Thursday, June 8, 2017

Reading on a Theme: Teens on the Internet

There are all sorts of creative things you can do on the internet, like run a book blog, for instance. Today we've rounded up five books about teens with large online followings. Check out what these teens have created, how they navigate fame on the internet, and come to grips with the way their online persona bleeds into their daily life.

Beauty Vlogger:
YouTuber Lacey Robbins' dream is to get a sponsor, and she seems closer to her dream than ever when she lands an internship with On Trend Magazine in New York City. As driven as she is, Lacey is not thrilled when she learns the celebrity contributor for her issue is Tyler Lance of former boy band and bad boy fame. As work gets more complicated, Lacey begins to question her assumptions about Tyler and sponsorship. At First Blush is so much fun. If you like makeup, YouTube, or celebrity romances, this is definitely the book for you. Although light and fun, Beth Ellyn Summer really made me think about self-made celebrity. At First Blush is out April 4th, 2017. Review copy from NetGalley.

Fantasy Podcaster:
Frances, known online as Toulouse, is thrilled when she is invited to do an art segment for her favorite podcast, Universe City. The creator of the show is a complete mystery, but she has been a fan since it's inception. As she becomes involved with the show, a friendship with Aled Last begins and many mysteries begin to unfold. Radio Silence--the name of the narrator of Universe City--is a book about dreams, and friendship, and finding your own way. The tone of the book is subdued, but intense, and I felt it mirrored the tone of Universe City. I enjoyed the transcript excerpts and they way they lined up with the story of Frances and Aled. Alice Oseman created a haunting story of friendship and strength. Radio Silence was out March 28, 2017 in the U.S. Review copy from Edelweiss. 

Photoshopping Instagrammer:
With severe social anxiety, being unseen is often the only way for Vicky to get through the day. Lonely after her best friend moves away, Vicky invents Vicurious (herself in disguise) and photoshops her into scenes she wishes she were a part of. As she uses Vicurious to reach out to the lonely of the internet, her followers skyrocket and she realizes no one is truly alone. I really enjoyed following Vicky's journey in How to Disappear. She learned a lot of things as Vicurious, my favorite being that no one has a perfect life, and it was very satisfying to learn along with her. I was amazed at how Sharon Huss Roat's novel really stuck with me. How to Disappear is out August 15, 2017. Review copy from Edelweiss.

Web Comic Creator:
Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of the hugely popular webcomic, Monstrous Sea. She may be famous online, but in real life she's a nobody. Misunderstood by her athletic family and uncomfortable with social interaction, most of Eliza's friends are online. That begins to change when she meets Wallace, an outsider who loves Monstrous Sea as much as she does. The biggest problem is that he doesn't know she's the creator. I loved Francesca Zappia's debut, and I thought that Eliza and her Monsters was every bit as good. Eliza's difficulties navigating her life online and in-person felt so true to life. Also, I really thought Monstrous Sea sounded really interesting. I'd love to read it. Eliza and Her Monsters is out May 30th, 2017. Review copy from Edelweiss.

Fashion Blogger:
Alterations is a retelling of the movie Sabrina. Stephanie Scott's Sabrina character, Amelia Blanco, is an aspiring fashion designer with a huge online following. She lives with her mother and grandmother in the service apartment of the wealthy Laurenti family. Amelia's longtime crush, Ethan Laurenti, doesn't notice Amelia until he sees how much she's changed after a summer internship in New York. By this time, Amelia has agreed to help Ethan's twin brother, Liam, with a fashion app. Cue lots of confused feelings. I really enjoyed the Miami setting and all the fashion in this book. Liam was really sweet. The crazy reality TV show was amusing. This is such a cute read.

At First Blush, Eliza and Her Monsters, and Alterations reviewed by JoLee.
Radio Silence and How to Disappear reviewed by Paige.

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