My Rating ~ Three stars
RELEASE DATE: 7 January 2020
Publisher: Entangled Teen
When Ella Karman debuts on the Social Stock Exchange, she finds out life as a high-profile “Influencer” isn’t what she expected. Everyone around her is consumed by their rankings, in creating the smoke and mirrors that make them the envy of the world.
But then Ella’s best friend betrays her, her rankings tank, and she loses—everything.
Leaving her old life behind, she joins Keystone, a secret school for thieves, where students are being trained to steal everything analog and original because something—or someone—is changing history to suit their needs.
Partnered with the annoyingly hot—and utterly impossible—Garrett Alexander, who has plenty of his own secrets, Ella is forced to return to the Influencer world, while unraveling a conspiracy that began decades ago.
One wrong move and she could lose everything—again.
Thank you so much to Entangled Teen for providing me with a copy of Keystone, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Ella’s parents are high ranking influencers, in a society where your ratings are everything. When Ella debuts for a high price on the social stock exchange, just before she joins an elite school, she realises her fellow influencers can and will do anything to keep their top rankings. After being betrayed by a friend, Ella is forced to join a secret society for thieves, where she’ll need to hide her identity and prove her worth all over again.
I’m thinking that 2020 is going to be the year of books about social media type ranking affecting people’s lives. I’ve already come across a couple of books with this theme just in the last few weeks (and the concept is very reminiscent of a Black Mirror episode). I’m not going to lie, I love this theme, it’s a scary, futuristic situation that’s not too hard to suspend belief for. Keystone had the promise of a great story – rankings, high school type drama, heists, intrigue and secret societies. And for the most part, the plot did draw me in. There were plenty of twists to keep me interested and some pretty cool technological ideals. But the romances were off putting. The inclusion of not one but two insta love tropes, with the main character falling for every guy with a pretty face the moment she laid eyes on him, kind of made me wish there was no romance in the book at all. The constant reference to how pretty and perfect every character was also just felt dull. Lastly, there were just a few too many times that the heist situations strayed a bit too far from believable, with throw away explanations that didn’t quite make sense.
I really did enjoy the concept of Keystone and I could see it being a great book, but I think it required a little more thought into the technology and a bit less of the “I hate you but I really love you, simply because you’re hot, even though I just met you.” trope, it’s just not my thing. But I’d still encourage anyone who enjoys Black Mirror style stories and the enemies to lovers trope to give this one a try, the heist missions are especially fun and to be honest I’d like a second book!
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