Monday, November 16, 2020

Scared Little Rabbits, by A.V. Geiger

Nora is really excited to be spending the summer in an elite tech summer program at Winthrop Academy.  She's hoping to win the camp's contest, wowing judges including Emerson Kemp, the founder of augmented reality social media sensation InstaLove.  Not that she knows much about InstaLove the program (which her parents won't let her download) or love in any real life sense either!  But she's optimistic that this summer will be different and that she will burst out of her caccoon.

Things don't start off propitiously.  Everyone seems to know everyone else and queen bees Eleanor and Reese take a profound dislike towards her.  Saving the day, moody dreamboat Maddox has eyes for her, although Eleanor is a jealous ex- and tries to keep them apart.  That said, nothing is all that simple.  Eleanor is blackmailing Maddox and hiding secrets from just about everyone.  As the contest creeps closer, a sudden death sends everything into a frantic and tense conclusion.

While rooted in tired YA tropes (unsupervised summer campers get in big trouble while awkward and inexperienced girl gets an A-list boy to fall head over heels for her), the augmented reality stuff is kind of fun.  InstaLove, combining Instagram and PokemonGo sounds plausible enough to make a fresh foundation.  The story is paced well and the mystery largely maintained with a lot of distracting false leads to keep us off track.  However, the ending gets rushed and overall I just didn't find Nora interesting enough, boy toy Maddox sexy enough, or Reese and Eleanor bad enough to make this worth recommending.

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