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When Ella Karman debuts on the Social Stock Exchange, she finds out life as a high-profile "Influencer" isn't what she expected. Everyone around her is consumed by their rankings, in creating the smoke and mirrors that make them the envy of the world.

But then Ella’s best friend betrays her, her rankings tank, and she loses—everything.

Leaving her old life behind, she joins Keystone, a secret school for thieves, where students are being trained to steal everything analog and original because something—or someone—is changing history to suit their needs.

Partnered with the annoyingly hot—and utterly impossible—Garrett Alexander, who has plenty of his own secrets, Ella is forced to return to the Influencer world, while unraveling a conspiracy that began decades ago.

One wrong move and she could lose everything—again.

390 pages, Paperback

First published January 7, 2020

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About the author

Katie Delahanty

5 books303 followers
Growing up in Pittsburgh, Katie loved old movies and playing dress up, but never considered telling stories of her own until she was asked to start a blog for the sleepwear company she worked for. Unsure what to say about lingerie, she wrote a fictional serial about a girl chasing her costume design dreams who fell in love with a rock star along the way. And that’s when Katie fell in love with storytelling. That blog became the first book in "The Brightside Series" and she’s been waking before dawn to write ever since. Katie lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children and is currently working on book #3 in "The Keystone Series", which will release in 2022.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 104 reviews
February 15, 2022
“Goonies Never Say Die!” Or do they always say die? Read the book to find out.

I really liked this book. It was original, fun and extremely interesting. It was a young adult dystopian fantasy set in the not too distant future and with the way technology and social media have been booming some of the concepts don’t seem too far off. The main character is Ella, the daughter of a former actor and actress who are now huge social media influencers. Her favorite movie (and mine) is the Goonies.

We have social media influencers today but they are nothing compared to these people. They have a social stock exchange and everyone has investors, so the more popular you are, the higher your value. And influencers at the highest levels will do just about anything to stay there. This is why Ella’s parents had her and also is their families biggest secret.

Ella is actually adopted, but her mother used her pregnancy to gain more popularity and so nobody can find out. However everyone has secrets and once Ella makes her debut on the social exchange at sixteen, she finds that out. She becomes an influencer like her parents and they expect her to keep high numbers like they do. In order to do that she has to keep her lifestream online much of the time or investors will not be happy. She also as to hang out with other popular influencers.

Ella finds that not only does everyone have secrets, but the top girls know hers and they are not her friends. She also is forced to do things she doesn’t like in order to keep her social standing. Early on she falls for an Australian surfer named Adam, she is betrayed by someone she thought was her friend and she finds that her parents never really loved her.

Ella ends up finding a group of disconnects who help her escape her old life and start over at Keystone to be trained as a thief. They see where the world is going and how corporations are changing the digital record of history to their own advantage. So this group has disconnected so they can’t be tracked and they steal important items from history before they are changed. Like books, art, movies and other things.

Ella finds a home at Keystone where she is accepted and where she makes actual friends. She meets Garrett who is the son of the two people who run Keystone and who is also at the the best in the classes and is set to become a full fledged initiate after he runs a heist of his own. Ella feels a strange connection to Garrett whenever she is near him. Though he has a girlfriend Chloe.

The entire premise of this book is pretty ingenious as well as the whole thieving aspect. They are learning to become thieves almost like Harry Potter learned to become a wizard at Hogwarts. The world building is spectacular. The world at Keystone is in the Redwood forest and the entrances are all hidden. The characters are all fully developed, but also many are mysterious because it is a world where you can’t really trust others. All in all, I loved it and couldn’t put the book down until I finished.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Profile Image for Toni.
515 reviews
January 5, 2020
The premise of the book is really original. It takes the concept of social media influencers, popularity and social capital and explores it in a dystopian world. There are fascinating characters, never ending twists and turns - the book is really gripping and will keep you on the edge of your seat better than any heist movie. There is romance as well with masterfully built attraction and tension, but, for me, the book is mostly about Ella/Elisha's character development, her learning to trust herself and recognize being manipulated.
Fascinating world building, adventures, fast pace, Keystone has it all. Looking forward to coming back to Ella's world in the next part which is sure to follow after the cliff-hanger ending.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Entangled: Teen for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
Profile Image for Danielle's.
Author 1 book140 followers
December 25, 2019
In theory, this is my kind of book. It’s a dystopian world, Young Adult with a little romance. I really struggled with this book. It’s written in the present (future) and the past.

Ella Karmen is the daughter of an influential couple but she has a secret. Trusting the wrong people in a world where being perfect is vital. Imagine needing follows on social media but taken to the extreme. Being with the in-crowd has never been so deadly when they know your life isn’t quite what people thought.

