Hacking Harvard
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Hacking Harvard

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3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  1,222 ratings  ·  149 reviews
It's the ultimate challenge: breaking into the Ivy League.

The hack:

To get one deadbeat, fully unqualified slacker into the most prestigious school in the country.

The crew:

Eric Roth -- the good guy, the voice of reason.

Max Kim -- the player who made the bet in the first place.

Schwartz -- the kid genius already on the inside...of Harvard, that is.

Lexi -- the beau...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 11th 2007 by Simon Pulse
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Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardH.I.V.E. Higher Institute of Villainous Education by Mark WaldenA Girl Named Digit by Annabel MonaghanI'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally CarterHacking Harvard by Robin Wasserman
Teen Geniuses
5th out of 19 books — 13 voters
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LeakyCon 2011 LitDay
25th out of 80 books — 23 voters


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Community Reviews

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Bunners
Ugh.

You know how some YA literature (or any lit, I guess) can take stereotypes and cliches and make them into something more? Yeah, well, this book utterly failed to do that.

From the overachieving and over-pressuring Asian family, to the socially awkward nerd, this book has a range of ick and badly drawn stereotypes that just left me feeling like I needed to take a shower. Worst of all, for me personally, was the finely drawn Nice Guy(tm) relationship between the sixteen year old College Freshma...more
Heather
Rating A+

From the beginning I loved Eric, Schwarz (Carl Schwarzbaum), and Max. Their dialogue was snappy, funny, irreverent, perfect. I was surprised this this was written by a chick--chicks usually screw up male characters, but Robin (which, admittedly, is a unisex name) Wasserman did her job well. (Plus, big hint, the narrator isn't a guy... and that revelation was awesome.)

What I really liked about this book, in addition to the characters and their incredibly great dialogue, was the actual pl...more
Amy Brennan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily
I really enjoyed the one seven deadly sins book I read by Robin Wasserman, so I was thrilled to find Hacking Harvard. The characters are a bunch, and entertain you slightly when you read it, but it definitely wasn't a book that I remembered. The plot line was a little scattered in my opinion, and seemed extremely familiar. I wouldn't suggest this book to people who like to read books once and get everything. This is one of those books that you have to re-read at least three times, in my opinion,...more
Annelida
Extremely cheesy. It makes me wonder; 'Don't authors realize it when this happens to their books?' The characters were incredibly linear and just generally uninteresting, and at times annoying. What could have been a good scene always ended in a predictable way. I wish someone else could have taken this plot and created a genuinely interesting novel about a hacker's experience in Harvard. One that is not as ridiculous.
Myra Khan
I was going to rate this book a five. I was going to call it the most intelligent thing I've read in a long time. I was going to say that it was amazing and stupendous and hilarious and witty. I was going to recommend it to every single one of my friends for the rest of eternity.

And then something had to happen on the second-to-last page. Something that brought the rating down to a two.

And so I did the only thing I could and added both and took the average. :/

I think Wasserman was going for "r...more
Ayanna
My friend was reading the book...I asked to read the back and I instantly wanted my own copy! The plot captivated my attention mostly because I thought I could relate to it. I was a Bostonian High School Sophomore already obsessed with college. When I got my copy, I jumped into the book immediately...but the first few pages confused the hell outta me! I was seriously thinking about putting it down but as I kept reading, things very slowly fell into place, and then it started to pick up! There we...more
W
Dec 21, 2011 W rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to W by: Myra Khan
Shelves: older-books
So I read this because Myra told me about it and I have to say, what a disappointment. Really. I didn't see Erich very much in this book but I'm glad that I didn't. I feel like I wasted my time reading this if that was what the ending was like. I cannot believe that happened!!! It was all wonderful until two pages before the end, no warning, not even an explanation. Eric just died in my mind. The worst part: what does that say about people in general? I don't want to give away any more of this p...more
Matt G
Nov 12, 2009 Matt G added it Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Matt by: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nian
Jan 29, 2008 Nian rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: if you want a reality check about college
Shelves: 2008
The title says it all. Sort of. It’s about two groups of guys who makes a bet: that they can get the senior class’s worst student ever into Harvard—by hacking into their system and getting them to Admit rather than Deny. The prize? Twenty five thousand dollars. The downfall of it all? Each team has tricks up their sleeves, and no one’s giving up the few thousand grand without a fight.

