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Who knew that somebody could become a wanted criminal for posting something online? The Hive enters the world of Cassie McKinney, renowned hacker, and programmer. As the school year begins, she quickly finds herself in the popular kids group, entirely on accident, ignoring everybody else that tries to talk to her. Later, to impress her “friends” she posts a joke on the Hive, a government sponsored social media platform, about the president’s ugly baby. Almost right away, she gets bumped up to a level 5 Hive justice, which is people’s way of lashing back to to offensive things online. Now, she is a wanted criminal. Immediately, she runs, and finds herself at a hideout for other hackers, subject to Hive justice. She thinks her life can’t get any worse, but soon a level 5 Hive justice will seem like paradise.
The way Barry Lyga describes everything in the Hive, makes it seem like it could almost happen in dystopian America. Everything from the environment, to how the hacking is not all Matrix master-mind makes it all almost sound like a biography, even though some parts are totally impossible. The characters all have such great personalities and traits, and don’t seem like mindless clones at all. Some characters are so sarcastic, and funny, while others are serious, and stone-faced, it feels like there is a different author for each character. The parts where Lyga shows the internet’s response to Cassie’s actions, is such a nice addition, and makes the book come together. I definitely think you should read this book!
The most memorable part of the book is when Cassie gets a level 1 Hive justice. She freaks out, but then calms down, because it will be over in a day or two. Then, she gets a level 2 Hive justice, and enters panic mode. It reminds me of when you’re late for class, and you know what’s going to happen, but there’s nothing to do but rip the metaphorical band-aid off. Cassie was in the same exact situation, she did something small and harmless, but now she’s in big trouble.
Reviewed by Joseph, Twin Hickory Area Library