My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book is a cautionary tale that delves into the very topical issue of cyberbullying. It is the story of Lara, who befriends a boy she doesn’t know personally. Full of insecurities, Lara is very flattered when this “hot” boy from a nearby school asks to be her friend on Facebook. His attention increases, and Lara finds herself fantasising about meeting him until he rejects her in a very public post and many of the kids at Lara’s school ‘like’ the post.
The repercussions of inappropriate online behaviour and relationships are widespread and these are explored throughout the novel. The consequence is that Lara’s life spirals out of control and this affects her health and emotional wellbeing. The further implications for Lara’s friends and families are also significant.
The storyline is structured in four parts: Part 1 – now (the present); Part 2 – two months earlier; Part 3 – now; and Epilogue – twelve months later. This structure allows readers to appreciate how such events can come about.
The strength of this novel lays in the characterisation and the reader can relate to the feelings and actions of the teenagers in the book. None of the characters are perfect and the flaws of teens and adults alike are realistic and thought provoking. The message in this book is very powerful and it will appeal to many young teenagers who are living the reality of social media and digital lives.