The idea is cool. The concepts behind it as well. The book mentions all this angst about getting accepted or rej...more
Toby D.
Hacking Harvard is what I thought a very informational book in the terms of college. I did not think the story was as strong as it could have been for it was very far fetched, so it is understandable why I did not consider this book for the story. The story was ok do not get me wrong it just is not as equal to the story who focus around the story. I thought the book jumped back and forth between fiction and non-fiction, so the story was not as compelling and interesting as it could be. The non-...more
Amanda
This was a well crafted book and was very intellectually written. Not in the sense that it used big words and made you feel dumb, but the intelligent characters had a higher thinking level that gave the reader a better connection. This was a really good book because the writing style worked harmoniously with the interesting story line to create a new style of books that I wish I could read more of. The beginning was really confusing because I new it was setting the scene for the rest of the book...more
Graham
Hacking Harvard is about a perfect kid and his friends decide to get a random slacker into the best school in the country after a challenge from a group of rival hackers. At the beginning of the book a bet is made to see what group of kids are better hackers. They end up hacking the system and getting the slacker into Harvard.The kids think they have outsmarted the system . When Harvard finds out about the hacking the risks turned out to be more then the reward. This book is a good example to th...more
Stevecrandell
This doesn’t qualify as a spy/suspense novel – not when one of the most climactic scenes is a college admissions interview. But there’s still a lot of high-tech espionage and underhanded secret-agent mystery.

More important, this doesn’t qualify as an especially good novel. It’s too unbelievable, and too many of the characters are annoying. Eric’s “Mr. Angry Man” moments with Max are probably the toughest to take. But they’re not much worse than the not-quite-lovers spats between Eric and Lex.

I...more
Wee!wawaLAA!!!
Just finished last night.
It was really interesting, really. I suppose it is kinda creative, but I'm sure the plot has been thought up of before.
But I just love the characters, they feel like REAL people. Well geniuses, of course.
There's not much to explain. The plot is really the title. "Hacking Harvard", not much to it I know. But yet it ran for three hundred some pages...
Oh and there are those high school romance things in there too. It kinda made me gag...a bit >___>
Eccckkk.
The ending s...more
Michelle Shedd
Hacking Harvard has a very twisted moral story. It's like you know it has a good message but the good message is hidden behind all these bad illegal things. It's a very funny novel full of twists that just make you say "I knew it!" The story is about a kid who loves a good bet and he makes the stupidest bet you could think of. It's going to be impossible and the stakes are to high. He bet his rivals that he could get a drop out failed student into Harvard. The book gets even more hilarious as he...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Mar 19, 2008 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: For college-bound teens.
Shelves: youngadult
A team of friends who enjoy pulling elaborate stunts (flooding the prom with soap suds, moving an entire classroom to the roof overnight) get pulled into a bet that they can get an unlikely candidate into Harvard, without hacking the computer system to do it.
It was a bit hard to follow at first, with too many characters to sort out, but I found the subject engrossing enough to keep going, and it all became clear after about 30 pages.
Brandi
Maybe I just disliked this book because I couldn't even begin to relate to any of the characters. Granted, I'm well beyond my high school days but looking back, I never knew anyone as screwed up as these kids. And I'm glad.
Livi
I couldn't even finish this book. . . The writing style is just not my type. It is not very flowing and it didn't make much sense to me. I do NOT recommend this book to people who like more mature writing style.
Bailey Timmons
I couldn't get through this book for some reason. The characters were not ones I could relate to and the plot seemed unrealistic. Just not my type of book, I guess.
Becky
Hacking Harvard is a funny, contemporary teen novel set in Cambridge, Boston. Think: subversive techno spy novel meets a high school romance with a great big helping of humour thrown in!


The first time I tried to read this book my brain just didn’t get it. The opening scene sees the three main characters – Eric, Max and Schwarz – mid-action. They are undertaking a hack. But because we are also given their code names for the operation, it was all rather confusing. I bought this book when I was in...more
Briana
Original/full review here: http://thebookpixie.blogspot.com/2009...

