before. Battling the drama of school and social media is only the beginning, and Erin must learn the truth behind the questionable parcel before time runs out.

This compelling story is presented primarily in verse and is told from the perspectives of three different characters. These voices are demarcated both by written and visual clues as the font and presentation change from one speaker to the next. While verse-style narration tends to flow more quickly than traditional prose, the message is no less profound in this novel than it might be in a longer book. Readers of all ages will recognize the varied emotions depicted within this story, particularly many of the characters’ intense desire to belong; these moments are made more palpable thanks to the intentional use of verse structure. In addition to the feelings that naturally come with adolescence, this story also includes elements of science fiction and mild horror that amplify the intensity of the novel.

From the very beginning, readers will be curious to discover exactly what is happening in Erin’s world. As a coder, Erin often thinks in computer code, and this appears frequently within her segments of the novel. Regardless of one’s experience with coding themselves, these inclusions make sense and help readers connect more deeply with Erin’s character. Profound and important, this book shows the damage social media and cyberbullying can have on a person within a beautiful and thought-provoking design. Anyone who has ever considered the potentials of artificial intelligence or the damage that can be caused by comments both in school and on social media will appreciate the unique combination presented in this story. This is a memorable young adult novel in both substance and style.

Reviewed by

I review books for kids, tweens, and teens and blog about them on my website. To date, I have over 500 published reviews. Sign up for my monthly newsletter at www.maryrlanni.com to get recommendations straight to your inbox! I primarily write reviews, but will create video reviews upon request.


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About the author

From B movies to blockbusters, Tim has a passion for the things that give us the shivers. Storytellers like Poe, Lovecraft, Tolkien and King shaped Tim’s focus on world building and monster making. Tim also writes as Cy Borgmyn for his stories built collaborating with Artificial Intelligence. view profile

Published on July 22, 2022

Published by

80000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Young Adult

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