Zero Day by Jan Gangsei: Book Review

Title: Zero Day
Author: Jan Gangsei
Publication Details: January 12th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Young adult, mystery, thriller, contemporary

Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the Oval Office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold…but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the administration who find her timely return suspicious.

When a national security advisor approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn’t know what to think. How could the girl he’s missed for all these years be a threat to the United States? Still, at the risk of having his own secrets exposed, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

He soon realizes that his old friend is much more than the traumatized victim of a political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission… but will she choose to complete it?

A short yet thrilling read.

One bookstore-browsing day, I came across Zero Day, read its synopsis and found it really intriguing. I had been wanting a short, thriller, contemporary read so I bought this stand-alone.

Zero Day delivered just the right amount of thrill and mystery. The pacing is just right, and I don't find it dragging. However, the depth of the plot is just a so-so for me. I liked that the plot elements include Stockholm syndrome, politics, terrorism, and family relationship among others, but I just couldn't follow the reason/principle of Addie's abductors. Thus, I just kind of accepted the plot without feeling the depth or the impact of it.

Since the book is just a short one, I think the characters, especially the main, were not explored well so I was not able to relate to them very much. They're okay though. Thankfully, there are no annoying characters. Haha. But a little more background will definitely help in understanding the characters.

The writing style of the author is okay for me. The flow of the story is smooth. And though, there are technical terms, I was still able to understand and enjoy the book.


Overall, Zero Day still gave an intriguing factor. I still enjoyed my reading experience, but it is a so-so read. It did not really disappoint because I was not expecting anything. Haha. But if you're up for a short, mystery, political read, then you might want to give Zero Day a chance.

Jan Gangsei grew up in small-town Vermont, reading Nancy Drew mysteries, putting on backyard shows with her best friend and dreaming about exploring the world. After college, she landed a job as a newspaper reporter covering politics and the police beat, and was astonished to discover she could actually get paid to write and tell stories. Since then, she's lived in Key West, New York City, DC and Barbados. She's now settled with her family in northern Virginia, where she writes full time with a cup of hazelnut coffee in one hand and a Jack Russell terrier named Watson curled under her legs. Her debut young adult novel, ZERO DAY, publishes with Disney-Hyperion in January, 2016.