by Romily Bernard
To be published on September 24, 2013
Source: ARC from publisher via Edelweiss
Connect with the author: website | Twitter | Facebook.
Summary (from Goodreads:) “Find Me.” These are the words written on Tessa Waye’s diary. The diary that ends up with Wick Tate. But Tessa’s just been found . . . dead. Wick has the right computer-hacking skills for the job, but little interest in this perverse game of hide-and-seek. Until her sister Lily is the next target. Then Griff, trailer-park boy next door and fellow hacker, shows up, intent on helping Wick. Is a happy ending possible with the threat of Wick’s deadbeat dad returning, the detective hunting him sniffing around Wick instead, and a killer taunting her at every step? Foster child. Daughter of a felon. Loner hacker girl. Wick has a bad attitude and sarcasm to spare. But she’s going to find this killer no matter what. Because it just got personal.My take: By total coincidence, I read a lot of books about hackers this summer. Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon. A non-fiction book called We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency by Parmy Olson. And now, Find Me. My takeaway: the hacker subculture is a strange and fascinating one.
Find Me definitely had a Veronica Mars vibe that I loved. Main character Wicket, a foster child and hacker, breaks into the online accounts of allegedly cheating spouses to make extra cash. I liked Wick a lot, even though her name brought to mind the game of cricket and I suspect was chosen just so Griff, the love interest, could call her "Wicked." This could have been annoying, but it flustered poor Wick so much that I began to get on board with it all.
Wick is intensely protective of her younger sister, Lily. She's disturbed by the fact that she's being spied on by Detective Carson, who suspects she knows the whereabouts of her drug dealer father. She's saddened by the suicide of her classmate, Tessa Waye. And she's perplexed when someone drops Tessa's diary on her front porch with a note that says "find me."
I thought this whole set-up was great, offering a lot of possibilities for both characterization and tension. Wick and Lily live with their foster parents, Todd and Bren, but also under the shadow of their mother's death and their father's drug dealing. Wick is wary and prickly, in contrast to Lily, who's more sunny and optimistic. Lily's happy to take the new clothes that Bren buys her and forget her past, while Wick clearly fears that she might be a little too much like her lawbreaking father. Guy-next-door Griff was also an intriguing character and the developing relationship between him and Wick was fun to watch.
So… I have zero basis to evaluate the plausibility of the hacking undertaken in this book. But if you're a regular blog reader, you know that I'm a HUGE mystery fan. As a result, I'm probably more nitpicky about mysteries than any other kind of book. As soon as one particular character appeared on the page, it was as if s/he was wearing a giant sign with an arrow that said "I Did It." I'm not always 100% correct at guessing the culprit in mysteries, but given the clues revealed in Tessa's diary, it seemed to me that there were really no other viable suspects.
Then we have the matter of Wick's involvement in the mystery. I feel strongly that amateur detectives -- unless they are nosy old ladies in small English or American villages with nothing better to do -- need some sort of personal stake in solving a crime. Wick and Tessa weren't close friends, so there was really no compelling reason for a standoffish person like Wick to get involved. (Yes, there was the matter of the killer targeting Lily, but that seemed a little overwrought and, in the end, made the identity of the killer a little improbable.) The second problem faced by amateur detectives is access to the details of the case. Luckily, that was not an issue in Find Me, as rather than poring over (or hacking into) police reports, Wick used her computer skills to flush the killer out. I enjoyed this "cat and mouse" aspect of the book a lot.
Not everything was neatly tied up by the last page, but then the last page also makes it clear that Wick's crime-solving days are far from over. That's great, because I'm a fan of this book and of Wick, Detective Carson, and Griff, and will enthusiastically read the next installment of their story.
Glad you enjoyed. i was in the wrong mood when I started and didn't click with WickReplyDelete
It's the second review I read of this book and I'm already sure I will like it!! The whole hacking idea sounds intriguing to me. I've never read about this subject before.ReplyDelete
Great review!!! =)
Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl
I read this a few months ago and just reviewed it recently and I don't think I did justice to how much I loved it. I loved how ambiguous the detective is and I love that there are more mysteries to come! Like you, the cat and mouse aspect really elevated the tension and I thought it made Wic an active participant instead of someone getting in over their head, as so often happens to amateur sleuths.ReplyDelete
I have this book and have been needing to pick it up FOREVER. I love hacker storylines too. Glad to hear both you and Steph enjoyed it:)ReplyDelete
Oh, yes, I agree that the reason for her involvment was filmsy at best, that part bothered me too, and I didn't buy Lily as an excuse for her to push further and not tell anyone. Plus, the villain was painfully obvious the entire time.ReplyDelete
But I did enjoy this overall, against all odds, and I hope there will be a sequel at some point.
