Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Book review - Olivia Decoded

Title: Olivia Decoded
Author: Vivi Barnes
Genre: realistic fiction
Similar books: Second Star by Alyssa Sheinmel
                     Defending Taylor by Miranda Keneally
a solid sequel

Summary (provided by publisher): This isn’t my Jack, who once looked at me like I was his world. The guy who’s occupied the better part of my mind for eight months.
This is Z, criminal hacker with a twisted agenda and an arsenal full of anger.
I’ve spent the past year trying to get my life on track. New school. New friends. New attitude. But old flames die hard, and one look at Jack—the hacker who enlisted me into his life and his hacking ring, stole my heart, and then left me—and every memory, every moment, every feeling comes rushing back. But Jack’s not the only one who’s resurfaced in my life. And if I can’t break through Z’s defenses and reach the old Jack, someone will get hurt…or worse.

My opinion: The first book in this series, Olivia Twisted, was a modernized retelling of Oliver Twist, adding in elements of cyber crime and romance. While the plot followed the original in a general way, the new elements added enough to maintain interest. This book acknowledges that plot, of course. There are frequent references to their history of cyber crime and the final events of the first book. There are enough references to get a sense of what happened in that volume without having actually read it. What's missing in this one is the appeal. If you haven't read Olivia Twisted you don't know these characters. Without the connection, seeing their relationships develop and watching them grow as individuals, this book looses some of it's impact. The plot is largely logical but would have benefited from a little more background to the major plot points. A decent effort if you've read the first book, though that one stand pretty well on its own.

Advance Reader Copy provided by Entangled Publishing.

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