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Review: Zero Day (Gangsei)

AUTHOR: Jan Gangsei
SERIES: none currently listed
PUBLISHER: Disney-Hyperion
PUBLICATION DATE: January 12, 2016
ISBN: 9781484722268
PAGES: 368
SOURCE: NetGalley
GENRE: action, espionage, thriller
SETTING: Washington, DC, present day
GIVE IT TO: upper-MS, HS

SUMMARY: Addie Webster, daughter of a US Governor, vanished without a trace eight years ago. Now age 16, Addie managed to escape her captors and is back with her family. What happened to her when she was abducted? Who took her and why? And most of all, can she be trusted? Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s best childhood friend and son of the White House Chief of Staff, is soon recruited by the NSA to find out if Addie is connected to a string of terrorist attacks carried out by a group calling itself Cerberus.

REVIEW: I read this in one sitting–so amazing! I requested this book for review when I read the blurb on NetGalley, but I was absolutely hooked from the very first chapter. This reminds me of John Grisham or Tom Clancy for teens. I love how the story allows readers to make realizations right along with Addie and Darrow. I also love how it was told with flashbacks so we could gain insight on what happened to Addie for eight years.

There is some romance, but the main focus of this story is what happened to Addie while she lived with her captors and how she adjusts (and does not adjust) to life back with her family.

As of this writing in October 2015, there is no sequel to Zero Day listed on Goodreads. But there are several loose plot threads and a cliffhanger ending, so it would be very disappointing if a sequel isn’t planned.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Action-packed, suspenseful, and incredibly difficult to put down! An early 2016 favorite!

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: I plan to get this–will be really easy to booktalk.

READALIKES: Alex Rider series (Horowitz); CHERUB series (Muchamore); Split Second (McKenzie)


  • Overall: 5/5
  • Creativity: 5/5
  • Characters: 5/5
  • Engrossing: 5/5
  • Writing: 5/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5


  • Language: mild-moderate; 12 sh**, 2 f-bombs
  • Sexuality: mild; kissing
  • Violence: moderate; terrorism, murder, guns and shooting
  • Drugs/Alcohol: very mild; underage drinking in past; teen in drug rehab
  • Other: one of Darrow’s friends is gay; photo of two girls kissing; teen suicide attempt
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  • Hi, Tina! Congratulations on your job as a middle school librarian–it is the BEST job in the world! I recommend you start by registering with NetGalley and Edelweiss. Both websites are free, and there are tons of books available in all genres and age levels, either for request or immediate download. Just remember that the publishers on both sites are looking for feedback about their book. If you do not give feedback often enough, you will be less likely to be approved for the higher-demand titles. I also applied to review for School Library Journal (go to their website), so I get books that way as well. You won't get paid to review for SLJ, but most of the publishers thank the SLJ reviewers by sending us a free hardcover copy of the book once the book is published. A great way to build your library!


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