Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book review - Life Unaware

Title: Life Unaware
Author: Cole Gibsen
Genre: realistic fiction
Similar books: Gone Too Far by Natalie Richards
                    The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre
Nice, if a little unbelievable

Summary: Regan is used to being on top: cheerleader, student council candidate, one of the social elite. It all falls apart in an instant when someone prints out texts and messages where she insulted, gossiped, and flat out lied about many of her classmates and posted them all over school Now Regan is a pariah, avoided by even her best friend. With all the problems at school and pressure from her highly achieving mother, Regan is falling apart.

My opinion: I have mixed feeling about this book. On the one hand, it is trying to achieve some lofty goals. It's a teen romance that is also making a point about bullying, social pressure (including pressure from parents), and destigmatizing mental illness. On the other hand, the plot is highly idealized. We're meant to believe that a video made by a couple of students has the ability to change every single student in the school. I don't deny that if more kids spoke up, things might be different in schools. It's the global change from a single video that I object to. It's a nice idea but hard to believe. In the end, I figure this is a good choice for a "fun" read or maybe to introduce a discussion of forms of bullying and prevention.

More information: Life Unaware releases April 28.
Advanced Reader Copy provided by NetGalley.

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