Seven Percent of Ro Devereux

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Seven Percent of Ro Devereux
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
January 17, 2023
ISBN
978-0063255036
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Fans of Emma Lord, Rachel Lynn Solomon, and Alex Light will love this clever, charming, and poignant debut novel with a masterful slow-burn romance at its core about a girl who must decide whether to pursue her dreams or preserve her relationships, including a budding romance with her ex-best friend, when an app she created goes viral.
Ro Devereux can predict your future. Or, at least, the app she built for her senior project can.

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 soulmates. 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 soulmate 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. And as the app takes on a life of its own, Ro sees that it’s affecting people in ways she never expected—and if she can’t regain control, it might take her and everything she believes in down with it.

Editor reviews

3 reviews
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.3(3)
Characters
 
5.0(3)
Writing Style
 
4.7(3)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A(0)
Engaging Story That Packs an Emotional Punch
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
I have fond memories of playing MASH when growing up, and seeing a story based on a senior who creates an app based on this game that can predict various aspects of your life with nearly perfect accuracy immediately caught my interest. While Ro simply created the app for her project, she didn’t expect it to blow up and catch the attention of an app developer who wants to partner with her to market it and make it even bigger. What she expected even less is to be the face of the match capability, which partnered her with her childhood best friend turned biggest enemy, Miller. The fake-dating trope is done beautifully in this story, with the dynamic between Ro and Miller changing slowly into a slow-burn romance that was one of the best I’ve read lately. However, the romance is more of a subplot, even if it is a major subplot, with the crux of the story being what happens when the app goes live and gets away from Ro. Ultimately, she’s forced to choose between what she knows is the right thing and what she’s being told to do by the developer as per her contract.

There really wasn’t anything I disliked about this book, and everything was enjoyable. The cast of characters includes several queer side characters, as well as people of color, and the plot was intriguing enough that I didn’t want to put this book down. The plot is engaging and fast-paced, and age appropriate. One of my favorite aspects of the story was that it featured a female main character who is a whiz at coding, traditionally a male-dominated field. But it also explores some deeper themes, including grief, loss, parental abandonment, death of a loved one, attempted sexual assault, and the impact that technology and social media can have on individuals, even without our realizing how deeply they affect us. All of the themes are dealt with in a sensitive way, without being overwhelming, making this a fantastic story.
Good Points
-Diverse cast (queer and BIPOC side characters)
-Intriguing plot
-Fake-dating trope
-Friends to enemies to lovers trope
-Female main character involved in coding
-Fast-paced story
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Emotionally Powerful
Overall rating
 
4.3
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
I loved the flashback scenes; they flowed so seamlessly with the rest of the story. I enjoyed that we got to see/experience Ro and Miller's past, rather than be told what happened way back when.

Ro is this deeply complex character. She's an uber smart STEM young woman who creates this fun, future predicting app with almost 100% accuracy.
Miller is the little boy, now young man, who feels so deeply. I loved him from the beginning!
O'Clover shows us that Ro & Miller's relationship started off almost symbiotic in a way. Ro was this little girl who didn't know how to feel or experience things, so she learned her social/emotional cues from Miller, from learning to walk to what to fear.

I would have loved, loved, loved there have been more build up to their no longer fake relationship. To me, there just wasn't enough to bridge the gap that quickly. It was total animosity (on Miller's part) on second then absolute love declarations the next.

I love YA books because they usually have some of the most powerful and raw emotions, SPoRD was no different.
There are brief mention of SA and coping with that, as well as parental abandonment.
I got chocked up a few times with my heart hammering and my stomach dropping. Tissues may be needed.

Seven Percent of Ro Devereux was a delightful debut novel. I cannot wait to see more from Ellen O'Clover!
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Refreshing and Deep Read
(Updated: December 21, 2022)
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
SEVEN PERCENT OF RO DEVEREUX by Ellen O’Clover follows the title character, who created an app for her senior project. The app is called MASH and it predicts users’ future place of residence, occupation, and how many kids they’ll have with 93% accuracy. Never intending for it to go public, Ro is shocked when influencers latch onto her app, and it spreads like wildfire. Adding to the mayhem, a tech company reaches out for acquisition, but the caveat is they want to launch the partner matching segment of her app and for Ro to be the face of it. To her dad’s dismay, Ro agrees and matches with Miller, her childhood best friend and current archnemesis. If she can somehow get him to pretend he’s in love with her, the app's projected future is bright, and if not, everything Ro’s worked for could be in jeopardy.

From reading the blurb on this book, I knew two things: the likely structure of the book and that I’d probably like it. Having now finished the novel, I can safely say that while I was right on both accounts, the story took me by surprise! I wasn’t prepared for how deep and heavy this novel gets and found the commentary on life and the world as we know it to be the true meat of the story. It really made me think, and not in the pedantic sense. It did it through feeling— by bringing me along with Ro on her emotional journey. It’s profound in its reflection on assumptions, expectations, difficult conversations, and so much more.

That being said, the romantic element of the story is still a crucial piece of the narrative. Friends-to-lovers and enemies-to-lovers are the best tropes to exist, and this novel combines both of them. I like Miller’s character a lot (his goofiness, his love of Classics, even his tux!), and while at first, I had a hard time fully grasping why Miller and Ro didn’t talk to each other for three years, I did understand by the end. The nature of their relationship shows how life can sometimes get in the way of connection, but also, how sometimes it can be repaired with a five-minute explanation. I did want a little more payoff between Ro and Miller, but I respect that what happens between them is more of a subplot.

Overall, SEVEN PERCENT OF RO DEVEREUX is a great musing on what it means to go after your dreams and what sacrifices are worth it. It's a good reminder of the importance of staying true to your vision and intention, and more importantly, it leaves space for what it means to be a human, encouraging the open-ended exploration of that. If you’re looking for a good cry, add this book to your wishlist.
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