Ella is interested in a boy her new friend doesn’t want her to date. When her parents find out she’s sent away to save face, in the hope they can cover it up.

The place she ends up is Keystone. Her goals have changed. Her friends and enemies have changed. Now instead of being an influence, she needs to preserve the truth by taking back what is important.

This story wasn’t for me. Trust is a weakness. Finding your own way is essential but no man is an island.

It was until about 50% way through the book I began to see clarity on the story. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t for me.


*I received an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jen ♥Star-Crossed Book Blog♥.
505 reviews306 followers
December 3, 2020
Keystone was an instant favorite! It enraptured me in its spell and was impossible to put down. With characters that quickly snuck into my heart and a story-line that had me turning the pages faster and faster, I absolutely loved this book! It's unlike anything I've ever read before. If you enjoy dystopian, science fiction, a fabulous group of friends or even rooting for a heroine in a new world, then definitely add this one to your tbr!
Right then, I bottled up my feelings, turned them off, buried them so deep I’d need a treasure map to find them. I understood the flat look in Deena’s eyes, the one that took my friend. Like her, I had to die inside.
It was the only way I was going to survive.

Katie Delahanty painted a vivid world that I easily got lost in. The first chapter started out with a bang. And there were lots of missing pieces to the puzzle. So I absorbed every single word trying to figure out what in the world was happening. We met Ella Karman, who just left her influencer life. With her name changed to Elisha DeWitt, she was on her way to train at a secret organization called Keystone. There she would learn how to steal information, since someone was changing history. We were just as clueless as Ella, for what was to come, and I loved learning right along with her!
He’d be great for my numbers. Stupid. This is why I can’t trust my instincts. This isn’t who I am anymore.
But I can’t look away.
And neither can he.
My heart thumps.

One of the most ingenious things was the way the story unfolded. We started in the present, and I loved watching Ella train and figure out her new life. Her tests were intense and they made me nervous and have sweaty palms. But I was excited for what she was capable of doing. I felt every single thing she did and I was so proud of how hard she worked. But the people she trained with? While I didn't know what to think of some of them, others warmed my heart. I loved watching her form true, heartfelt friendships. Especially since she didn't have that in her past.
A slow smile spreads across his face. “I like to keep an eye on the competition is all. I know you’re a fortress, Ellie. Don’t worry. I have no intention of scaling your walls.”
Stupid disappointment dips in my belly, but I shrug it off, fluttering my eyelashes. “You’re welcome to try. I’m confident the dragon will get you in the end, anyway.”
He bites his lip, holding back a laugh. “You’re nothing like I expected.”

Just when I thought I had a good grasp on what was going on, we jumped into her past. It was brilliant how we seamlessly would get glimpses of her past throughout the story. And it made me not only understand Ella better, but I saw how toxic her world was. People were ranked through their presence online and it established their worth. To keep her numbers up and her parents happy, since she influenced their worth too, she went along with or witnessed stuff that was horrific. The injustice and fakeness of it all made me sick. Yet Ella was trapped. I watched as lies and secrets shrouded her past. It was like a train wreck that I couldn't look away from.
Swallowing hard, I stare at him. “My heart runs deeper than you could ever imagine.”
“I highly doubt that.” His words are ice, and tears spring to my eyes.
“You don’t know anything about my hurt,” I say, my voice cracking. “Don’t pretend to.”

Not only was the story unique, but so were two of the guys I fell for. When we were in her past, we met Adam. With fake people surrounding her, he was a breath of fresh air. He was real. He spoke from his heart. And even though he played the influencer game, his connection to Ella made my heart beat faster. I fell in love with him through all of their moments together. Yet from that first chapter, we know he was there, when there was an explosion that killed Ella's friends.
“Need you? I need you.”
His eyes sparkle. “Yes.”
“You’re right. I do need you. I need you to realize you’re not God’s gift to thieves.”
“I love it when you’re angry.”
“I love it when you’re silent.”
He laughs.

And in the present, we met Garrett at Keystone. He was such a huge mystery to me. Garrett intrigued me and captivated my attention. He was completely addictive. Yet I didn't know where Ella stood with him. Especially since it seemed like he had a girlfriend. I wanted to know his thoughts and understand why he kept certain people around him. So I desperately wanted to know all of Garrett's secrets.
Garrett points to the ceiling, and I glimpse stars twinkling through a skylight.
Grabbing me, Garrett throws me to the ground, covering my body with his. My insides leaping, I squeal, certain we’re done for, waiting for the bullets to ravage us. He clamps his hand over my mouth as the walls around us shift, rearranging themselves into a new layout.

