Immoral Code by Lillian Clark: Hackers, Friend Groups, and Billionaires!

4 stars

When physics genius Bellamy is admitted to MIT, her good fortune takes a bad turn when she learns that the student loan she’d been counting on is denied since her estranged father–one Robert Foster–is loaded.

However, Bellamy’s friends aren’t going to let Bellamy’s dreams be squashed by a deadbeat billionaire, so they hatch a plan to steal just enough from Foster to allow Bellamy to achieve her goals. Yet, their heist has so many ways it could go wrong, and Bellamy and her friends might not pull it off successfully.

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I read the first 100 pages of this book when I had a few spare minutes to actually pick something up to read. And then, I read another 50 pages and fell asleep somewhere in that area (not the book’s fault–I was really tired). So take what I saw with a grain of salt, because I know that I didn’t give this book my all, unfortunately.

I’ve been so excited for Immoral Code for months now, and I feel bad that I didn’t give this my 100% while reading. So the first half was definitely “meh” for me, but I do think that should be attributed to my flaky reading schedule vs. the actual book.

I did commit to the last half of this book (by sitting down for a couple of hours when I wasn’t tired, and reading it), and I actually really enjoyed it! There was one scene that is really clear in my mind that acted as the turning point for when I went from “meh” to “ahhh, this is good stuff.”

Mainly, the (verbal) fight scene when we really got to see the characters clash was the turning point for me.

In the beginning, I was undecided on the characters (more on that later). But this specific scene, highlighting some of the underlying tensions within their friend group ended up being really enjoyable to me, and I think Clark just wrote this scene really really well?

The character tensions were really nice and well-written, and Keagan’s especially in the way it contrasted and pushed back against the other characters’ was one of my favorite parts of this book!

This might seem like a pretty sci-fi book, but it’s actually more contemporary feat. a little hacker heist instead of a more science-fiction type novel.

So don’t expect too much sweeping science and crazy technology, because this was more of a contemporary friendship/friend group book vs. a science-fictiony heist. (Which I actually didn’t mind.)

What made me dock the star was ultimately that I didn’t click with the characters, for a couple of reasons and none of which I think were too correlated with my sloppy reading.

First off, the first couple chapters felt really . . . info-dumpy? It felt like the characters were all monologuing about themselves and their friends etc., and it was kind of awkward. Although, this might have been a good thing because I actually remember all the characters’ names, which is really rare for me.

But I didn’t like how the first few chapters kind of dumped all that info about the people on us.

And then, my other issue is that their personalities and friendship felt a little forced. Sometimes it was just hard to follow because of how crazy and quick their friendship is in the way that they change topics really fast. They have inside jokes and games and I feel like some of these things were never really explained or executed with the reader in mind, but were rather just there and we were expected to know them.

The good side of all of this is that the characters do have unique voices vs. other characters in YA, although some of them did feel a little over-the-top quirky. (Mainly, Bellamy and Reese who had a sciencey and color thing going on, respectively.)

There’s a lot of positives and negatives with the characters and I think it largely depends on who is reading? So definitely check out an excerpt or something to see if you agree with their voices, because if you don’t like their voices, you won’t like this book very much.

Overall, this wasn’t a bad book. Honestly, I think Clark did a very decent job of it, and I adored the last half. I think there’s a lot of gray area of whether someone will like it or not because a lot of it hinges on how much you click with the voices Clark wrote into the story.

So, I’d definitely recommend Immoral Code to anyone who enjoys the excerpt or thinks a contemporary feat. hacking sounds interesting!

Thank you so much to Lillian Clark and the Class of 2k19 books for hosting this giveaway and sending me an ARC!

Do you like any books about hackers?

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8 thoughts on “Immoral Code by Lillian Clark: Hackers, Friend Groups, and Billionaires!

  1. Lovely review, Vicky! ❤ I'm sorry to hear you didn't love this book entirely, but I'm actually glad to hear it is so friendship focused, I tend to love these kind of books, I'll have to give it a try maybe 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes! the friendship is a huuuge part of this book and I’m always stunned by how interwoven it was. if you’re really into friendship then yeah, I think you’ll love this, Marie!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is only the second time I’m hearing about the book, and the first was a great review, but this one is reminding me to be a little more cautious when I read it! Because I’m definitely going to read it. HEIST STORIES ARE GREAT.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH YES I LOVE HEISTS!!! either way, I hope you really enjoy it! I think a lot of the problem was just that I wasn’t in the right headspace, but now you know to be prepared!

      Liked by 1 person

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