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The Givenchy Code

(Codebreaker Trilogy #1)

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  1,210 ratings  ·  111 reviews
A mind-bending code spawned from the mind of a madman...or maybe just a jealous ex.

A desperate race through the cathedrals and hotels of New York City...with a teeny bit of time for shopping, it's true.

An astonishing truth concealed for years, unveiled at last...with more than a little help from a supercute new guy.

As if a recent breakup, scrounging for rent money, a
Paperback, 368 pages
Published February 27th 2007 by Pocket Books (first published May 31st 2005)
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Showing 1-30
3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,210 ratings  ·  111 reviews

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Feb 20, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009, womens-fiction
I've categorized this book as "chicklit" for a couple of reasons: (a) the protag is a young, attractive fashionista (favourite designer: Givenvchy. No points for guessing, sorry), and she's in a bit of a pickle and there's a man involved. Well, two men. One good, one bad. You get the idea. (b), I have a 'chicklit' shelf here, and (c), I didn't know what else to call it.

This book is different from all the other chicklit books I've read because it's also a bit of an action thriller (along the lin
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I found these three books that had a play on words in which fashion and designers took center stage. Hooked!

The first book is The Givenchy Code and it is one thrill a minute mysteries, that I love. Including puzzles, clues, hints and deadly dangers.

Melanie is a girl that at one time appeared on a reality show and when she receives a message alluding to that, she wants to ignore it. It is called Play or Die after all and that pretty much freaks her out, to begin with. With promises of riches b
Emily Dahl
Sep 08, 2007 rated it did not like it
i *hated* this book. i picked it up because the blurb on the back tricked me into thinking it would be a fun beachy-summertime read with a proactive, intelligent female lead. NOPE!
the writing was sub-par, the characters were flat and contrived, and the "plot" took a backseat to conspicuous consumption and the cupping of various body parts.
Marcela Cornejo
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jajjajaaj Améeste libro, hay que puro observar la portada y saber que será de aquellos, y lo es. ME encantó el modo en que la protagonista maneja la historia, resolviendo el conflicto del cual pende su vida todo el libro. El aparecido y ayudante bienvenido, y me sorprende ver como el loco desquiciado toma control del mundo. Definitivamente digno de leer.
Jun 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
I read this on the airplane. I gave it 2 stars because of the fact I finished it (but I was on an airplane with no other alternatives). It was super fast (because you skip entire sections and miss nothing), took no imagination, characters were 1 dimensional. I should have brought Persuasion and re-read it.
Mar 12, 2009 rated it liked it
This was a fun, very easy and quick read. Great for a rainy weekend when your not looking to get into something too heavy or intense. The only part that I didn't enjoy is the main characters obsession with fashion. It made her appear shallow, simple and silly at times.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sell Me in a Sentence: It’s like the book/movie Nerve (about a violent video game come to life) with fashion references and The Da Vinci Code vibes

Short Synopsis: Our main character, Mel, gets recruited as a “victim” in a horrible video game come to life called Play, Survive, Win (or PSW). She is joined by a hunky guy named Stryker (well, his first name is Matthew) who is assigned to be her protector. Mel and Stryker have to solve various clues around Manhattan to avoid the PSW assassin assigned
He terminado este libro que parecía tan prometedor y debo decir que ya al final me ha costado, diría que le ha faltado un poco más de profundidad. Los primeros capítulos fueron geniales pero a medida que avanza la trama se vuelve más tediosa. Entiendo que este libro es como una mezcla de thriller con chick lit pero me parecieron fuera de lugar los momentos de pasión mientras los persigue un asesino.

