Monday, November 14, 2011

The Start Up: Episode 1 by Saydie Hayes: Book Review

Title: The Start-Up (Episode 1)
Author: Sadie Hayes
Kindle Locations: 1751
Published: October 17th, 2011 by Backlit Fiction, LLC
Summary:When a college freshman's breakthrough software program catapults her into the limelight, she and her twin brother must navigate a treacherous world of money, power, and envy: Silicon Valley.

In a world of tweets, apps, and mobile games, The Start-Up is a fast-paced and exciting serial story with a new episode released each month.
My Thoughts:

Deep-seated greed and corruption intricately blended with naivety and intelligence, The Start Up: Episode 1 by Sadie Hayes, is sharp and fun and full of angsty dramatic brilliance. Gossip, intrigue and illegal corporate tactics sing from Silicon Valley, telling us of the money to be made and the people who will destroy anyone in their way to get that money.

Adam and Amelia are scholarship entrees into Stanford. Amelia,the epitome of genius when it comes to code and computer engineering, wants nothing more than to spend her days in the computer lab, coding day in and day out.
"She's a total nerd. Like, beyond nerd. Imagine if a computer and an iPhone had a baby--that's Amelia." [Amelia's roommate--Patty]
Adam, her twin brother/bartender wants to be more than the "scholarship student", he wants to be part of the "In Crowd", he wants to go places, do somebody. However, it is Amelia who is discovered by Tom Fenway--a billionaire who sold his own product to Apple in the late 90's-- and he wants to help her start her own company and eventually help her find investors to spawn her genius in computer engineering. Amelia, much to her dismay, reluctantly joins the project and suddenly is cast into the evil of Silicon Valley. With people who want her to fail and those who she doesn't think she can trust, Amelia must try to make it through with her soul in tact and hopefully her brother following closely behind.

The Start-Up is categorized as a serial story. Think of it like a nighttime TV series. The ones that take place in rich cities where the rich profit and the poor try to make it by with their smarts. Each book in the series is an episode and each episode is released monthly. To me, it's a total WIN! I don't ever get to watch TV and I love me some drama, so reading Sadie Hayes's The Start-Up is getting what I want, but better. Now, instead of watching the people on TV and their drama, I get to experience every crazy moment with them.

I get to be there while Adam and Amelia Dory try to make it through the lives they've been handed. Lives that involve foster homes in a system that was corrupt in it's own way. I get to see them make it to Stanford on scholarship and see Amelia try and keep her morals in tact while people are trying to bribe, blackmail and extort her into what they want.

I love fictional drama with characters I love to hate, characters I love to love and characters that are on that fictional line of not knowing whether I want to murder them myself or make-out with them. The Start-Up is all of that. With a huge array of characters from the bottom feeders to the spoiled to the sweet. Its a cacophony of personalities and emotions and its so fun to read and see all the characters and the dirt that accompanies their lives. Especially those who dirty up those lives on purpose. Am I evil? Who knows....what I do know is the drama in The Start-Up is jaw-dropping and hilarious and I loved every minute of it.

The book is short, and I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just say the writing is excellent and well paced and the cliffies are big, but not hurtful and besides, what good drama series doesn't have cliffies? Lucky for us a book is released EVERY month. The first 2 are out now and the 3rd is out next month. So, I give The Start-Up: Episode 1 a 4/5 and recommend it to anyone who likes YA, Adult, Crossover, Contemporary, Electronic Fiction as well as fans of Gossip Girl, 90210, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill....that is, if they all "took place in Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room… and if he had a twin sister and they lived in California (Sadie Hayes)" Also, this series contains sex, drinking and swearing and I recommend it for an older YA audience (17 years on up).


  1. Sounds really nice and an installment published every month is a return to Dickensian times - that gentleman was famour for publishing his overlong and complex novels, one chapter after another, in newspapers.

    I do like the idea but I wonder: if Amelia is the actual genius why the cover comes with a guy's face on it?

  2. @Anachronist - Because it's also about her brother, Adam. He works along side her and is a big part of the story, too. He's just....not the genius. I believe Sadie is on the cover of book 2. I loved this cover. I think it's pretty brilliant. Plus, I like seeing a guy on the cover of a book. LOL! :D

  3. This sounds really interesting....I have not seen an author do this since King released a chapter a month for The Green was so NERVE WRACKING!!! LOL...splendid review, I may have to check episode one out!!

  4. DUDE! Ever since I first saw this series I've had it on my Wishlist! I am soooo glad it's good!!! I'm going to go ahead and grab the first one today!!! WIN! I never watch TV either! Lol

  5. @Tina - I didn't know he did that. I do love that story. I couldn't imagine having to wait for a chapter a month. KILLER! Seriously killer. That book is so freakishly intense. Just thinking of it gets me wound!

    @Ashley - I think you'll like it! Why watch TV? I have enough books to suffocate myself in. LOL!

  6. What a really cool idea! You know I'm a TV addict and Vampire Diaries just had a midseason finale. I haven no clue what I'm going to do without Damon! *Sigh* I'm curious to see where this one goes.

  7. I thinks this is a very cool idea, it sure beats having to wait 6 months or a year in between books, but I'd still probably have to wait until 3 "episodes" were out at least otherwise I'd probably go crazy only getting a little at a time:) That comment basically made no sense, but I understood what I was trying to say in my head and that's what matters right? Right:)

  8. Monthly releases? That's like.... crazy!!! But still, what a fun and fresh idea. I bet it will catch fire fast.

  9. This sounds like fun even if I'm not a Zuckerberg fan (It reminds me of the movie) but it sounds like more fun. Hm... I'm curious about this one. I may give it a try! Thanks for the review. I just heard of it and was curious!

  10. @Rummanah - It's fun if you like fictional drama. I love it because I don't ever get to watch TV! I think you'll enjoy it. :D

    @Jenny - LOL! I knew what you meant, so it's cool. It's kind of like waiting for the middle of the season to watch all the episodes. I'm really excited for Episode 3, so Yay!

    @Missie - I hope so! I get so tired of the yearly wait. It kind of makes me like some books less.

    @Melissa - It's really good. I think you'd like it! I never saw the Social Network, but it's more about the drama and not about business setup. :D

  11. Interesting concept! I think it could alleviate that stressful time between books...sort of, eh? It sounds like a really strong, really engaging read :) Awesome review!

  12. Thanks for explaining the cover to me...I would prefer a girl's face though.

  13. Great review! Interesting story...The author has described the story in a good way. Thanks for sharing the post.

  14. Huh, what an interesting concept! I can see the potential with a format like this. This series sounds like such a fun guilty pleasure. :)

  15. You were saying that this was a good book. Well, the review is amazing too. Sounds like an fun adventure!!



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