The latter part of this book, I swear I lived between having sweaty palms and smiling my face off. And here's the thing, I thought I knew where this story was going. But as we learned more about their world and started to see the bigger picture, there was a twist that was beautifully done. I never saw it coming. But looking back, I could see the clues, I just hadn’t grasped what they meant.
The tears flow, my aching throat sobbing out the betrayal. Is anything real? Hiccupping, I gasp for breath, the fireplace blurring before me. Is anyone loyal?

So if you love stories that you can't stop thinking about, long after you close the book, then definitely add Keystone to your tbr. With a smart heroine who held her own, and a group of friends that were total squad goals, Keystone landed on my favorites list! Now I'll desperately be waiting for that next book. We got a lot of answers and ended at such a great spot, but I need to know where Ella's story goes next. I can't wait!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

For more of my reviews, please visit:
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Profile Image for Maria V. Snyder.
Author 66 books16.8k followers
June 16, 2021
This was an interesting book. The world is set in the near future with virtual reality contacts for your eyes and other high tech gadgets. The society is broken into various groups, with influencers being the top tier and Disconnects being the luddites of the society and the Unrankables being the lowest of the low. It was rather scary that the influencers - while recording every single second of their lives and dictating how the rest of the world should think, dress, act - reflected today's society - like a warning that if we continue down this road, that'll be our future.

This quote from the book was particularly chilling: "People believe their Network feeds, everything their AI tells them. Truth is based on the collective opinion of an audience, not cold, hard facts. Majority rules. Even people who don’t blindly go along with the masses, who take time to research, can’t find correct information. Everything online has been tampered with. It’s all propaganda, legend. If you want the truth, you have to consult the original source, and that is becoming impossible to find."

This story is about a group of Disconnects, trying to get the world back to "normal" by saving those original sources and historical objects that prove real history. Also to stop a big bad from taking control of the Network.

The world building was fabulous - I just had a harder time connecting with the main protagonist and . Not sure I'll read book two, but book one certainly gave me plenty to think about!
Profile Image for Shatarupa  Dhar.
605 reviews78 followers
January 13, 2020
Note: Ella Karman / Elisha DeWitt / Ellie are the same person.

Series: Nothing announced as such but the Epilogue certainly keeps options open.

Ella Karman is a regular seventeen-year-old girl, as regular as can be in a dystopian world divided into factions based on popularity. She is an Influencer, the only daughter of her actor parents, who should have enjoyed her time at Intersection – the Hollywood high school. But the problem is that after years of home-schooling, she is disillusioned by the constant requirement of being "on" all the time.

She finds herself at Keystone, where there is as good as an uprising taking place – albeit in a hush-hush manner – to unravel the uber-connected world. Will it be the place where she finally finds herself, as well as finds someone who will love her for who she is and not for her ranking?

This story takes the concept of an "Influencer" to a whole new level. A term which in equal amount is the cause of envy among some and the reason for concern among others has got an excellent reimagining in a dystopian setting in the near future. And like in every dystopia, there are the ones at the bottom of the society fighting back against total control, known here as the Disconnects.

The story starts on 25 June 20X5 with a literally explosive beginning, where Ella Karman becomes Elisha DeWitt and starts a new life as a Disconnect in Keystone. Narrated in the first person, Ella takes us on a journey through what her life and the society around her looks like. A society where everyone and everything looks perfect, but sacrifices – ugly sacrifices – have to be made for that perfection in order to stay at the top of the game. A society which has been divided into four factions – the Corporates, the Influencers, the Laborers, and the Unrankables – followed by the Disconnects who are of the lowest order and not even worthy of mention.
Your worth is measured by your number of followers, your Index trade amount, your engagement rate. If nobody's watching, nobody cares.

It has become an ugly world where Ella finds solace in the form of Adam, a surfer guy she meets at Intersection. But it is not what it seems when her world or what she thought was her world goes for a toss in the form of manipulative parents (and AI), devious friends, and the soon to be introduced Super Brain. Ella has a gift of superior intuition which is what leads her to Keystone in the first place. Some of her memories from her previous life are so frightening! And I loved the way the author revealed her character bit-by-bit throughout the story. The concept of the Super Brain is quite Terminator-esque, where there is a real danger of machines taking over.

The story takes place within the span of roughly two years, from August 20X4 to June 20X6. Now, the years may seem vague at first but the author drops a hint in the form of Star Wars as to the exact year in which the story takes place. There are quite a few other pop culture references which strikes you as funny in the context in which they are used. It is scary to think about how in reality social media has inveigled itself into our lives. At Keystone, Ellie meets Garrett Alexander, a senior student and a master thief. She also finds friends – real friends – in Rayelle, Stewart, and Sophia.
They don't want me. My whole life, all I ever wanted was to be theirs, but of course I wasn't, not really.

