This was eerily similar to a future that I could see for all of us in our real lives. Between our obsession with reality TV and social media, we could head straight for this. In this world, you get a rating based on your behavior and society as a whole judges you in public for things you write online. They also carry out your sentence, which can range from a warning up to public execution. The teen MC makes one joke, and we follow her story for the rest of the book. It turns out her Dad was an early architect of the system that punishes her, and so the plot turns towards that mystery as well. I loved the whole thing.
Cassie’s dad has died and her Mom constantly frustrates her for being basically anti- social media. She’s typical teen and agrees that when The Hive (a internet sanctioned social justice mob) hands out a punishment than the person in question probably deserves it. There is a star system in place that everyone is connected to and must obey under a Presidential order or law? I wasn’t quite clear on that. But, it doesn’t seem to be voluntary. The platform is called BLINQ and it tracks your use on the internet as a whole and users use hashtags as they do now to try and trend positive. The problem is that you could viral (by reblogging and boosting) which will really hurt you or help you. If enough people “condemn” your comment it triggers a Hive Alert and that’s when the mob steps in.
Cassie makes a mistake online and soon The Hive is after her. You’ll learn a bit about coding, AI, and what the internet could turn into from this story. It’s an entertaining mystery above all else. It’ll be released in early September.