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I have not read the first book in this series. I found this is a Little Free Lending Library awhile back and was intrigued by the cover. It was even better than I was expecting.
I don't think you necessarily have to read the first book before you read this one, but like most series, it would definitely help if you did. The narration backtracks enough to give you an idea of what happened in the first book so you can get away with not knowing anything about the story.
This is an exciting, well-written book. I love how much math and coding played into it. It is a very fun read. There is a good mix of typical young adult girl stuff going on alongside exciting math-related crime stuff. A very cool premise.
There is a love triangle, which is a plot devise I absolutely hate, but it doesn't take up a ton of space in the novel. There is enough awesome stuff going on that I was still entertained despite the annoying relationship bits.
Good book. I definitely want to go back and read the first book.