There are quite a few time jumps, as the author keeps the narrative tight. The students learn forgery, code-breaking, escape and evasion, which are actually names of subjects! A school where they teach you codes and cyphers, with the ultimate goal is of conducting real-world heists. There are so many revelations along the way, be it shocks or surprises. It kept me hooked with not a single dull moment.

If you know me then you know that I crave a little bit of romance in every story and this one had that too. Ellie and Garrett going head-to-head were too cute. It's been quite a few years since I last read sci-fi and this had me so excited! A world where debut means something entirely different from what it means today. It was at once eerie and fascinating to read about Ella's previous life. It is no longer live streaming but life-streaming.
She thinks I'm a natural, but the truth is I've been deceiving since I could walk. My talents come from years of sneaking around pretending to be someone else.

There are quite a few unanswered questions, which if the ending is any indication may be tied up in a sequel. But what the author has done, the world she has built is stupendous. And sweet is the way she has connected us readers to the story in her Acknowledgements:
You are the most important piece of the puzzle – the keystone, if you will – because without you this story would have no reason to exist.

P.S. The Voynich manuscript gets mentioned again here after I recently read it in the The All Souls Trilogy Boxed Set by Deborah Harkness. It seems like a sign that I should read books about it now.

The AMPs which the people use in this dystopia reminded me of Obsidian's augmented reality contact lenses as shown in Supergirl.

This book is in a sense relevant to what's happening now, what's been happening forever, all over the world. What with everybody trying to rewrite history.
No information is safe.

Originally posted on:
Shaina's Musings
Profile Image for Kristi.
827 reviews197 followers
December 19, 2019
Keystone by Katie Delahanty is original and unique, looking at a future dystopian world in which everyone is graded on the Social Stock exchange. Think Instagram on major steroids and then times that by 1000. It’s the current currency and if you don’t rank or are unrankable, life can be pretty difficult. As Ella says:

“My parents taught me Index ranking is everything. If you don’t rank, you don’t matter.”

Ella is the main character and narrator – gifted with extreme intuitive sense; she is the daughter of two major influencers but they have a secret. When Ella becomes indebted to a group of high-ranking mean girls, they use her parents secret to manipulate her into an act that has serious consequences.

Ella, now Elisha, is taken under the wing a woman who is part of Keystone; a school that teaches the art of thieving everything ‘analog and original’ for the main purpose of obstructing those in power from changing history.

"Our Mission is to steal analog history – to preserve the truth – before corporations and the government can alter the past to benefit their personal futures."

Ella must now prove her worth by actions not rankings. There are, of course, mean girls at Keystone but Ella also makes friends there, real friends and they are interesting characters to read about. Most of the students at Keystone have grown up there, learning how to steal from a very young age and have a distinct advantage over Ella. They also don’t know that prior to coming to Keystone she was a highly ranked social elite. More secrets and a lot of competition ensue!
I liked the pace of this book; it starts out with a lot of action and takes a now and then approach. I found it worked well in this story. It slowly unveils the story behind Ella and what drives her. There’s a cliff-hanger ending so it’s my guess that there’s another book coming and I’m happy about that!

I recommend this for any fan of YA dystopian with a dash of romance and intrigue!

A big thank you to NetGalley, Entangled Publishing – Entangled: Teen, and Katie Delahanty for providing Keystone in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,125 reviews459 followers
December 19, 2019
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult / Dystopian
*Rating* 3.5


Katie Delahanty's Keystone is first of three books in a yet to be named series. The book is reminiscent of Bryce Dallas Howard's Black Mirror episode called Nosedive. The story alternates between the years 20x4 and 20x5 where Ella is debuting on the Social Stock Exchange with a very high debut price. Ella Karman's life was dependent on being an Influencer. She wore a Life Stream that followed her everywhere she went. The more people talk about you, the higher your rating. Things seemed to be going well until she's betrayed by by her best friend.

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*

January 8, 2020
This book had a great pace and I didn’t want to put it down. It also felt pretty unique to me.

Keystone takes place in a futuristic California. Social status is everything. If you’re an Influencer, you’re good. Everything you do is on camera and you can rarely have secrets. Ella Karman debuts at a really high price on the Social Stock Exchange, so she becomes a target for other girls to take her down. Ella’s actor parents do have a big secret though. Ella isn’t their daughter. She was created using a donor and her face is changed by injections to make her look like her mom. Ella started school for the first time at a school for the biggest Influencer kids. She had one friend since childhood, Deena. Deena introduced her to a couple other girls and she met a boy named Adam. Ella felt an instant connection to Adam. Things don’t go well and Ella plans to get out. She was approached to be part of Keystone. So now she has to fake her death, which doesn’t go off as planned. Ella’s friends are killed on her birthday, but she makes it out to where she needs to be.