Review
When I first started reading Hacking Harvard, I thought, "Oh no! We have a dud." Well, thankfully I was wrong and it quickly picked up the pace. Of course, I’ve learned to give a book more than 20 pages before judging it.

Hacking Harvard was snarky, witty, and very fast paced. It was fun and I often found myself laughing. It was also very original though it kind of reminded me of a movie called The Perfect Score.

The characte...more
Nicolas Healey
This is another one of my favourite books of all time. One reason is the interesting premise. The story is set around a bet that a group of friends make with some of their rivals, and the effects of that bet on their lives during the following year or so. It is great to watch all the relationships between the characters develop in so much detail. Another large part of that is the humour; Robin Wasserman is surprisingly witty in her narration. However, it is more the style of this humour, and the...more
Dominic
I read Hacking Harvard by Robin Wasserman, and I found it to be witty, insightful, and positively hard to put down.

"Hacks, not pranks. Never pranks... Pranks are for amateurs. Live-action jokes with a total lack of sophistication and purpose."

When Max Kim makes a bet that he and his friends could get a nobody into Harvard, his fellow hackers Eric Roth and Schwarz go along with the plan. However, with the stakes much higher than they could ever imagine, double agents, and enemy hackers bent on...more
Katie
It's was what I wound call a "comfy" read: something that didn't try to go out of its comfort zone too much. A safe play. I liked it, but I have to say that I expected more from Robin Wasserman. I was lucky enough to meet her last summer at LeakyCn and she was simply lovely. I can't necessarily say the same about Hacking Harvard, unfortunately.

A lot of cliches. Cliches exist for a reason, and I know that, but the entire time while I was reading this I kept hearing my old writing teacher's voice...more
Jordan
The book caught me by surprise. I thought I would love it, and I did… until the end. I loved the aspect of hacking into such a “flawless" system and fight against “the man."

It was hard to understand at first, switching between third and first person perspectives, but I eventually got the clue. It is told from a young girls perspective but is about three guys who initially started hacking when they were younger.

I’m not going to go on about the book as the synopsis gives you a pretty good idea abo...more
Meaghan R. (YA-aholic)
really enjoyed this book. it was fun and interesting. it was also REALLY well researched.
really in depth research...like, the price of Adderrall goes up when finals are near, so the kids with the scrip would stockpile and the ones that thought ahead would buy up BEFORE finals rolled around. ahhh, high school days in AP! kind of miss them. I also had friends that scammed the SAT's, but in a completely different way...it involved and fake id, moving your test to sunday for religious reasons and h...more
Jack
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kassia
This book was about a three kids who wanted to hack the college system to get into Harvard. Even though it wasn't too great of a book, it made me think about the many risks that the students took, and what could of happened if they got caught. Although I am glad that I'm not in their shoes, I still wondered how their adventure went, and how the characters really felt. This book had a good stylistic writing techniques from the author, and a real ending. The author didn't want to make this book li...more
Stacielynn
This is definitely a light and fluffy read - geared toward older teen readers. It tells the tale of some super-genius high school seniors who make a bet - that they can get a very unlikely candidate into Harvard.
It certainly captures the paranoia and severe lack of proportion that permeates the college application process. Again, I found myself asking, is there really such a gulf between parents and their teens? I didn't have that experience but it sure seems that fictional families are selfish,...more
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21981
I'm the author of the Cold Awakening Trilogy (Skinned, Crashed, and Wired), Hacking Harvard, the Seven Deadly Sins series, and the forthcoming Book of Blood and Shadow. I'm also a crazed Stephen King fan and David Foster Wallace evangelist with an embarrassing list of Important Books I've Never Read But Can Bluff About Well Enough to Discuss at Cocktail Parties. I'm working on it.
More about Robin Wasserman...
Skinned (Cold Awakening, #1) Crashed (Cold Awakening, #2) The Book of Blood and Shadow Wired (Cold Awakening, #3) Awakening (Chasing Yesterday, #1)

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