Marcus is a normal 17-year-old kid who gets a kick out of fooling the administrators in his school and hacking their security systems. He even knows how to fool the gait-detection technology so it can’t tell who he is when he is walking around the school. He uses this to sneak out of school one day to play a new video game with his best friends Darryl and Van. This backfires when San Francisco is attacked by terrorists. As they try to get underground, Darryl is hurt and so they decide to go back to the surface to find medical help for him. There, they are arrested by the government who claims that since they were on the surface that they have something to do with the attacks.
Marcus is scared beyond belief, but he is eventually released by them. Van is released as well. However, Darryl isn’t found again. After the attacks, San Francisco has put in new security measures to try to find the terrorists, but all it seems to do is put the Citizens of San Francisco at risk for being spied on constantly. Marcus is the only one who knows what the government really did to him, and he knows that he has to do something to speak out against the government’s oppression. Therefore, he turns to the internet for help.
I loved this book. I think that everyone should read this book. It may not have seemed as realistic in 2009, almost 10 years ago, but it is definitely relevant today. The more I think about it, the more I could see a situation where the government oversteps the line of personal privacy in pursuit of terrorists. It is more important for people to be aware of surveillance now because we have just about our entire lives online or on our phones, whether it be for work, or college applications, or chatting with family members through video or phone call. It is important to think about who actually has access to what we do, and what that person could do with that information.
Besides the book and how it relates so easily to real life, I love the general storyline. I love the idea of teenagers trying to beat the adults and the government even though most adults do not even see the problem right away.
I recommend this story for anyone looking for an eye-opening novel about the government vs kids.
Overall Rating: 5/5