What if there was an app that told you what song to listen to, what coffee to order, who to date, even what to do with your life—an app that could ensure your complete and utter happiness?
What if you never had to fail or make a wrong choice?
What if you never had to fall?
Fast-forward to a time when Apple and Google have been replaced by Gnosis, a monolith corporation that has developed the most life-changing technology to ever hit the market: Lux, an app that flawlessly optimizes decision making for the best personal results.
Just like everyone else, sixteen-year-old Rory Vaughn knows the key to a happy, healthy life is following what Lux recommends. When she’s accepted to the elite boarding school Theden Academy, her future happiness seems all the more assured. But once on campus, something feels wrong beneath the polished surface of her prestigious dream school.
Then she meets North, a handsome townie who doesn’t use Lux, and begins to fall for him and his outsider way of life. Soon, Rory is going against Lux’s recommendations, listening instead to the inner voice that everyone has been taught to ignore — a choice that leads her to uncover a truth neither she nor the world ever saw coming.
This book pleasantly surprised me. Judging by the title and synopsis, I was sure it would be another YA romance taking place in the future to assign itself the sci/fi genre. What I found was a gripping story of an intelligent protagonist unraveling the mysterious past of her mother. To my immense relief, the romance didn’t take over the plot and what was there was relevant to the story. And it’s not often you find a Young Adult sci/fi standalone these days.
The concept of this world is fantastic and slightly eerie because I can definitely see our world turning into a completely technology dependent one. The way people are turning to their phones every two minutes, we are already headed there. While reading this book in the lunchroom in school, I would look up every few minutes and see most of the student body glued to their phones at all times. And seeing how there is an app for almost everything, we are not far from creating a decision making app that makes your decisions for you.
I’m not giving it five stars because I wasn’t a big fan of the character interactions. Rory’s relationship with both Hershey and North could have been developed a lot more.
Even though he was barely in there, Beck was the character I liked the most. He thought for himself (very unlike Rory in the beginning). I was devastated when Rory met him at the Gnosis place and he had transformed into this submissive Lux user. A big part of the reason I was rooting for Rory to be successful was to get Beck back to normal.
Even though the solar flare was completely coincidental and a little too convenient with its timing, I really liked the ending.