Notice for Review Requests

I receive review requests weekly. However, my personal schedule is hectic and I no longer review actively. (I also manage another blog called The Toronto Cafe and Food Blog). I do read every request sent but I apologize in advance that I do not reply to them all.

If I do take on a request, I will forewarn that it may take some time before I can review it. I am now looking to review adult fiction and self-help books instead of young adult fiction because I have grown out of it. If you are to request a review for either adult fiction or self-help, I will more likely to give it a shot.

In the meantime, Stop, Drop, and Read! serves as an archive book review blog. When I have the time, I may post a review. Thank you for understanding.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Title: Little Brother
Author: Cory Doctorow
Age Group: Older Teens
# of Pages: 382
My Rating: 5/5

Life has changed over so many decades. We now live in a world full of technology that dominates our everyday lives. We can buy rare items online, talk to our cousins living on the opposite side of Earth, and so much more. But what happens when the very thing that we rely so heavily on turns against us?

Into ARGs (alternate reality games) and follows the network world very closely, Marcus is smart kid with hacking skills that could even infiltrate a bank if he wanted to. He decides to skip school one day to play an ARG game called Harajuku Fun Madness. This requires him and his teammates (who are also his closest friends) to physically get outside and do something like a scavenger hunt with the clues they are given.

While on the streets in the middle of the game, the ground starts shaking. When Marcus looks up into the sky, he sees a huge cloud of smoke spreading outwards. Something blew up. Something big blew up. Marcus's life will never be the same ever again as he fights against the paranoid government to win back his freedom. But can he outwit them when every technology he uses can be traced back to catch him?

This book is bloody brilliant. This is going to be one of my long novel reviews where I take over a couple of hours (and neglect my big school project that I barely started) to make it sound like the greatest thing ever.

Little Brother jumps into the action right away. Therefore, no need to beat around the bush because the excitement is waiting for you right in the beginning. Marcus and many others near the area where the Bay Bridge of San Francisco was blown up were taken into custody under the suspicion of being possible terrorists. Since Marcus brought along his gizmos for Harajuku Fun Madness, it made him even more suspicious. They interrogated him near death when he was just a seventeen years old boy who wanted to have fun. After release, he vowed to take down the Department of Homeland Security who treated the everyone like criminals. With his knowledge and networks, Marcus tried to expose the real terror that people thought was helping them.

I felt like I was reading about World War III but on a smaller scale with high-tech stuff. It is a mind-blowing novel that shows what measures people would take because they believe what they are doing is right when in actuality, it is the complete opposite. It is very realistic and I pray that this would never occur. Different messages are delivered throughout the book. One of the many is go vote if you can. After you're done Little Brother, you would want to start being informed about your own government. It shows if you don't elect your leaders who also support your views, things can get out of hand if something big occur (like terrorism).

You should also expect to see a lot of information about the networking universe. Marcus explains them all simply for you to understand even if you have no idea what The Onion Router is. It makes you feel smarter and who doesn't want a book that does that? I regret not taking computer sciences because now I'm urged to do geeky computer things I don't know how to do.

I was actually not keen on the romance part of the story. And yes, there are hints about sex but the scenes themselves are skipped over. It was the action and the geek terms that I looked forward to the most. I'm sure you would too. I think the author is a genius and should be ph3@r3d (feared). He weaved a thrilling and terrifying world that you want to be and survive in. So, pick up a copy of Little Brother and read, vote, and hack!

(Did you know the whole time I was writing Cory instead of Marcus? I realized near the end that I switched the character's name with the author's!

And oh darn, I spent nearly four hours on this review believe it or not...)

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Liviania said...

I have a copy of this one I still need to read!

Diana Dang said...

You totally should start cracking down on it! =D

wdebo said...

I loved this book! So glad you enjoyed it, and yes I was not very keen on the romance portion of it either!

Wdebo :)

Diana Dang said...

Yea, the romance should have been thrown out!