Keystone is completely off the grid. At this school, the kids learn how to code, solve ciphers, and steal. There is no technology allowed except for training in one room. Keystone believes that the world going entirely digital is erasing the past. So they steal everything original and replace it with replicas. They want to have the truth safe for the future. They also believe that the president is working with a man to create a super brain. Once everyone uploads things to it, they will basically become shells of who they are.

Ella has a new name at the school and actually makes real friends. She’s also a bit of a natural with escaping. While she studied a lot for locks, Ella has exceptional instincts which is why she was chosen. When Ella arrived at Keystone, she met Garrett and had an instant connection with him like she did with Adam. Garret is the best in the class and will be doing his heist this year. Everything they learn and practice is to prepare for these heists and they mean everything. If the kids are caught, Keystone doesn’t rescue them. They can’t talk and they always live undercover. Ella needs to learn who to trust and deal with her past. The book is told in parts, so we go back to find out what happened with Ella and Adam later in the book.

My review is a bit of a mess, but I wanted to explain a little without giving away too much. It was fun trying to figure out the world and the characters, learning who we could trust. I definitely hope there is a second book. I wasn’t a fan of the ending, but overall, I loved reading this one.

I gave this book 4 1/2 stars rounded up to 5 on Goodreads. Thank you to Entangled Teen for sending me a finished copy for review.

Profile Image for ♥ WishfulMiss ♥ .
1,072 reviews119 followers
January 16, 2020
Always say die 💯

Keystone was a sweet techie futuristic read that I got sucked into, right from the start. I really liked Ellie, she was a heroine that was conflicted but also brave and definitely goes through some emotional growth during her journey.⁣

The whole idea of a future where being online and connected becomes all consuming and technology is being used to manipulate, re-write and sometimes completely wipe out moments in history pretty much blew my mind.⁣

Memorable Moments:
I loved the whole heist scene. It was suspensful, exciting and it was when I really started to feel the chemistry between Ellie and Garrett. Seeing how all the puzzles fit together in the bigger picture was pretty cool

The love triangle romance between Ellie, Adam/Nash and Garrett was a bit much for me the rest of the time. Still, I think I ship her with Garrett more the the other guy 🤣

Would I recommend?
The cliffy of the ending has me super hopeful that there will be a reunion between these love birds sooon! And I really want more of Ellie with her possie! ⁣

* * * ARC provided for an honest review * * *
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Profile Image for My Yorkshire Litmosphere.
314 reviews15 followers
February 20, 2020
Ohh this is such an intriguing read! I love the premise of it and I’m a massive nerd when it comes to ciphers and code breaking (National Treasure and The Da Vinci Code - love those 😍)

The idea of a world revolving around Influencers and statuses is fantastic! It is hauntingly similar to our day an age with social media running a lot of peoples lives - to see it at its most extreme is intriguing and depressing all at once!

The world Katie Delahanty has created is unique and yet confusing - I absolutely hated it to begin with as I didn’t quite understand what was going on! I felt I could follow what was happening as I had a vague idea on aspects of the world but could definitely have done with a road map or at least a glossary 😂 Good thing I read this as a buddy read so we could guess together!

One point I didn’t like was the love triangle situation. I just didn’t feel it, it was distracting too much from the story at hand - it didn’t really come naturally. It was like zap! Done, they like each other and then silence - didn’t seem to grow nicely in the background of their hatred, they just seem to just admit it and then drop it and then admit it again. I dunno, it just felt off to me.

Regardless, I am super excited about the next book as the world is so much fun and I am super excited to see where Ella/Ellie/Elisha goes next 👏🏻 Also I need more Garrett as he just doesn’t play a big enough part and could easily turn out to be an awesome character!
Profile Image for Kayleigh (BookwormEscapes).
248 reviews37 followers
March 9, 2020
I’m dying to read more about Ella and Keystone after the revelations towards the end of the book! I love how the story alternated between the past and the present which allowed you to slowly unravel what was going on instead of just being told. It’s full of action, eerily frightening and unsettling with a great mix of characters!
Profile Image for Jenn.
818 reviews22 followers
November 27, 2019
In a world ruled by social media standing, Ella must fight to determine her own value.

I tried. I tried really hard, I got to 27% of this strange, frustrating book. I love the mini trend going on at the moment of books centered around social media and how it affects people. However, this one starts in the middle of the story and reveals the beginning in flashbacks, and things just weren't making sense without that background.

