Insignia by S. J. Kincaid

Cyberpunk is back. It's here in YA literature, in a book called Insignia, and overused as this phrase is, I couldn't put it down.
Tom gets dragged through his young life by his gambler dad, learning to deal with his disappointed teachers and his father's occasional paranoid rants by hustling video games and rolling his eyes at the pro-American propaganda he gets at school. World War III is going on, and he hears a lot about kids like Elliot Ramirez, a computer pilot for the off-planet battles that are going on, a "safer" way to fight with other countries.
Tom's life is going steadily downhill, until one day a general offers him a piloting position. He gets regular meals, a regular paycheck, and a trillion-dollar chip installed in his brain. Tom's finding friends, and getting interested in a girl. Okay, maybe an enemy fighter pilot, but still, she's a pretty cool girl. Despite his authority-bucking attitude, things seem to be looking up. . . until a major sponsor decides to make him fall in line by hacking his software.
Insignia is about spaceships and computers, about being who you are, and it's a fascinating exploration into the psychological, technological, and above all, the sociological ramifications of a future that doesn't seem all that far away or unlikely. It's the best YA book I've read so far this year, and I highly recommend it.

Insignia Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062092991
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - July 10th, 2012