Set firmly in today’s world of internet (dis)connection, this novel aptly explores the mayhem, madness, hysteria and social wreckage that ensue when anyone can post pictures, commentary and scathing opinions mere seconds after an event occurs. With little or no forethought or consideration about what is seen, heard and videotaped, it’s easy for the ugliness of human nature to rear its head.
The writing is crisp and edgy and doesn’t hold back—except in terms of its main character, Lucy Vacarro. Even when she’s being judgmental, she also seems, well, a bit too amiable. One would almost prefer that she be more like her older sister, the dazzling, vivacious, cutthroat Jayla Heart, a girl who (much like the character she plays on television) wouldn’t take this kind of verbal abuse lying down. Jayla doesn’t allow herself to be bullied or cowed by anyone—she’d tear a new one for each student who attacked her, blow off her fake, would-be friends and write a scathing letter on her Facebook page denouncing all the sanctimonious grudge-filled monsters who attacked her.
Alas, Lucy is no Jayla and so this is a very different book. Lucy struggles mightily to keep her head above the tides but ultimately finds she can’t do it alone. What happens is that we witness her slowly burgeoning maturity as she puts aside former judgments and learns slowly who her real friends are, making allies in unexpected places and learning to forgive, even those who don’t ask for it.
The novel throbs with pain, angst, humiliation, joy and energy. True love prevails but only at tremendous cost and effort—just as it should be. This novel is an insightful and riveting look at a topical subject and one that is of concern to many modern people. As YA novels go, it rises splendidly above its youthful underpinnings.
The book honestly started off weak. It was very hard for me to stay focused into the story. I found the main character to be a little hard to like at times. Then the story started to pick up as the need to no more came into affect.
What I liked:
I liked the deeper meaning in this story. It isn’t blatantly obvious, but I found it to be a quite educating read on the dangers of social media. You can see the effects that posting hate about others can cause, and how easy a picture/status can spread.
There is also the struggle of being famous thrown in. It isn’t a part of the bigger story, but you learn about the struggles our main character’s older sister has to face everyday; like the harassment from the paparazzi and the untrue magazines.
This books makes you rethink how you view social media and the people on magazines.
What I didn’t like:
I found Griff to be a little unpolished. The way she would act (particular in the middle) did not fit with her overall character (especially with the ending).
Lastly, Miss Demeanor has nothing on Gossip Girl.
Overall, I would recommend this book even though it wasn’t the best, it had some redeemable qualities. I think it’s the perfect read for social media and technology obsessed teens. A great life lesson is learned.
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