Content Warnings: Slut-shaming, adultery, bullying, aphobia
Trigger Warnings: Japanese America, Mexican, acearo, working class, working poor
Synopsis*: For Nari, aka Narioka Diane, aka hacker digital alter ego “d0l0s,” it’s college and then a career at “one of the big ones,” like Google or Apple. Keagan, her sweet, sensitive boyfriend, is happy to follow her wherever she may lead. Reese is an ace/aro visual artist with plans to travel the world. Santiago is off to Stanford on a diving scholarship, with very real Olympic hopes. And Bellamy? Physics genius Bellamy is admitted to MIT—but the student loan she’d been counting on is denied when it turns out her estranged father—one Robert Foster—is loaded.
Nari isn’t about to let her friend’s dreams be squashed by a deadbeat billionaire, so she hatches a plan to steal just enough from Foster to allow Bellamy to achieve her goals.
Previous Grey Reads
Gen Z says “Fuck capitalism!”
We’re not greedy thieving assholes; we’re opportunistic thieving avengers!
Five teens decide to give capitalism the middle finger when they take fate into their own hands and plan a heist to steal one of the teen’s tuition money.
This is a great book for teens who are sick of capitalism (How many times am I gonna use that word in this review??? Probably too many) and wanna feel empowered to take their futures into their own hands.
“Now, we’re gathered here today in the name of the Family We Choose, to cement this union with the most lasting and strongest of glues, shared guilt and criminal activity.”
What I loved about this book was the plot was super fast paced for the most part.
It could also become a bit slow at times but it’s because some of the chapters purely exist to show the individual relationships between each cast of characters and because of this Clark not only created believable characters but it also captured the intricacies of the relationships between our main 5 characters and I’m really glad we didn’t miss out on that.
Every single member of the Immoral Gang have a strong relationship with every other member. There’s no ‘oh we’re just friends because I’m friends with this other mutual friends.’ They all genuinely love and care about each other and although some friendships were formed because of other pre-existing ones, they still have their own dynamics and vulnerability with each other and I really loved that.
Healthy teen friendships where everyone actually likes and cares about each other??? Don’t know her.
And although there is a lot of love there, don’t think this group is without it’s conflicts. But they communicate with each other and work through things together. They’re not afraid to own up to their mistakes, maybe not in the moment but they take the time to think about how their actions and words can affect the rest of the group.
“Just because you’re scared of the consequences of doing something big doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a chance.”
Now that I’ve told you how they work together, let me introduce you to each character as well.
💎 𝓡𝓮𝓮𝓼𝓮 💎
I’d rather light the match and burn to death than suffocate as the gas slowly replaces all the breathable air.
AceAro artist who runs her own Etsy store and sells all sorts of customised goodies. She has a super strained relationship with her mother and is getting harassed at school because teen boys are the absolute worse.
She’s always ready for an adventure and jumps at the chance to go on a heist with her best friends.
💎 𝓝𝓪𝓻𝓲 💎
Nari took a heavy breath. Her shoulders slackened. “I refuse to be terrified of possibility,” she said quietly. “And I refuse to look the other way. Looking the other way is easy. Ignoring injustice is easy. Staring it straight in the face and doing something is what’s hard.”
Japanese American teen hacker who takes no shit and will kick your ass. She’s in a relationship with Keagan. She hatches the groups heist plans because of course she fucking does this girl is unstoppable. No seriously this girl could conquer the world if Keagan just stayed out of her way long enough.
She’s ready to right the wrongs being inflicted on her bestie, Bellamy.
💎 𝓚𝓮𝓪𝓰𝓪𝓷 💎
Keagan legit believes that putting good out gets good back. That positivity and tolerance and optimism will each give you literal returns. Vibes, energy, whatever. That deserving will eventually equal receiving
In a relationship with Nari and is on the swim team. He doesn’t really have any sense of direction for his life. He is absolutely not on-board with the heist and wants everyone to know it.
He’s always ready to bring the theatrics and it’s the only reason why I liked him. He’s an absolute drama queen but this also means it can have a huge attitude problem if he doesn’t get his way.
💎 𝓢𝓪𝓷𝓽𝓲𝓪𝓰𝓸 💎
Felt my smile spread like a thing not entirely owned by me, wide and bright and not altogether under my control. I felt vivid. I felt invincible.
Because I’d done it.
I was a damned good bet.
Mr Cool Calm and Collected. He’s a Mexican, working class swimmer and its his dream to compete at the Olympics but his parents think it’s too risky and he should pick something more safe.
He’s ready to prove to himself that he’s a good bet and also he’s so in love with Bellamy he’d do basically anything for her.
💎 𝓑𝓮𝓵𝓵𝓪𝓶𝔂 💎
“He has five houses, Keag. Five fucking houses, while my mom and I can barely pay rent. And you know me well enough to know I don’t feel like I’m owed much of anything, that it’s about earning, not being entitled. But dammit, he owes me this. And not just because of the financial aid. For everything. My whole life. He owes me.”
Genius with an IQ of 165, loves space and science and is basically a walking encyclopedia. She has early entry to MIT but she comes from a single mum who works a bunch of jobs just to make ends meet so there’s no way she can afford tuition without help and when her distant and rich af father gets in the way of the help she needs she’s shattered.
She’s ready to make her father pay for it.
“Right, tell me to shut up. Tell me to get over it. Tell me I’m ridiculous. That I don’t get it. That—”
The four of us turned to Bellamy.
“What?” Keagan asked.
She frowned at him. “You don’t get it.”
Each character’s voice is distinct and even if it wasn’t stated who was the voice for each chapter, I don’t think I ever would have gotten confused because of how unmistakable they all were.
I mean this group is diverse af and several members are very clearly working class. It’s a great contrast to the dizzying heights of wealth found at Foster Innovations, Bellamy’s father’s company.
I’m also what you can consider working class and boy did this narrative speak to me. Sometimes I get so fed up with how our system is built for people like me to fail, I see red and I want to take on every giant corporation, and then immediately feel helpless when I remember that I have a chronic illness and sometimes can’t even get out of bed in the morning.
Bellamy’s pain of missing out on her dreams because of money is a universal one felt by millions of people all over the world and I think Clark handle it perfectly.
“Working or not working,” he said quietly, almost to himself, “it all feels like fire to me.”
Keagan really pissed me off for basically the entire book.
I felt no sympathy for him whatsoever and his holier than thou attitude towards not wanting to carry out the heist cemented him on my bad side. I just don’t have time for fence sitters who very clearly don’t actually want to sit on the fence but don’t want to deal with the repercussions of picking a side, and then blame everyone else for their attitude problem because of it.
Honestly if it wasn’t for that I would have loved this book a lot more than I did.
Where To Buy
*Taken from Goodreads.
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Grey Recommends – Hacking Realness
🍃 Eye Candy, series: A New York woman suspects that one of her online dates is a serial killer.
🍃 Mr. Robot, series: Elliot, a brilliant but highly unstable young cyber-security engineer and vigilante hacker, becomes a key figure in a complex game of global dominance when he and his shadowy allies try to take down the corrupt corporation he works for.
🍃 Alif the Unseen, novel: When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen.
I will always be here for Teen Hackers.
Have you read Immoral Code?
Would you help your friend steal money from the rich for a good cause?