I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Playing With Fire by Sherry D. Ficklin
Published by Clean Teen Publishing on October 27, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
One brilliant young hacker.
One experimental government aircraft.
One chance to keep it all from going up in flames.
Still recovering from her troubled past, Farris is no stranger to change. But when the military transfers her father across the country to an experimental aircraft squadron, settling in to a new life is the least of her problems. As a series of apparent computer glitches threaten the security of the fleet and the blame falls on her father, she decides to put her computer skills to use digging up the truth. Soon she’s drawn into the perilous world of a hacker who is determined to ground the fleet—at any cost.
When all signs lead to someone close to her as the mastermind, Farris will have to burn more than bridges to get to the truth. She will have to risk her fragile new life to uncover the identity of the cyber criminal before they can escalate from harmless tampering… to all out murder.
My top thoughts:
I’ve owned this book (for review from netgalley oops) for years. And I grabbed it because I have enjoyed everything I ever read by Sherry D. Ficklin. So why the delay? Too many books is the only reason I can think of. But I’m trying to get to 100% on Netgalley so I picked it up and I am so glad I did!
What I liked/didn’t like:
Farris is a fantastic YA character. She’s the daughter of a military father and her mother passed away when she was younger. She’s had to grow up way too much as a result and I enjoyed watching the way Ficklin expressed that without going over the top – Farris still makes some very (accurately) immature decisions. And it was just neat to see this imagining of what life would be like living on a military base. I have no idea how accurate it is, but I enjoyed it. There’s love interest with the inevitable YA love triangle. That I didn’t love, but the way Ficklin worked it out was satisfying.
There’s also a mystery – someone is sabotaging, in a potentially dangerous way, her father’s team. She’s worried – lives could be lost – and since she’s exceptionally skilled with computers and can hack, she decides to investigate on her own. Now queue a little bit of an eye roll – am I supposed to believe that the US military doesn’t employ hackers that are more skilled than a teenager? The one saving grace in the plausibility is that she does have some information they don’t that perhaps makes it more possible for her to do the hacking.
Things ended up in a way I didn’t expect and I was kept guessing the whole way through. I really enjoyed it and would be interested to see what book 2 is about, as this felt like a satisfying conclusion. Apparently I own book 2 already on Kindle too lol.
Qualifies for COYER Fall Scavenger Hunt Item #1 – first book in a series.