cover image Seven Percent of Ro Devereux

Seven Percent of Ro Devereux

Ellen O’Clover. HarperTeen, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-325503-6

Eighteen-year-old Rose Devereux thinks her dreams are coming true when MASH, the mobile app she developed in collaboration with her elderly behavioral scientist neighbor, Vera, goes viral, capturing the interest of tech corporation XLR8. Though her father forbids her from partnering with XLR8, citing that continued development of the app will detract from her academics, Ro agrees to work with them anyway, hoping to prove she doesn’t need college to launch her cyber career. To further promote MASH, which can predict a person’s ideal romantic partner with 93% accuracy, XLR8 encourages Ro to take the app’s survey herself and pursue her predicated true love. When she’s matched with Alistair Miller, her former best friend whom she believes “thoroughly hated” her, she endeavors to persuade him into a highly publicized, pretend romance. O’Clover’s prose, brimming with dry wit, pensively ponders existential questions regarding free will and the “gray area” of human behavior that no computer can measure. A nuanced cast navigating evolving interpersonal struggles—including Ro’s relationships with her absent mother, Miller, and Vera—and natural-feeling dialogue elevate this tech-driven debut about love, fate, and change. Main characters present as white. Ages 13–up. (Jan.)