It seems that we have come to the last of the ARCs that I received at SALC2017 earlier this year, and Internet Famous was sure not to disappoint. It was another one of those captivating reads that I devoured in a single sitting, and then had to go back and read it again just make sure that I hadn’t missed any of the details.
Title: Internet Famous
Author: Danika Stone
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Expected Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Genre: Fiction, YA Fiction, YA Romance
Themes: Internet Bullying, Coming of Age, Fame
Features: The MadLibbers Dictionary
My Rating: 4/ 5
High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.
Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.
This is another one of those books that I sat down to read a few chapters of and then suddenly I had read the whole thing. I loved it. A lot. It was fun, light hearted, and really demonstrated the strength that can be found in community. Not to mention the fact that it tackles first loves, internet bullies, and the potential dangers of meeting people over the Internet in one fell swoop.
One of my favourite aspects of this book lies in that it taps into the myriad of ways in which people (especially teens) are communicating with one another and acknowledges that multiple conversations in multiple mediums are the norm. Everything from traditional writing to texting, snapchat to twitter, blog posts to memes is utilized throughout the text, and the language and topics of conversation are authentic to the ages that they are representing. I mean seriously, there is nothing that annoys me more than a YA book where juvenile characters think, act, and speak like adults – how is that in any way relatable or engaging?! The multimodal approach really captured the ways in which communication is taking place around us, and the implications that engaging in such technologies can have. Plus, I really loved the photographs and memes that we included as they really worked to enhance the moment.
I really enjoyed Stone’s writing, and felt that the characters were real and believable. Okay, a few stood out as so very stereotypical, but they played their roles well and worked to advance the plot in some new and interesting directions so all is forgiven. I enjoyed the twists and turns in the story line, and found myself cheering for Maddie and Laurent despite my firm resolutions not to get as emotionally invested in the books that I have been reading. Also, can someone please please please take me on a snapchat date as cute and romantic as Laurent’s?
Would I recommend this book? Heck yes! I would suggest this book to anyone who enjoys teen romances, mysteries, and some detective sleuthing. It is also particularly relevant to those who are just stepping out into, or are already actively engaged with, any form of social media. Parents, this means you too!
Oh, and for those of you living in and around Southern Alberta I would highly recommend the lovely Danika Stone for an author talk (she has no idea that I am shamelessly promoting her, so please be gentle). I have now seen her speak at both a library conference and at a local book club and she is an incredibly engaging speaker that really goes beyond the words on the page.
Up Next: The Wendy Project by Melissa Jane Osborne and Veronica Fish