DiscoverYoung Adult

I.C.Q.: A Novel


Worth reading 😎

High school coding hacker meets 'perfect' girl online and they fall head over heels for each other online

I was a child of the '90s and was never into computers like the main character Auggie. He is at the forefront of coding and using home computing technology when it first came out. It's fascinating to read books like I.C.Q because of our culture (and generation's) obsession with technology. The home computer of the '90s is like the personal phone of the 2000s. New and exciting and, of course, the parents just don't get it. I could really feel Auggie's excitement and his passion for working with computers, software development, and coding. I sympathized with him so much when his parents dismissed his work with the computer as just a hobby and not that important. Maciel really brought this relationship alive and I wished I was into coding!

The very adult conversations that Auggie has with his parents are awesome and rather fascinating. He’s levelheaded and can provide an outside - almost- perspective. With his own relationship, he is anything but objective. He gets caught up in his own feelings and emotions and reactions to the point where he doesn’t even realize that his girlfriend might also be hurt and upset. He is a great model of showing growth and communication in a romantic relationship.

I pulled out my high school love notes because of this book and they were just as sappy and romantic as the correspondence between Auggie and Clarissa in the back half of this story. The overly dramatic way they write to each is very much the essence of a high school romance. I might have rolled my eyes a few times, but reading their letters reminded me of my 17-year old self away on an adventure and constantly writing love notes to send in the mail to my boyfriend of the time. This book will bring out all the nostalgia and is very authentic to teenage drama and heartache. If you would like the nostalgic feeling of teenage love, you'll definitely enjoy the emotion this book brings out.

The format of this novel changed a bit over halfway through and you'll be reading those love letters for most of the rest of the chapters.

The ending was disappointing for me. It lacked a satisfying conclusion and a sense of closure for the characters and their relationship. I prefer to have a closed ending. If you're a reader who doesn't mind open endings, you might not be disappointed because there is a lesson learned and Auggie does express his thoughts about what happens in the end. 

Reviewed by

Hello! I'm an author and a book reviewer. I've reviewed ~400 Indie books since 2013 and just reached over 1000 blog posts since 2013! I love lists and challenges. I especially enjoy contemporary young adult books. I'm a fast reader and love spotting typos when reading ARCs.

About the author

Og Maciel ( is a Brazilian-American software engineer and author of fiction and short stories. His works include “Software Quality Engineering: Tales From The Trenches,” “I.C.Q - A Novel,” and “The Big Score.” He lives in Chapel Hill, NC, with his wife and three daughters. view profile

Published on February 09, 2021

60000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Young Adult

Reviewed by