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  • Great Dystopian Thriller

    Keystone by Katie Delahanty is original and unique, looking at a future dystopian world in which everyone is graded on the Social Stock exchange. Think Instagram on major steroids and then times that by 1000. It’s the current currency and if you don’t rank or are unrankable, life can be pretty difficult. As Ella says: “My parents taught me Index ranking is everything. If you don’t rank, you don’t matter.” Ella is the main character and narrator – gifted with extreme intuitive sense; she is the daughter of two major influencers but they have a secret. When Ella becomes indebted to a group of high-ranking mean girls, they use her parents secret to manipulate her into an act that has serious consequences. Ella, now Elisha, is taken under the wing a woman who is part of Keystone; a school that teaches the art of thieving everything ‘analog and original’ for the main purpose of obstructing those in power from changing history. "Our Mission is to steal analog history – to preserve the truth – before corporations and the government can alter the past to benefit their personal futures." Ella must now prove her worth by actions not rankings. There are, of course, mean girls at Keystone but Ella also makes friends there, real friends and they are interesting characters to read about. Most of the students at Keystone have grown up there, learning how to steal from a very young age and have a distinct advantage over Ella. They also don’t know that prior to coming to Keystone she was a highly ranked social elite. More secrets and a lot of competition ensue! I liked the pace of this book; it starts out with a lot of action and takes a now and then approach. I found it worked well in this story. It slowly unveils the story behind Ella and what drives her. There’s a cliff-hanger ending so it’s my guess that there’s another book coming and I’m happy about that! I recommend this for any fan of YA dystopian with a dash of romance and intrigue! A big thank you to NetGalley, Entangled Publishing – Entangled: Teen, and Katie Delahanty for providing Keystone in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Very Engaging

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Ella Karman's life is a peculiar one and a lie. Her existence was engineered, from a donor embryo, a surrogate farm to create a perfect daughter for the perfect Hollywood couple and to built an empire (how to have a perfect body after a baby) on the same lie. Ella's world is all based on appeareance, numbers, how to be an Influencer, faking it, befriending certain people, discarding others, living a constant lie. When her yacht explodes, killing all her friends, Ella, with the help of the Disconnects, decided to fake her own death and to starts a new life. Helped by Allard, she starts to train at the Keystone, a place where the Disconnects fight against the obliteration of the truths. The reader swings from past to present and through Ella's (now Elisha, her new identity) chapters in her diary, getting to know her life as Influencer, her fake friends, her constant pretending, her parents, her love and to read about her new life at the Keystone, how she has to learn how to become a thief, how to break free from handcuffs, how and who to trust anyone, how to code and so on. While she tries to understand her place in the world, learning to trust her insticts and to rely on friends, Ella/Elisha is involved into an important Heist, that may be able to determine people's future free will. Keystone is a very interesting and peculiar book. The reader is shoved in the midde of the action, with the yacht's explosion and the main character being forced to run for her life (after faking her death). Bit by bit the technological world where Ella lived is unveiled. We get to know the importance of being connected, the value of faked life, the distinction between "castes", like the Disconnects and the Unrankables. While understanding her previous world, it's very fascinating learning about Keystone, the whole structures, their secrets and goals, Ella/Elisha's new friends and love interests. I found this book a quick and captivating read, I loved reading about how Ella/Elisha changed her life, trusting herself more and more, becoming more confident and refusing to be manipulated again. I like reading about her relationship with Adam and Garrett, because they belong to different phases of her life. Reading how she interacts with Deena and her other Influencers friends and how she interacts with Rayelle, Sophia and Steward it's interesting because the reader can see how she's grown and became more mature. I really enjoyed reading the heist, the clues, the masks and so on and I hope there will be a sequel because the Keystone's world is very engaging.

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