Posts Tagged 'computer'

The Cipher by John C. Ford

cipher

Genre:  Mystery

# of Pages:  374

RAC:  Yes

Robert “Smiles” Smylie is the son of a very wealthy and important man who began a computer software company when Smiles was a baby.  Smiles has always felt like a disappointment to his father since he is not a math genius.  His mother ran out on him when he was a baby and his loving stepmother died suddenly in a car accident shortly before the story begins.  He is struggling to find his place when his quiet neighbor, Ben, asks for his help getting to an encryption conference.  Once there, Ben cracks a previously thought to be uncrackable code that if sold could breach the top secrets of every organization while also bankrupting his father’s company.  Ben creates an elaborate plan to protect the code but still get him and Ben some of the profits from discovering such a code.  Is this his shot at greatness?  Can he and Ben pull off such a big plan and get away with it?

This title reads like a heist movie in that there are lots of aspects to their plan and there are many players in the game who have plans of their own.  Smiles learns a lot about his dad’s past and the truth about the beginning of his company and why his mother really left him.  There are many surprises and plot twists, but the story definitely has some slower moments as well.  Recommended for fans of heist movies.

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The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  356

RAC:  Yes

Emma and Josh are high school kids in 1996 when the story begins.  Emma gets her first computer and hooks it up to AOL only to receive the bonus Facebook.  She finds her username and password for AOL work on Facebook and is shocked to find that she is looking at her own profile in 15 years.  When she tells Josh, her estranged best friend, he finds a profile of himself as well.  To say their futures are not what they expected is an understatement.  Emma is especially disappointed in her future and vows to make decisions that will permanently change it.  Josh is not necessarily disappointed in his future, but a bit confused as to how he gets there.  As they begin noticing that little changes affect their future profiles they both need to think hard about what they want in their futures.  Can they come to terms with their possible futures or do they want to make big changes that might help them get closer to where they hoped to be?

The relationship between Josh and Emma is complex at best due to the romantic rejection Josh felt when he tried to tell her he wanted to be more than friends.  Despite the slight distance that has grown between them they still share a connection, which is why they get so jealous when they see the other person in a romantic relationship.  The idea of getting a glimpse of the future is intriguing, especially to teens who are making those big decisions such as where to go to college.  The references to 1996 are humorous, even if many are lost on current teenagers.  The overall story moves quickly and will engage many young readers.  Fans of romance and realistic fiction will enjoy this title.


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