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#famous – Book Review

Title: #famous

Author: Jilly Gagnon

Pages: 384 (hardcover)

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Published: February 14, 2017

Summary:

In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?

Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.

Review:

#famous is an adorable story about a girl whose crush goes from a secret between her and her friend, to something that the entire internet knows about I’m just a few hours. Rachel is a girl who likes to stay under the radar. She’s quirky, and by no means someone who would be considered popular. So needless to say she’s pretty stunned when her post with a photo of Kyle goes viral. After all, she only has 20-something followers.

Once the photo goes viral, it doesn’t take long for Kyle to figure out who posted it. People, both online and at school, are bullying Rachel for dreaming to believe that someone as weird as she is could possibly get someone like Kyle. Kyle ends up getting a ton of positive attention from the incident, while Rachel gets a ton of crap because she’s not some beautiful, perfect supermodel type. This book does a wonderful job of portraying the different ways that women and men are treated in the media.

One aspect that I really loved about this book was the bits about the story being picked up on a talk show, which is basically the book’s equivalent of the Ellen show, and turned into a recurring segment on the show. As someone who studied broadcast communications and knows how the whole television business works, it is always fun to read about characters appearing on tv shows.

There were so many times throughout this book where I just wanted to yell at the characters. If only they would open their eyes and see what was so clearly right in front of them. But alas, that would be too easy.

I think one of the main things that readers should get from this book is that you never really know what is going to happen once you post something on the internet. After all, Rachel obviously didn’t expect her photo to go viral. I know we hear things like this all the time, but it’s so important to think about what we post on the internet, and the potential consequences that these things may have.

I listened to the audiobook of this, which I rather enjoyed, because there is a narrator for each perspective in the book. It really helped to add to the overall effect, because the story is told by both Rachel and Kyle. I give #famous 3.75/5 stars. It was a fun, quick read that I enjoyed quite a bit.

Antisocial – Book Review

Summary:

Senior spring at Alexandria Prep was supposed to be for sleeping through class and partying with friends. But for Anna Soler, it’s going to be a lonely road. She’s just been dumped by her gorgeous basketball star boyfriend—with no explanation. Anna’s closest friends, the real ones she abandoned while dating him, are ignoring her. The endearing boy she’s always had a complicated friendship with is almost too sympathetic.

But suddenly Anna isn’t the only one whose life has been upended. Someone is determined to knock the kings and queens of the school off their thrones: one by one, their phones get hacked and their personal messages and photos are leaked. At first it’s funny—people love watching the dirty private lives of those they envy become all too public.

Then the hacks escalate. Dark secrets are exposed, and lives are shattered. Chaos erupts at school. As Anna tries to save those she cares about most and to protect her own secrets, she begins to understand the reality of our always-connected lives:

Sometimes we share too much.

Review:

I really liked this book, and it was such a quick read, I blew through it in less than a day. Antisocial was described as Pretty Little Liars meets WikiLeaks, which piqued my interest and had me putting this book at the top of my TBR pile (which is rather large). And once I got into this book, I wasn’t disappointed.

The main character, Anna, has some serious social anxieties. So when she returns to school after being broken up with by the coolest guy in school, she has some trouble readjusting, especially because she dropped all of her friends to start dating Palmer. Lucky for Anna, one of her best friends is there to save the day, even if the rest of her friends aren’t so ready to forgive her so quickly for leaving them in the dust.

Once the hacking/data-leak element of this book kicked in, I was hooked. I had to know who was behind the hacks and what their motives were. Were they ever going to be discovered, or were they going to get away without punishment for the chaos and pain and hurt and trouble that they caused amongst the students? I had to know.

I think that this book did a really good job of keeping me wondering just what was going to happen, and I never really felt like it was being predictable, which is one of my biggest pet peeves. However, I feel like the ending didn’t provide me with enough closure, and I was left wanting just a little bit more, despite all that we got in the end. All in all though, this was a great read.

Antisocial‘s message is so important in this day and age where every aspect of our lives is held somewhere online. The face that we present to the world online is hardly ever how we really are in person, and as such, there is a divide between who we want people to believe we are, and who we actually are. This book points out both the bad and the good that come with such an online presence, and made me think a lot about what I share online. Not in the “what if a future employer sees this?” kind of way, but in the “Does this represent who I really am?” kind of way. I give Antisocial 4.5/5 stars.