Technology has created avenues for exposure and at times overexposure. At times this can lead to making and breaking reputations. There are armies of hackers across the world who live by finding incriminating information about people from all walks of life and then blackmailing or extorting them. Celebrities usually have the resources to fight off these allegations but the average person does not.
Jesse is a teen who lives with his uncle. His father walked out on the family and so his mother was forced to seek refuge at her brother's. There has been a string of arsons in the town and Jesse's uncle, a firefighter, is kept busy. This is not the only thing on his mind however as Jesse is virtual slave to a mysterious person called King.
King discovered something that a family member did to Jesse when he was younger and spread it across the internet. Now he has Jesse at his mercy- Jesse has a phone that he must answer anytime King calls or else people in his life can suffer. Jesse is at the end of his rope and sees a bleak future for himself until he gets in touch with Miranda a skilled hacker who is on a mission to trap King and expose him. Both these kids have complicated back stories and differing motives for wanting King caught.
Though the second half of the book read somewhat like an espionage thriller with high tech gadgets, manhunts and inter agency task forces it did make for an engaging read. This novel is a fictional tale but cyber bullying is a very real occurrence which in some extreme cases has caused kids to commit suicide. This is a timely book by CJ Lyons and while it is not exactly a cautionary tale it would still be a good read for those 14 and up.
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