Scholastic. Oct. 2020. 352p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338177633.
Gr 7 Up–Will and Dara have been dating on the down-low for months while competing to be the valedictorian at their high school. They and their friends are obsessed with getting into top-ranked colleges, and both seniors have been accepted into their dream school when a video surfaces on the school gossip website. In it, Dara claims that Will paid someone to take his SATs and thereby cheated his way into Stanford. Will, furious, refuses to believe Dara’s plea that she never made such a video. It’s only when Dara is able to prove that her actual internet posts have been scraped for the raw data used by an AI program to create a deepfake (a video that appears to be the actual person talking when in fact it’s been cobbled together from various tidbits) that the teens realize they’ll need to work together to save Will’s hopes for college. But will they ever be able to repair their damaged relationship? Once again, Littman takes on the dangers of technology and puts them in a context that makes sense to teens, demonstrating how deepfakery can lead to a society where you cannot believe anything you see or hear on the internet. This is part mystery and part family drama with a dollop of techno-thriller thrown in, and teens with an interest in technology will enjoy it, although younger readers may tire of the incessant focus on getting into the right school. The romance takes a backseat to finding the culprit and although it’s not exactly “happily ever after” for Will and Dara, the realistic ending works well. Main characters are white, and there are Black and South Asian secondary characters.
VERDICT A solid purchase for libraries serving teens.

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