Blake’s debut tackles the perils of privacy in the digital age.
Artistic, mixed-race (mom’s a white Southern belle; dad’s a Colombian diplomat) high school senior Anna Soler is not excited to return for her final semester at D.C.–area private school Alexandria Prep. Her jock boyfriend broke up with her over Christmas break, and on top of that she has social anxiety disorder, making social interactions difficult enough. All she wants to do is get her relationships back to normal with the friends she dropped while dating Palmer—facing the school cliques alone post-breakup would be too much. But soon cliques become the least of her worries when someone emails a list of search terms to the entire student body—searches Prep students made on their phones ranging from benign (“Jennifer Lawrence”) to exposing (“STD symptoms”) to deeply personal (“avoid rebounding with a close friend”). What starts as one leak turns into a steady stream, and soon the hacks begin to target particular students, exposing their most private secrets. Who is the hacker, and what is the motive? Will the leaks bring students together or tear them apart? With a conclusion to rival the finale of a show on Freeform, the novel is predictable and at times preachy. Nevertheless, Anna’s present-tense narration gets readers inside her anxiety, and the premise is undeniably compelling.
In an age of adult anxieties over digital privacy, this book is #relevant. (Fiction. 14-17)