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Review: The Social Code

September 20, 2013

Title: The Social Code
Author: Sadie Hayes
Publisher: St. Martin’s (Griffin)
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Format: eGalley

Eighteen-year-old twins Adam and Amelia Dory learned the hard way to rely only on each other, growing up in a small town where they understood the meaning of coming from nothing. But everything changes when both are offered scholarships to Stanford University – and catapulted into the dazzling world of Silicon Valley, where anyone with a good enough idea can skyrocket to fame and fortune in the blink of an eye…
Amelia is almost as pretty as she is smart – almost. A shy girl and genius, she is happiest alone in the computer lab, but her brother has other plans for her talents: A new company that will be the next Silicon Valley hit, and will thrust Amelia into the spotlight whether she likes it or not. Where Amelia’s the brains, Adam’s the ambition – he sees the privileged lifestyle of the Silicon Valley kids and wants a piece of what they have. He especially wants a piece of Lisa Bristol, the stunning daughter of one of the Valley’s biggest tycoons.
As Adam and Amelia begin to hatch their new company, they find themselves going from nothing to the verge of everything seemingly overnight. But no amount of prestige can prepare them for the envy, backstabbing and cool calculation of their new powerful peers.—via Goodreads

Coding! Nerdery! Business stuff!

The Social Code, at its core, is a business thriller, much in the vain of The Social Network meets The Lying Game. The reader is thrown into the world of Silicon Valley tech start-ups and the venture captialists that fund them, and all the ethical/moral dilemmas that go along with it.

The book revolves around three families: The Dorys, twins who were in the foster system with a shady background, but who attend Stanford. Amelia is pretty much brilliant at coding and her brother has a lot of business ambition; Then there are the Bristols, T.J. and Lisa, the children of a well-respected venture capitalist. T.J. is a typical fraternity boy who thinks his networking and family name will get him anything he wants, and Lisa, the beautiful, desirable, rich girl with secrets of her own; Finally, there’s Patti & Shandi (I can’t for the life of me remember their last names…sorry!), the daughters of yet another venture capitalist. Patty is Amelia Dory’s party-girl roommate who is much smarter than she seems, and Shandi is Patty’s perfect big sister. The three families become inextricably inter-twined in both personal and business affairs (if you get my drift) and things become more than a little complicated.

Overall, The Social Code is a fun, fast-paced story that delves into the worlds of the rich and privileged in Silicon Valley,  those who are desperate for that world, and those who understand how toxic that lifestyle can be. Some of the twists and plot devices in the book are a little predictable, but it still proves to be a read that draws you in. It does end on a three-pronged cliffhanger, with each family’s position and livelihood left hanging in the balance, and though I feel like I can predict where the story is going to go, I’ll definitely pick up the next book to find out if I’m right.

The Social Code (The Start-Up, #1)
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