I don't mind a story that starts in the middle and then jumps back wholesale to the start. That's not a problem. But drip feeding necessary information doesn't sit with me. I'm sure other readers will love it! It just didn't suit me, I'm afraid.
Profile Image for Jessica *The Lovely Books*.
1,213 reviews617 followers
January 7, 2020
“It sucked, but I’ve lived and breathed my numbers forever. Who am I without them?”

Do you want to know what my first initial reaction to this was? It was the Black Mirror episode Nosedive featuring Bryce Howard Dallas. It basically tells the story of a woman OBSESSED with her ranking and will stop at nothing in order to bring it up. In my opinion, it was one of the most depressing episodes I’d seen because it rang so true to our world now. Where looking good and presenting a perfect picture of our lives meant so much to people who don’t even matter.

What is social media? And how in the world have we become so obsessed at having people we don’t and won’t ever know’s approval. In Keystone, Ella Karman has to change her entire world view on how damaging the digital world can be. It’s all been engrained that status is everything and anything less, means you’re less.

When Ella leaves behind everything, she has no clue what she’s in for. What we get is juicy drama consisted of a kick ass heroine, a swoonworthy hero, and an intriguing conspiracy filled plot! There wasn’t a dull moment to be had. Delahanty writes such a fun story that I couldn’t put down. Don’t miss out on this one!

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are subjective but my own.
Profile Image for diana.
814 reviews116 followers
June 13, 2020
I'm honestly super confused. I don't know what the heck just happened but I LOVED it. Sure, it seemed way over the top and unbelievable at times but it was highly entertaining. I felt lost for almost the whole book. I didn't know who to trust. I couldn't understand most of the tech stuff. There was so much confusion. I have SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Book two please?
Profile Image for Lindsay Michele.
81 reviews9 followers
January 19, 2020
I have a thing for YA dystopian stories. I haven't read any in awhile but I'm glad Keystone was the book to get me back into this genre.

The story is based on a world where people follow your life through social media and if you do something that disrupts your rank, your life as you know it will go down the drain.

This book is written with what Ella is experiencing currently, and throughout that time she is writing in her journal which is where you get a glimpse on what happened in her past.

Ella Karman was born into a highly influential family. But once she realizes the price that must be paid to "increase her rank" - including befriending manipulative people, she starts having second thoughts if this life is for her.

This book is about her adventure to live her own life outside of this influencer world.

My first thoughts while I was finishing this book was - "I hope there is a sequel!"

Thank you to edelweiss+, Entangled Publishing – Entangled: Teen, and Katie Delahanty for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for rotkäppchen ☾.
86 reviews1 follower
November 11, 2020
The main idea of the book is brilliant. It's where we are headed with the advancement in the technology field. I never read something similar and that's probably why I enjoyed it so much. But on the other hand, I felt like the story was rushed. There were some parts where I should've had skyrocketing feelings, but sadly...didn't. That was a bit disappointing but, hopefully, in the second book the connection between Ellie and Garret will deliver more emotion.
Profile Image for Nicola Nunney .
148 reviews25 followers
March 22, 2022
I really enjoyed this. I thought it was going to be another book that focused generally in social media use, but the heist element intrigued me. There was plenty of action and I enjoyed seeing the story progress.
Profile Image for Melissa (thereaderandthechef).
529 reviews167 followers
February 23, 2020
*Thanks to Entangled Teen and MTMC Tours for the review copy!*

Keystone turned out to be my first read of the year and it made for an intriguing journey through a maybe not-so-distant future where social media/influencer status is the new currency! It’s full of heists and betrayal, and there’s a society that trains you to become en epic thief.

Check out our tour stop here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B6_eNGgBSLr/

Full review to come soon.*
Profile Image for Olivia.
2,970 reviews66 followers
December 19, 2019
KEYSTONE is an interesting YA dystopian. In the future, the world is now one collective country and is primarily ruled by consumerism. There are multiple classes, and the seemingly top of the top is the Influencer class, where their worth is decided by the companies who invest in them. Ella was born to two Influencer parents, who mainly wanted the monetary bump having a baby would give them. They have expected her to now earn her own.

Ella, however, wants out. She does not fit into this world, and she does not like the person she would have to be in order to fit in. Luckily, she is intuitive, and her skills are sought by Disconnects, people who live without technology. She is now attending the seemingly-mythical Keystone, an academy of thievery, where she will learn how to break into just about anything and steal whatever she needs/wants. As part of this education, there is an internal contest before a large heist that will determine their post-schooling careers in thievery.