Un punto a favor: Por otra parte Melanie y Stryker me han encantado por lo cotidianos que parecen
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Read this years ago and remembered it fondly. Reread wasn’t as satisfying. Too many episodes like, “I started freaking out and he massaged my shoulders.” But it ended strong enough I will try the sequel.
Iris Gaytan
Jul 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Uno de mis libros favoritos, me gusta la trama que la autora pone en el libro para desarrollar la historia de amor.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Almost did not finish this. I usually like J Kenner's books. This one written under Julie just did not hold my interest. Sorry..............
Mar 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, misterio
3,5. En general me ha gustado, no podía parar de leer porque tiene mucha acción. Le resto nota por el final, que me ha dejado como a medias, ha bajado el ritmo demasiado de golpe para mi gusto.
Aurian Booklover
I’ve never read the Da Vinci Code, or seen the movie, so I have no idea how much of this is similar. Melanie does compare herself a few times to Jennifer Garner, the heroine in the tv series Alias, and I did watch and enjoy that one years ago.

Melanie is a smart girl, with a flair for math and a passion for fashion, especially shoes. She is doing odd jobs to pay for college and is just walking a few dogs when her ex-boyfriend finds her. She has no intention whatsoever to hook back up with him, b
Apr 29, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ha az ember könnyű nyári olvasmányt akar, akkor ez a könyv tökéletesen megfelel a célnak. Pont az a fajta, amit napon, vagy árnyékban heverészve, különösebb intellektuális élmény nélkül kívánunk olvasni. Mondjuk a tenger vagy a Balaton partján: kifekszik az ember a napra és mire lemegy, lebarnul/bőrrákos lesz, de észre se veszi mert elrohant az idő egy kellemesen szórakoztató könyvvel. Persze nekem sikerült előbbre hozni a regényt, mert csak 2 nap múlva megyek a Balcsira, szóval autentikus élmén ...more
Jun 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
There are two things Mel Prescott absolutely adores: cryptography and designer clothing. When an online assassin game gets implemented into the real world with Mel as the target, she has to put all of her knowledge about both to good use in order to solve a series of codes and puzzles that will keep her alive. The highlight of her terrifying adventure is the man assigned to be her protector, Matthew Stryker. Together they have to figure out the clues and outrun Mel's would-be assassin before tim ...more
Jul 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
As if a recent breakup, scrounging for rent money, and lusting after designer shoes weren't enough to make graduate student Melanie prescott's life challenging, suddenly she's practically living the da Vinci code. A mysterious stranger is sending obscure codes and clues her way and she soon discovers she has to solve them in order to stay alive. With stakes like that , her dissertation on "the derivation and primary characteristics of codes and ciphers used by prevailing nations during wartime" ...more
Julie Kenner is one of my favourite authors. She of the "Good Ghouls Do" series and the "Demon Hunting Soccer Mom" series, her writing is usually full of humour and zany actions. The Givenchy Code follows in this tradition, except it is missing the supernatural elements.

This novel finds out heroine, Melanie Prescott, stuck in another series of dead-end jobs. She is studying math and history at university and is a wizard at codes. Suddenly she is sucked into a live-action version of a on-line vid
Julie Kenner is one of my favourite authors. She of the "Good Ghouls Do" series and the "Demon Hunting Soccer Mom" series, her writing is usually full of humour and zany actions. The Givenchy Code follows in this tradition, except it is missing the supernatural elements.

This novel finds out heroine, Melanie Prescott, stuck in another series of dead-end jobs. She is studying math and history at university and is a wizard at codes. Suddenly she is sucked into a live-action version of a on-line vid
Nov 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, chick-lit
Despite my initial irritation at the rather silly, airy-fairy opening to the book, it got much better once you get past the first two chapters and the real mystery begins to unfold.

