22
Feb
19

75% OK. CBR11 Review 11.

Unknown-1Last week, The Fug Girls had a book contest up on their site, and the book looked familiar to me. I almost always love the books that they recommend, so I wracked my brain trying to think of how I recognized this one…and then realized it was in my box of new releases for teen readers from work.

I’m of two minds on this one.

I get that I am not the demographic for this. There is a world of difference between YA fiction and middle school fiction. I think this leans closer toward advanced readers in middle school. Yeah, I’m not that.

The story is about a girl named Ivy who loves photography, and has always been a bit of a loner. She has one best friend, Harold, who is a genius and is involved in every single club at school — not only because it looks good on his transcripts, but because he genuinely wants to make the world a better place. He constantly asks Ivy to join some of the clubs he thinks she might like, but she doesn’t. She doesn’t think anyone wants to know what she thinks, about anything.

Ivy becomes obsessed with a new, anonymous social media app that supposedly encourages people to show their art. Of course, it ends up being a dumping ground for gossip and hate speech, because the internet.

Ivy slowly starts to figure out who some of the people posting on the app are around her, and decides to do nice things for them. The girl who can’t afford new paintbrushes? Easy. Ivy slips some into her backpack. The boy going through chemo? Ivy paints him a canvas. (This plot was a little weird. I really didn’t get why this was great. Hmm.).

But is Ivy helping these people, or taking advantage of their anonymity? Her good deeds slowly start to make the recipients angry. And when she completely misjudges who one of the users of the app is, her whole world tumbles down around her.

So, what I liked is that this story gently shows that social media is not always a friendly place. That much of what is put out to the world of the internet is not real life, and that when people have secrets, thats usually for a reason. We see the danger of teens becoming obsessed with a world that isn’t reality, and I think books like this are necessary these days. Sadly.

However.

The last 25% of this book was truly absurd. Ivy turned from a shy, artistic, loner to an ABSOLUTE IDIOT. The less said about her actions, the better. They were laughable. This pretty much ruined the book for me, sorry Fug Girls.

Randomly, the blurb on the front of this book is from Courtney Summers, who’s book Sadie I recently reviewed. I would have loved to see what Courtney Summers could have come up with here instead of the nonsense I got.


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