The story here is intriguing, and at its heart, not unusual. It's lonely at the top, and the lives of those we see on social media or TV is not as glamorous as it seems. The world is unique, but I did not feel like we got enough explanations of what was going on. We get crumbs here and there, enough to have a vague picture of this future, but I would have liked to go deeper. This seems unique and complex, and it would be interesting to flesh it all out.

There's also some kind-of-romances that have some instalove feel, and they worked enough to advance the story, but I did not get super into the couples/love triangle. There's also some pretend-neuroscience that draws from myth in a way that sounds sciencey, but as a neuroscientist, I found this a little weird, but I bet most people won't bat an eye.

Regardless, I did really enjoy this read. There's a lot going on, and I liked Ella enough that I wanted to follow her story. There's quite a bit of fun and competition going on, and I would definitely like to continue reading about this world in the future. While others have mentioned a cliffhanger, there is one, but I did not find it too huge. I definitely want to know what will happen next though!

Overall, I would recommend for people looking for a futuristic/dystopian YA read. This is an intriguing book that I want to learn more about! Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Madison.
1,065 reviews58 followers
December 29, 2019
I went through a whole range of reactions while reading Keystone. I couldn’t have hated the beginning more. I was disconnected, confused and ready to put the book down and never pick it back up. However, I reasoned I was very busy at work and was only reading the book in short fits and I really should give it a better chance to capture my attention. I’m glad I did. One week into my holiday, I picked it up again. There were sections in the middle that made me cringe, but the story comes together and I was intrigued by the mix of social commentary, dystopian story and heist novel. By the end, I was hooked. What a fabulous turn around. The end reads like a thrilling action movie. I’m intrigued about where the series is going to go next.

Keystone dumps the reader right into the middle of the plot and action. So much so, that I actually stopped reading and went to check if this was a second book in a series. The story starts in the middle of big events for Elisha, the main charcter, and readers must just go along for the ride, picking up details about who she is, why she’s just jumped off an exploding yacht, who and what the Disconnects are, the slightly futuristic world, and what on earth is going on, along the way. This sudden start makes it hard to connect or care about Elisha’s trauma (because we are not sure what really happened anyway) or grief (how can we mourn characters we never met?). It only gets more confusing from there, as she somehow joins (or has already joined??) a group of spies. After reading on a bit and some backstory is provided via journaled flashbacks, it made a lot of sense for the book to start after Elisha (or Ella) has left her Influencer life as she is rather unlikeable before and that is more palatable as she reflects on her mistakes and how she wants to change. I would have liked a few more details about what she knew of the Disconnects and Keystone as she started there, but I did eventually figure out the essential details.

There were so many awesome ideas in this book, and the premise was so exciting. I love the reflection on a social media addicted world and how this was explored in its extreme. I loved the idea of a training centre for spies. I loved the idea of reverting to old technology. And then there were just awesome things, like a hidden village in the tree tops. Sadly, I was a little distracted by the lack of details about Elisha and why she was joining Keystone, so my advice to readers is just take it as it comes, the details and backstory come later. There were a few things that got on my nerves. There needs to be a massive trigger warning for the attempted suicide that is outlined in detail and real time in the story. I think that could have been handled better for readers, but sadly the shock value is achieved. Elisha’s attraction to Garret and her love triangle with Adam is rather cringe worthy. She does attempt to resist the endless attraction, which I appreciated, but she is often distracted and I thought that detracted from her awesomeness as a naturally gifted spy.

The ending ramps up the tension and the sexual attraction, leaving the story well placed for a second instalment.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library
Profile Image for gwendalyn _books_.
886 reviews31 followers
January 10, 2020
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own

Keystone by Katie Delahanty is a Young Adult Dystopian, and it involves a world of everyone wanting to have the highest rankings as an ‘Influencer.’ Unfortunately, if you don’t keep up with your rankings or if you do something to have your rankings tank, then you may end up being Unrankable.
The main protagonist , Ella Karman, has been safely hidden from that world until her parents release her into it.
Realizing she trust anyone when it comes to rankings, not even her closest friend, Deena.
Deena ends up betraying Ella, and she has no one to turn to in the book until someone approaches her about a secret school. She’s invited to join the secret school called Keystone, which teaches thieves otherwise known as ‘Disconnects’ (Definition: ones that don’t want to be part of Rankings and want to preserve history) to steal everything analog and original history item.
This way, they can protect these items in a Vault, instead of having them changed like the Influencers keep doing out in their world.
Ella is going to learn how to become one of those thieves, and she’s forced to partner up with the annoying but sexy Garrett Alexandar. Garrett was a mysterious character in the book, and I enjoyed the dialogue between Ella and Garrett.
Garrett ‘s secretive agenda for wanting Ella as a partner adds to the storyline.
I enjoyed the concept of a school teaching about stealing original history items to preserve them in a world of a digital age where everything is about who has the highest-ranking and fake people.

