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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars This could be real life..., 31 May 2014
This review is from: GLAZE (Kindle Edition)
The scary thing about Kim Curran's new novel, Glaze, is that it could happen. The entire story has the potential to happen at some point in our future, in some ways we're already halfway there. I think this is what made Glaze such a fantastic read for me, the recognition of the fact that in a few years this could well be us!

Petri is the last of her school year to be hooked up to Glaze, the ultimate social network to which anyone in the world over the age of 16 is hooked up to - unless you're a criminal or undesirable. Trust me, Twitter, Facebook and all those other social media sites we waste our time on have nothing on Glaze - especially because we don't have a chip in our heads to connect. Glaze is the brainchild of Max White, a man who Petri has looked up to all her life and thinks of as a surrogate father. As her mother Zizi likes to point out a lot, Petri is a sperm donor baby, hence her unusual name.

When Petri gets into trouble after a protest gone wrong (organized by her crush, Ryan) disaster strikes and as far as Peri is concerned her life is over. Fitted with a blank chip by the police and banned from Glaze until she is 21 Petri is desperate to be hooked up so takes a dangerous step that endangers those she loves and threatens the very thing she is so distraught about missing out on. Introduced to some young hackers by the boy who initially rescues her at the protest Petri's life soon descends into madness, hooked up at last to Glaze but it's not how she thought it would be and she is constantly bombarded with information and in true typical teenage fashion goes about trying to fix things the wrong way.

Glaze is one of the books where you start reading and you get so drawn into the story you just don't want to put it down. The characters are well written and well developed, Petri felt like a completely believable teenager trying too hard to be like everyone else to fit in, on the outside looking in and when things don't work out the way she wants them she reacts like a teenager to start with, with naivety and blind belief but by the end has grown and is starting to develop into someone who you would want to know. The book is ultimately a thriller about technology and trying to fit in but there is a hint of romance, Ethan was one of my favourite characters - surly teenage boy, also working out where he belongs, having been in a young offender's institute this is harder from him in some ways but also easier in view of the fact that he's not hooked up to Glaze and is happy about this. The hackers are an interesting group of people, especially for Petri knowing that her mother also used to be a hacker extraordinaire!

Full of mayhem and intrigue, Glaze is a unique story about the dangers of social media and whether ultimately it can be good or bad - especially for teenagers who already know far more about it than I do and my teen years aren't that far behind me. The story is fast paced but never overloads you, the development and technology were fascinating and as I said at the beginning of my review could be coming to a chip near you soon! If futuristic novels rooted in real life with a strong cast of characters and great writing sounds like something you would enjoy you definitely need to read Glaze. Oh, and as a word of warning, there is a death in this book that I found really upsetting. I can't say who/what because I don't want to spoil anything but it was a nasty thing done by a group of people blindly following the orders of one man who is ruthless and determined to see the world his way. Sound like something in real life?
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Location: Somerset

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