Fifteen-year-old Jane Shilling’s best friends don’t know her real name. In fact, they don’t know anything about her at all. Jane’s life has collapsed in the last few years; following the death of her mother, her father turned to drinking, and Jane is reeling from the double blow. To escape, Jane devises a number of online personas, each with a distinct personality, life history, and set of friends. But things become trickier when she finds herself drawing close to some of her online friends, and winds up struggling with the question of how to maintain a real friendship while masquerading as a fake person. With the help of Gary, a socially awkward classmate and competitive Skeeball player who is Jane’s only offline friend, and Nora, her therapist, Jane begins to sift through her issues. The only catch is that that involves taking a long, hard look at what her life’s like when the computer is shut off, and that’s a reality she’s been fighting for years.
I got this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. It’s expected publication date is November 7, 2013, by Lemon Sherbet Press.
The plot sounds really interesting. That’s the thing though. I had to keep going online and googling the synopsis just to make sure I had the right book. Because if I hadn’t, then I would’ve never guessed that this book had all of these storylines inside it.
Just when I get the chance, maybe when I’m at Barnes & Noble or at a bookstore, I’d like to flip through this book. The print version. I’m honestly very interested in seeing what it’ll be like.
I thought this book was really cool, especially the way that it was a lot like the format of TTYL by Lauren Myracle. Except it had Tumblr-style posts as well.
Let me just say that I’m a WordPress user. (Not to be Captain Obvious here, but I’m saying that for anyone who might not be reading this on my blog.) I have not and am not planning to ever use Tumblr for my own blog or webpage. And it’s because of this that I think I could not fully enjoy this story to the fullest.
I just didn’t understand the way that everything worked and was formatted in the Tumblr style. I mean–is Jane making a fake profile in the beginning or what? Cause that’s the impression I was getting. I mean–I had forgotten the main character’s name by the time I opened up this book and honestly thought the narration was in the voice of a diva named Rachel. And then second chapter where Jane-Rachel explains that that entire survey wasn’t true? I didn’t get it. So I continued thinking that the POV was Rachel and got confused right around the point where Jane-Rachel explained that her name was Jane.
The gist of what I’m saying is that this book could’ve been sorted out WAY better, starting with possibly not saying that your name is Rachel when your name is Jane.
I guess you could say I’m just an ignoramus for not realizing Rachel wasn’t real and she was really Jane posing as Rachel. In fact, I could’ve just done this properly and sat in front of my computer the whole time while I was reading. I would’ve figured out that “Rachel” was a fake identity and everything would’ve gone well.
That’s the thing though. I don’t know anything about Tumblr and most books, I just have to read the synopsis once and then I can relate sentences to things that happen in chapters and ba ba boom, you get a review saying that I thought the book was decent. So Tumblr people, this book is for you. I think the way to truly enjoy this book the most is know a decent amount about the setup of Tumblr and realize that Jane keeps making up fake identities.
Oh yeah, and Look To Tomorrow? Nowhere in the synopsis of this book say anything about fanfiction.
Needless to say, I spent of this book feeling like a completely idiot because I was coninually on again, off again confused about something or another.
That is not a very comfortable way to read a book.
Now, to the good stuff.
Change. I was impressed with Rachel’s change throughout this story. The way she learned to cope in different ways. It was an interesting idea at first, having multiple internet personalities. I bet an author would have a superb time doing it. I think it would be fun. I mean–would people buy certain characters? How realistic could a person make them? How many people could be fooled?
Okay, maybe I have a dark mind or something–and I know it would be wrong to do it, but this story really appealed to me in that sense. And characters? Pretty good. I never really found a huge love for Jane-Rachel, but I ended up really liking Nora and Gary. Pacing was okay. Plot was pretty good. I enjoyed reading this book, even though I was confused, and honestly had a lot of fun going through the pages of it and reading Jane’s posts, texts and emails.
I think this was a cool almost-diary. Almost makes me wish I knew more about Tumblr so I could like this book more. But almost only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades…
I don’t know why, but this book was really fun as a diary. I think that people that read DORK DIARIES or something cutesy-girly like that are looking for something more mature should really give this book a shot. I guess it just wasn’t for me. 2 stars.
pg count for the paperback: 314
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