A telltale reminder of what is happening within today’s world. Where ranking has become being high priority and who has the most likes and friends on the Internet.
There is so much I enjoyed about this story and how Katie Delahanty kept me turning the pages, but I don’t want to give anything away. If you enjoy Young Adult Dystopian books, then I recommend this book. It’s different, which is always a plus for me.
The one thing that bothered me was the ending since it felt a little rushed.
I needed some answers, and I’m crossing my fingers; there are more books after this one.
Profile Image for Silvia.
411 reviews97 followers
February 28, 2020
My feelings about this one are a little bit all over the place right now.
I have to say I quite enjoyed the concept and it was that that made me read it in the first place. It was very interesting to see a society in which social media rankings are the only thing that define who you are (it's not so far from what will become of our world in a few years if you ask me), but I think the concept was explained very well. For example the divisions between Makers, Disconnected, Influencers etc were not well explained in my opinion. It was quite intuitive but other than that no other explanations were given.

I kinda liked the relationships between our two main characters, Ella and Garrett, even though sometimes he was just a little bit too much. I've surpassed the phase when I though cocky boys were attractive. Now in my eyes they are just annoying teenagers lol.
But I can see the attractiveness in him, in his confident behaviour and in his beliefs.
Sadly, the ending kind of ruined the book for me. I'm not the biggest fan of open endings and this was the case. I would have preferred for the finale to be more complete but oh well, I certainly liked the messages about friendship this book gives.
I can easily say that the friendship relationships were my favourite ones.
Profile Image for Lisa Mandina.
1,837 reviews416 followers
January 4, 2020
This one really intrigued me from the idea being similar to the only episode of Black Mirror that I have watched. Because that's what I was relating it to as I started the book, at first I was a bit disappointed that the story didn't start out with us spending time with Ella in this world of being an Influencer. However, as we got further along, the way those days were brought in with her journaling to try to get past what she was feeling guilty about, it definitely hit hard how things had been and just how far she had gone, or what she had let trying to stay relevant keep her from doing even when she knew what was right and what was wrong. It was hard to wonder though, if the boy from her past, Adam, was really someone as bad as she thought at one point, or if he was someone she should have trusted. And in the end, we learn something else new about him, something I had kind of had a tiny bit of wondering about earlier on. Now, while this isn't listed as part of a series, I sure hope that there is a sequel! It was definitely left off at the end in a way that there is so much more we could do, and I want to know it. I want all the other heists that they could go on, and even though they may have stopped the whole Smart Brain takeover as they tried, it sounds like there is still more that could be done and more to save.
I really enjoyed this book, and it kept me turning pages late into the night, so I was very glad it was during my holiday break from school when I got to read it. I'll be putting this one in my school library for my students to read for sure!

Review first appeared on Lisa Loves Literature.
Profile Image for Sascha.
Author 5 books20 followers
January 10, 2020
Despite being initially confused, I loved this page-turning dystopian novel by Katie Delahanty. Unlike many writers who bring the story gradually to their readers, Delahanty tossed us and her main character, Ella, into the deep end, quite literally for Ella.

Ella is the dystopian version of an influencer. Rather than just being online at intervals, almost all of her life is spent online. It’s a life she hates, especially when she sees what it does to her friend. When the opportunity arises for Ella to change her life by joining a secret organization, she takes it.

read more: https://saschadarlington.me/2020/01/1...
Profile Image for Addison (Taylor’s Version).
71 reviews5 followers
June 28, 2022
After having this book on my shelf forever I finally read it! I was actually surprised by how much I liked it, the plot was really interesting and the whole book was something I haven’t read before. The beginning was kinda slow, but once I got into it, it was pretty fast paced. Only thing I would change is how often Elisha thought about how “annoyingly hot” Garrett was. I’m like ok we get it do we need to mention it for the 12th time?!
Profile Image for bella.
30 reviews1 follower
July 1, 2021
honestly i wasn’t sure if i was going to like this book with how quick the love interest started off but reading it through was so good. the characters and the plot line were all so perfect ab unexpected i truely never knew what was going to happen next! i would 100% recommend
Profile Image for Tonya (Rustic Book Reviews).
368 reviews38 followers
Shelved as 'tbr-science-fiction'
December 26, 2019
What an amazing surprise to get home to see that I have this amazing beauty in my box! Can't wait to read this!! Thanks to the amazing author for the ARC!

28 reviews
July 13, 2021
loved the romance
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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