Sadie Hayes The Social CodeThe Social Code by Sadie Hayes
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin, an imprint of Macmillan
Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley

From the publisher:

Eighteen-year-old twins Adam and Amelia Dory learned the hard way to rely only on each other, growing up in a small town where they understood the meaning of coming from nothing. But everything changes when both are offered scholarships to Stanford University – and catapulted into the dazzling world of Silicon Valley, where anyone with a good enough idea can skyrocket to fame and fortune in the blink of an eye…

Amelia is almost as pretty as she is smart – almost. A shy girl and genius, she is happiest alone in the computer lab, but her brother has other plans for her talents: A new company that will be the next Silicon Valley hit, and will thrust Amelia into the spotlight whether she likes it or not. Where Amelia’s the brains, Adam’s the ambition – he sees the privileged lifestyle of the Silicon Valley kids and wants a piece of what they have. He especially wants a piece of Lisa Bristol, the stunning daughter of one of the Valley’s biggest tycoons.

As Adam and Amelia begin to hatch their new company, they find themselves going from nothing to the verge of everything seemingly overnight. But no amount of prestige can prepare them for the envy, backstabbing and cool calculation of their new powerful peers.

The Social Code falls in this genre called New Adult, which I guess is like YA for college students? That’s what it felt like to me, anyway – YA voice but with college-aged kids, and with more drinking, sex, and other bad stuff than you typically find in YA. I liked it, though. YA with an edge, I suppose.

So I enjoyed this one. I liked the rags-to-riches (or, potential riches) situation Amelia and Adam were in. I liked the fact that Amelia is this incredibly smart, geeky girl who is totally bad-ass and she doesn’t even know it. There are hints throughout the novel that she is pretty, or that she would be better looking if she put some effort into it, but I loved that not once in the book was the important thing about her how she looked. She was valued for her mind and you don’t see that enough in fiction for the younger crowd.

There were enough minor characters, and they were interesting enough, to keep my attention throughout the book when the focus was pulled away from Amelia. There is drama and intrigue and lots of sex and drinking. So, basically just a fun read overall.

What was really disappointing to me was the moment when I discovered this book is the first in a planned series. I was enjoying the book but when it ended in a cliffhanger, and I realized I’d have to find the next book to discover what happened, I was very frustrated.

THEN, I got the second book, The Next Big Thing, and read 100 pages of it before giving up. What was fun and exciting and different in the first book became overly dramatic and at times boring in the second book. So while I enjoyed The Social Code, I won’t be finishing the series.

Recommended, sort of? Is that even something I can say? I’ll say this – the idea of New Adult is still interesting to me and I’ll probably continue to seek out novels in this genre. But this series, for me, should have ended with the first book. Then I would have been able to recommend it much more enthusiastically.