An experimental, literary YA multimedia narrative centered on the experiences of 16-year-old Gregg Davis, who undergoes brutal bullying and sexual violence by her peers. Spanning the mediums of the printed page, online social media and the screen, this story offers a wrenching, empathetic look at the experience of bullying through a victim’s eyes, and then extends this theme of oppression, humiliation and violence to address issues of historical and systemic racism in the U.S. today. A picture book. (Goodreads)
Note: I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review
To say I am disappointed is a very big understatement. I DNFed this book at 46%. I feel like the premise held such promise to be a powerful book with a very powerful message but it just wasn’t! Instead, I was facing cringe worthy, teeth grinding grammatical errors and characters that just had no depth to them whatsoever!
If this was an ARC copy, I would let grammatical errors slide, because obviously, it isn’t the finished version. This book, however, has already been published – so why am I sat there trying to figure out words that have been half written, with capital letters missing and who knows what else!! I could feel myself cringe every single time I tried to figure out words that should be there, but weren’t or words that were missing letters. This is not a very good way to draw your readers in!
In addition to this, I feel that the characters had no depth. We didn’t know these people at all, so you cannot relate to what the main character is going through at school. In a way, I feel like this undermines the people who are really facing these problems on a daily basis. To add to this, the MC doesn’t seem to be facing psychological problems – it is almost like she is just saying “it doesn’t matter” when it does. The author has simplified sexual assault and serious bullying and doesn’t seem to realise that she has done it. I do not feel that this is an accurate representation of what really goes on in today’s society or what really goes on in a teens head.
The pacing of this book was also pretty bad. I think it was moving way too fast, which is why the reader – or at least me – is unable to form some kind of connection with the characters shown. I think the lack of depth and detail into these events is caused by the fast pacing – almost like the author couldn’t be bothered to actually write the book properly. I think, if the author has used a written emotional form of contact rather than attempted to use an artistic approach, this may have helped. Whilst the artistic approach is unique, it was detrimental to the book itself.
I was seriously disappointed with this book and I feel like this could have been an excellent book if it had just been executed right!! I gave this book 1/5 stars.