Review: Immoral Code by Lillian J. Clark

I have come to thoroughly enjoy heist novels in the past few years and Immoral Code’s diverse contemporary heist was no exception.

Immoral Code CoverFor Nari, aka Narioka Diane, aka hacker digital alter ego “d0l0s,” it’s college and then a career at “one of the big ones,” like Google or Apple. Keagan, her sweet, sensitive boyfriend, is happy to follow her wherever she may lead. Reese is an ace/aro visual artist with plans to travel the world. Santiago is off to Stanford on a diving scholarship, with very real Olympic hopes. And Bellamy? Physics genius Bellamy is admitted to MIT—but the student loan she’d been counting on is denied when it turns out her estranged father—one Robert Foster—is loaded.

Nari isn’t about to let her friend’s dreams be squashed by a deadbeat billionaire, so she hatches a plan to steal just enough from Foster to allow Bellamy to achieve her goals. (Goodreads) Goodreads

I received an eARC of Immoral Code from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Immoral Code needs trigger warnings for non-present parents, mentions of ace and aro-antagonistic comments and actions, slut shaming, sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape culture, underage drinking, romance, divorce, and cheating in a romantic relationship by a non-POV character, not to mention the serious lawbreaking that is expected with a heist novel.

It took me a little while to get used to the character’s voices, since they used a lot of parentheses, but once I did, I really enjoyed the differences and similarities between all five of them. This cast felt really realistic to me even while most of them were astonishingly gifted. Keegan’s struggle to figure out what he wants to do in life was incredibly realistic to me, and the aroace rep in Reese’s character was awesome. It started off as very 101 but it got delved into a little more deeply. Their parents’ varying involvements in their teens lives was also awesome. It was nice to see some parents in YA.

The idea of needing to steal in order to afford college is an unfortunately real one for so many people in Bellamy’s position. I loved that this book really took the consequences of their actions into account, even though the kids were mostly ignoring Keegan’s protests about the morality of it and the fact that they could all ruin their bright futures by helping Bellamy reach hers.

Overall, I really liked this book and look forward to reading more from Clark. You can purchase a copy of Immoral Code on Amazon and Indiebound!


Title: Immoral Code
Author: Lillian J. Clark
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Length: 272 Pages
Release Date: February 19, 2019
Rating: Recommended
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult Ficion
Representation: ownvoices aroace main character, japanese american main character,

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