Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for a copy of this book in exchange for a review! I’m glad to see another Geiger YA mystery and was definitely ready to gobble it up. (…because I read it in November. Thanksgiving. Got it? I’ll see myself out.)
Scared Little Rabbits
Published Date: December 3, 2019
Read Date: November 18, 2019
Format: ebook galley
Genre: YA Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 3.5/5 Moose
Nora finally gets into her dream summer program at Wintrop Academy, known for producing brilliant STEM students who go on to create billion dollar companies. Fortunately for Nora, all she wants is to code and be creative, not really be the next app superstar.
Unfortunately for Nora, she’s thrown into the middle of relationship drama, massive inferiority complex issues, and near the end of the program, the main suspect of a murder.
Rants, Raves, and Reviews
I always feel like I need to explain my relationship with authors, and thus nothing new here. I picked up Geiger’s first book, Follow Me Back, on a whim from Netgalley a few years ago, not knowing it was a Wattpad story. It is probably the book that made me realize I love the trope of famous person getting together with a normal person in secret.
Geiger is good for a few twists and turns too.
The synopsis given on Goodreads and Netgalley is a bit misleading though. I picked this book up thinking that murder would happen early, and the majority of this book would be spent with Nora trying to figure out what happened before everyone else did. The murder doesn’t happen until probably over 65% of the way through the book? There is a prologue showing that something bad is going to happen and NO ONE IS TO BE TRUSTED, but the set up to get to this spot is much longer than I expected. I’m not saying this is a bad thing or that I didn’t enjoy it, it’s just not the book I was quite expecting it to be.
Nora is incredibly timid and insecure, which made me want to shake her a few times.
But then again, if I had gone away during the summer as a teen to a program where everyone seems to know each other and you are definitely odd man out, I probably would have curled into a ball and hated the entire program. She finds a friend in Maddox, the guy she is crushing on. I wish she had found more friends — at least one girlfriend would have been good, but most characters that aren’t the main four are a bit blanded out. Is she the only newbie in this program? There isn’t another newbie who is also in need of some TLC? It makes the reader distrust Maddox completely, even though we get his POV too, and nothing is too nefarious in it. But still, he doesn’t try to really introduce her to anyone new, he’s her first major crush, he becomes her program partner… the isolation on top of her shyness is almost claustrophobic.
I do love the tech in the book. I also love how Geiger has Nora think in code occasionally, which just feels real. When you’re good at something, especially solving something, trying to put uncomfortable situations and issues into those terms just makes sense. I personally try to figure out tropes of people (IT DOESN’T WORK.)
Also the tech in this book feels real and fun, and something that would be coming soon and definitely be used. I mean alternate reality goggles are pretty much a thing already, right?
What I also love is that Geiger actually has a background in coding. She’s a STEM student, and that helped making the coding aspects of this story feel more real. The whole “write what you know” really shines here.
If you’re looking for a YA mystery novel, this one isn’t a bad place to start. I also recommend her first two books, Follow Me and Tell Me No Lies. I think Geiger’s skill has definitely improved, and I am looking forward to seeing where she goes next!