Interesting! I have a friend whose husband is a hacker by profession, paid by companies to see if their systems are safe. Such an interesting premise for a novel!ReplyDelete
Great review! I was thinking that Wick got involved because at one point she had been good friends with Tessa and knew the family and how abusive Tessa's father was. Then there was the fact that Tessa's sister was the one who asked Wick to get involved. I was on the right track for the villain, but then there would be a tidbit thrown out about another possible suspect, so it threw me off a little. I do wish we would have delved a little bit more into Griff and his family and his life, but we might do more of that in the next book. I still really enjoyed this - as much as you can like a book like this where a killer is stalking someone. It gave me some good chills. :)ReplyDelete
Oh, and I still don't know what I think about the detective, Carson. I forgot to bring it up in my review, but I didn't like how he treated Wick, but then was still not that type of cop - if you know what I mean without giving anything away. I like my characters consistent.Delete
Great assessment of this book! I though it was very obvious who the "bad guy" was from the beginning. I also agree feeling like it didn't really make sense in the context of the story. Or maybe it just freaked me out even more. I liked Wick and Griff and was more interested in the plot involving her dad than the psychopath targeting girls. But overall, I agree that this is very readable and I will likely read the next installment if there is one.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you enjoyed Find Me. The "cat and mouse" aspect sounds really great as well as Wick's character. I've been pretty excited for this one to come out-thanks for the great review Jen. :)ReplyDelete
I actually really, really enjoyed this one, and admit to not knowing the culprit at first. I read so many mysteries so my mind is always racing with the possibilities every time I read one. So sometimes I overthink it lol.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you enjoyed Find Me, and I can't wait for the next book. I loved Wicket (even with her silly name) and I loved the hacker aspects of it.
I really, really, really need this book. So much has been written about how fantastic this book is! With a name like Wick, how could she not be an interesting character? Glad you loved this too!ReplyDelete
I really hate the name Wick...it makes me think of a candle and I find it kind of stupid. Still I do enjoy a fast-paced cat and mouse story and I think I'd really enjoy reading this one.ReplyDelete
Wasn't really drawn to this one but I love anything with a Veronica Mars feel. I do like mysteries but find most of the YA ones predictable. I wish I could hack into databases and stuff! LOLReplyDelete
Veronica Mars vibe you say? Now my curiosity is really peaked. I've been only lukewarm over reading this book, maybe I should just do it.ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed this one too, Jen. I was able to figure out the bad guy pretty early on from the clue but it was still great to watch the characters unravel the mystery!ReplyDelete
I have yet to watch Veronica Mars! I know,I know! I will watch it sometime but I can tell you that I too like books where the characters follow mystery. I think those plotlines pull me in right away. Nice review.ReplyDelete
I love Veronica Mars! And now that I know this book has a little of her and I think I'll add it to my pile!ReplyDelete
I don't like the name, though, the first time I read it I thought it was silly, anyway, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
Lis @ The reader lines
This sounds like a must read! There are soo many good books out there and soo little time!!ReplyDelete
I'm really interested in the hacker subculture. Especially since it didn't seem like you'd get a lot of that in fiction - maybe the only one I can think of is Cress by Marissa Meyer, and that's not really focused on it either. So either way, thanks for mentioning those books.ReplyDelete
:( He calls her Wicked? Is that supposed to be her hacker name, a tribute to the book/musical, or some bad boy pet name for the girl? I don't know much about Veronica Mars, but from what you've just written, it does seem to have that vibe.
I have a question. Why do so many main characters seem to have this tragic-esque background? Father's a drug dealer, mom has died, MC and little sister live with foster parents. It seems to be something that crops up pretty frequently in YA o.O. But I agree that the set-up of this novel sounds AWESOME and I can see how that'd bring a lot of tension and conflict.
:/ ouch. I heard the same about the mystery, though. Another reviewer I trust had, like you, been able to identify the culprit from the start. Was it at least fun to guess at that person's motives?
Hmmm, I agree about the personal stake in solving a crime although it doesn't necessarily have to be something that's happened like Tessa and Wick being friends. Have you read Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan? MC is definitely an amateur detective but it works because of her personality - I suppose that's where this one went wrong for you? And the part about the killer targeting the little sister - I feel like you see that kind of thing happen so often in fiction. How to raise the stakes? Let's take it back to the character I've made the readers care about / take it back to the home front. But rarely do they follow through with that danger and raising the stacks.
Anyway, lol, sorry about the negative comments, but hey, I'm glad you'll be following the characters through to the next story. I hope you like it!