This book wins points for its diverse, inclusive cast of characters, with each of five friends telling a part of the story. Since it’s a heist story involving hackers, a digital reader would seem appropriate, right? Not exactly. While the characters have distinct stories, the switching points of view were difficult for me to track, and I spent a lot of time going back to the chapter heads to figure out who was talking. I did, however, appreciate the smart and funny dialogue; reminded me of a modern version of Friends, only they were all just a wee bit smarter. Despite the title, I was disappointed that only one of the characters seemed to have a moral conscience. Yes, I feel old now, having just used the term “modern version of Friends” and worrying about the moral conscious of fictional characters, but still.
As a parent of a child the age of the characters in this book, I am clearly not the intended audience, but I still consider myself an open and caring reader. I kept wondering why, if Bellamy was as brilliant as I’m supposed to believe she is, she could not confront her father (or mother) more directly about the money before it got to the point of a heist. Yes, I know there wouldn’t have been much of a story, but this plotline seemed incredible to me—and the neatly wrapped up ending kind of proved my point. I admit, the idea of robbing my parents (or attempting any kind of heist) would definitely have been more appealing to teenage-me than it was to mommy-me, so there is a decidedly large audience for this story regardless of my take on it. In any case, I finished the book because the writing was sharp and often funny, and I will be interested to see what Clark comes up with next.