My favourite part of the book is probably how "nerdy" is the new cool in The Givenchy Cocde. Mel is a maths genius and puzzle/code-cracking extraordinaire, the last hobbies you'd think she'd possess, considering her obsession with brand-name shoes and all things fashionable. And her "nerdy" interests are exactly what
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My first thought when picking up this book was "I dont know anything about the davinchi code! I didnt even see the movie."
Fortunately, the book doesnt tie in with the movie at all. Although there isnt too much character depth. It is a fun read. It was fast paced and I learned some new things about codes that I didnt know. At all.
Character wise, I think the author did a good job. In my opinion, I feel that what makes a book really good is the its characters are relatable, but not too much so.
I don't know what it was about this book, but I found myself laughing anytime the main character Mel's high fashion, haute couture thoughts were immediately followed with some reference to her brainiac self in cracking ciphers and codes or vice versa. All the while she is living out the nightmare of an online game being played out in real life. Mel runs around NYC with her hot ex-Marine protector, avoiding an assassin. The ending is totally predictable, but the very tongue-in-cheek references to ...more
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
I loved the plot of this book. A billionaire makes it so that his famous online game is to be brought into the real world after his death. The game essentially involves only three players, an assassin, a target, and a protector. The target is assigned a protector and is given a starting clue which leads to another clue and so on. The game doesn’t end until either the target is killed or solves the final clue. It sounds simple, but there are more rules to the game and it’s really fun to watch the ...more
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
When you read the description of this book, and at times when you are reading it, you just think, this is the silliest, craziest thing, but somehow that works in this book's favor. I loved this book, and could not put it down. The plot was interesting an original, fashion meets the DaVinci code type thriller. There was drama, humor, sarcasm and so much more. I loved the two main characters. Melanie was the expert on all fashion, but with a math and history degree, a sharp mind and a wicked sense ...more
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chick-lit, mystery
The real life tie-ins. The fantasies about bumping into celebrities, shopping on Fifth Avenue, about being Sydney Bristow in ALIAS. It makes the novel something that every fashionista girl can relate to. And Stryker? Yummy.

Not having ANY idea how to solve any of the clues myself. You go thinking you're intelligent, and then you can't decipher diddly. The good part is that it's a novel and you don't HAVE to decipher anything. The book does it all for you. :)

Ashleigh Cartmill
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humor, romance
Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a serious sucker for a good treasure hunt mystery. And when you add in humor and romance, there's no way I can resist. This book was awesome. I loved reading about Mel and Stryker. And I love that the clues weren't completely simple to figure out. I knew a couple of the equations, but I didn't figure out the clues any quicker than Mel did. I also found the POV changes really intriguing. It worked for the book. I did start talking to the book near the end when things got ...more
Sep 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I liked it. 3.5 stars.

Melanie Prescott, graduate student and fashion junkie is on the run from an assassin. She's being protected by handsome stranger and former Marine Matthew Striker. They are all playing a real life version of an online computer game called 'Play Survive Win'. She must solve obscure codes and clues and reach the end of the game or she dies. My mother always said that video games were bad for you.

So it's like The Da Vinci code minus the religion part with lots of sex thrown i
Jul 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Fast paced and an awesome concept. Unfortunately, it was horribly exicuted. It read like bad fanfiction, and the characters were not very well developed (even for an "action" story) What exactly did her editors DO, I wonder? I feel like with a little help from the people who should have done so, this book could have been a lot easier on the eyes and brain.

...That doesn't mean I haven't gone out and immediately started reading the next in the series--With far lowered expectations, of course

Feb 07, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book was awful. I was looking for something quick and easy to read, and it took me over a week to get through it just because every time I picked it up I had to put it back down. While the premise was interesting enough, the execution was lacking. And I'm not a fan of the mystery-suspense-meets-romance novel. The characters were one-note and the ending was contrived. There was nothing good about this book--except finishing it.
Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it
I picked up this book because I had enjoyed the Demon Hunting Soccer Mom books written by this author. Melanie Prescott, graduate student and lover of fashion is forced into playing a real life version of an online game that features assassins and targets. She is the target. She is assigned a good-looking helper and they run around NYC/Manhattan trying to find clues that will find her an antidote to a poison. Enjoyable book.
Mary Hawley
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was a fun mashup of shopping meets multi-player gaming, and in this case the online game moves to the real world with fatal consequences. But the process of solving clues at every step in the adventure was a bit disappointing. There was no chance that the reader would spot the meaning of the clue--you had to wait around for the protagonist to come up with several obscure interpretations, one of which would turn out to be correct. Still an interesting venture.
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J. Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Tim

Other books in the series

Codebreaker Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Manolo Matrix (Codebreaker Trilogy #2)
  • The Prada Paradox (Codebreaker Trilogy, #3)