The Social Code
Sadie Hayes

New Adult
Heat Level: Inspy/Mild

In a world where anyone can rise to the top, the only rule is... watch your back, in Sadie Hayes' The Social Code.

Eighteen-year-old twins Adam and Amelia Dory learned the hard way to rely only on each other, growing up in a small town where they understood the meaning of coming from nothing. But everything changes when both are offered scholarships to Stanford University – and catapulted into the dazzling world of Silicon Valley, where anyone with a good enough idea can skyrocket to fame and fortune in the blink of an eye…

Amelia is almost as pretty as she is smart – almost. A shy girl and genius, she is happiest alone in the computer lab, but her brother has other plans for her talents: A new company that will be the next Silicon Valley hit, and will thrust Amelia into the spotlight whether she likes it or not. Where Amelia’s the brains, Adam’s the ambition – he sees the privileged lifestyle of the Silicon Valley kids and wants a piece of what they have. He especially wants a piece of Lisa Bristol, the stunning daughter of one of the Valley’s biggest tycoons.

As Adam and Amelia begin to hatch their new company, they find themselves going from nothing to the verge of everything seemingly overnight. But no amount of prestige can prepare them for the envy, backstabbing and cool calculation of their new powerful peers.

Welcome to Silicon Valley, where fortune, success – and betrayal – are only a breath away…

Series: Start-Up (Book 1)


Sadie Hayes kept me guessing from beginning to end!  In fact, even after the epilogue, I’m still guessing.  This author has an innate sense of when to let little bits of information slip to the reader, without giving away what is going to happen next.  It’s a little like watching a train wreck, and you absolutely cannot turn away, because you MUST see how it all plays out.

Adam and Amelia Dory are twins, both attending Stanford on scholarship.  They grew up in the foster care system, and they truly only have each other…at least when this story begins, anyway.  Amelia is a coding goddess, and Adam, well, he seems to just be along for the ride.  But, Adam is realizing more and more that Amelia’s gift could take them from penniless orphans to Silicon Valley big-time money makers.  Due to her past, Amelia is averse to the idea of making any money off of the things she codes.  But she loves coding so much, and sees all the good it could do the world, and her 2-person family unit, that she eventually gives in to an offer that really is too good to pass up for her and her brother.

But what happens to them, and all the other players in this story, after accepting that offer is insane.  And yet, in this day and age, totally and completely realistic. The characters in this book are fascinating.  Some you want to hate forever, and others you grow to love.  And of course, by the end, there are still some characters that you’re not sure you understand at all yet.

This book was told in a different way than I’ve read in a long time.  The point of view is third-person omniscient, so we get to see all of the side action, while knowing what’s going on in all the different characters’ heads.  Normally I would say this is not a good choice, because for many readers, getting into too many characters’ minds can be confusing.  However, not only was this not confusing at all, it added a suspense/thriller vibe to the story.  It also allowed the reader to ‘witness’ all of the activity outside Adam and Amelia’s own experiences first-hand, rather than being relayed to Adam or Amelia later.

I guess the best way to describe it is that it reads like a weekly television show, moving from scene to scene, seeing all the different players interacting in different groupings.  It’s through all of these separate interactions that we learn about everyone’s dirty laundry, so to speak.

Thank the Lord there are more books in this series, because I MUST know what happens next!

Reviewed by Ashley B.