Characters obsessed with coding set A. V. Geiger’s suspenseful teen romance Scared Little Rabbits squarely in the digital age; their quest for love and acceptance gives the story an enduring appeal.
Invited to test her coding skills at Winthrop Academy, sixteen-year-old Nora thinks she has the ticket to a future in tech. She’s a gifted, middle class programmer, but is shy and ill at ease in the clique-driven summer program, whose hierarchy is soon clear. Eleanor is at its head; Maddox, attractive and mysterious, is ostensibly Eleanor’s boyfriend, but he seems interested in Nora, too.
Further, everyone at Winthrop is engrossed with InstaLove, the social app that Nora’s parents forbade her to use. Still, she downloads it and is immersed. Within it, she can reveal crushes and send messages by moving her eyes toward an icon on her new visor, a piece of tech available at the largesse of rich Eleanor. Students on campus play and interact on both virtual and literal fields, all while vying to wow tech giants at the Maker Fair, whose grand prize can make dreams come true.
When a body is dredged from the nearby river, the story’s focus switches to finding the culprit and saving Nora’s life. Multiple narrators and red herrings draw out the suspense before the story settles into its final resolution. As the book moves toward its end, its sentences are faster and shorter and its characters more frantic; nature and miscommunication threaten lives.
Smart, quick, and modern, the young adult tech thriller Scared Little Rabbits races towards a satisfying, unexpected conclusion.
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