Working with her neighbor, a retired behavioral scientist, Ro created an app called MASH, designed around the classic game Mansion Apartment Shack House, that can predict a person’s future with 93% accuracy. The app will even match users with their soul mates. Though it was only supposed to be a class project, MASH quickly takes off and gains the attention of tech investors.
Ro’s dream is to work in Silicon Valley, and she’ll do anything to prove to her new backing company—and the world—that the app works. So it’s a huge shock when the app says her soul mate is Miller, her childhood best friend with whom she had a friendship-destroying fight three years ago. Now thrust into a fake dating scenario, Ro and Miller must address the years of pain between them if either of them will have any chance of achieving their dreams.
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
We all know that a new year brings new books, and I was so excited that one of the YA novels I was most looking forward in 2023 just came out this month, Ellen O’Clover’s Seven Percent of Ro Devereux. Seven Percent of Ro Devereux follows high school senior, Ro, whose senior project, an app of the same name as the game MASH, gets picked up by a tech company and her life completely transforms as the game gets downloaded by thousands and thousands of people each day. What also makes things crazier? The company wants Ro to be the face of MASH, and Ro gets matched with her former best friend, Miller. As the two become the face of the app and the media world’s darling couple, Ro questions if the company’s goals are the same as hers.
Seven Percent of Ro Devereux is perfect for fans of YA contemporaries from authors like Rachel Lynn Solomon and Marisa Kanter. Seven Percent of Ro Devereux was the type of book I didn’t want to put down. Most of you know that I’m a middle school English Language Arts teacher, and I was so excited that I started a new round of independent reading with my classes (sidenote that we’re currently reading contemporary fiction as we read Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover) the week I was reading this book. I continued reading at work with my students! Ellen O’Clover’s writing style was engaging from the get-go. I loved her opening lines each chapter, hooking me instantly and the way each chapter ended, whether from purposeful/obvious cliffhanger or not, made me want to keep going.
The book has so many hallmarks of what makes me love YA, including a confident & intelligent lead protagonist like Ro. There’s also a lot of plot & character development around family. Ro is raised by her dad, who owns a cafe & aspires to own his restaurant, while her mom abandoned her family to go work in Silicon Valley years go. One of my favorite character’s was Ro’s neighbor, mentor, and aunt/mother figure, Vera, who is one of the reasons why Ro is so into the behavioral science behind MASH and warns Ro of the app’s limitations. Of course, we also have a YA romance trope, best friends turned lovers with a touch of enemy, as Miller and Ro grew up as childhood best friends that separated after an awkward situation at a freshmen year party. Overall, there is a lot going on in this book (hello seventeen year old entrepreneur launching an overnight success app basically predicting your future), and Ellen O’Clover balances it all so well and tied up the story in such a nice, fulfilling way by the end.
I highly recommend checking out Seven Percent of Ro Devereux! This book has made me want to more frequently pick up YA again!
This review is based on a review copy provided by the publisher. By no means did receiving this book affect my thoughts & opinions.
Have you read Seven Percent of Ro Devereux yet? What are your thoughts? Is it on your TBR? What YA contemporary books have you been enjoying lately? Share in the comments!