by Michael F. Stewart
Publication Date: March 22nd 2013
Publisher: Non Sequitur PressFind This Book: Assured Destruction
A copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.
Janus is your typical teen going through High School, aside from the fact that her father walked out on her and her mother and Janus doesn't know why, her mom is now in a wheel chair, their shop is close to shutting down, and to top it all off Janus is an unappreciated computer genius. No exactly typical.
So, Janus and her mom run 'Assured Destruction' where they assure the destruction of hard drives for people. Except, not all of them meet the mouth of Chop-chop. Janus has a place called The Shadownet. She goes through hard drives and pieces together a persona from the information on it. She then puts these people on the Internet. They're like a family to her, their infractions are each a different part of her. JanusFlyTrap, Gumps, Heekleena, Frannie, and the new recruit Paradise57. Things were great, her biggest problem was Chippy the computer science teacher who she had a mutual dislike for. That all changed when the hacker attacked. Her Online refuge is getting destroyed piece by piece, and she is getting pushed into a world of reality and relationships with real people.
Not only is this way more serious than she ever imagined, her mother is also starting to date a new guy named Peter and now that she notices, Janus is having some boy trouble of her own.
I love the tension between Janus and her mother throughout the book. It completely realistic and reminds me of an over-the-top exaggeration on my own relationship with my mom (we don't agree on things very often). The way technology is incorporated into the story was great. I mean, I wasn't expecting much (the whole e-book thing is still skeptical to me haha) but this book actually blew me away. I genuinely loved the modern writingI style and how the book didn't end in a 'happily ever after' sort of way, but it was still satisfying. I totally wasn't expecting the plot twists, I ended up feeling emotions for the characters instead of just 'reading from the sidelines' and I couldn't help but root for Jonny's success as far as relationships go hehe. There WAS a bit of a love triangle, but the fact that the book wasn't revolved around it at all was awesome. I thought is was really cool that Jonny spray paints and is artistic, while the book also brought up real world issues about the modern high the world such as bullying on social media, how easily pictures spread, hackers, identity theft, child pornography etc. it was really quite interesting. The book is told in a very new generation social media sort of fun lingo with the occasion tweets from her different selves. It was really enjoyable to read :D