CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 1 . . . . September 8, 2017
New York, NY: Swoon Reads (Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books), 2017.
311 pp., trade pbk. & ebook, $15.99 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-250-11437-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-250-11436-5 (ebook).
Grades 8-10 / Ages 13-15.
Review by Libby McKeever.
Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.
Madi's phone vibrated, and she glanced down to see the MadLibs blog had received an anonymous message. Grinning, she popped it open. Her breath caught.
NEW Message, *anonymous*: 11:05 p.m. EST
Subject: Sixteen Candles Liveblog
That was the worst liveblog you have EVER done. Stop fooling around with Long Duk Dong and RESPOND to the movie! People WAIT for your liveblogs, MadLib. THEY WATCH THEM. The least you could do is make it worth our time. I hope to hell the recap makes up for that piece of shit. SCREW. YOU. MADLIB
Shocked, Madi jerked her hand back from the screen as if she'd been bitten. She popped open the REPLY button, then paused. Anons meant unless she wanted to air this in front of the entire MAdLibs group, she couldn't answer. In her sophomore year of high school – when Madi had been involved in a completely different group of friends and fandom – she'd had a run-in that involved months of online harassment. It only ended when Madi had deleted her entire online profile. That was when she'd made the decision to start up MadLibs, where she could control who could post and allowed her to remain anonymous. She reread the post, temper rising. Screw you, troll. With a muttered swear, she hit DELETE. The best thing to do with trolls was to ignore them.
"Stay under your bridge," she muttered.
Madi's mother is leaving. Not as in a divorce from her father, but leaving to take a fellowship teaching position in Oxford, England. Though for Madi and her sister Sarah, their mother's leaving might as well be a break from the family. Madi's mother has done this before, and each time, Sarah, who has special needs, has fallen apart, and it seems to Madi that she is the one who has to pick up the pieces. Madi's solace is her blog. Her love of old movies, video games and poplar culture led her to create a website called MadLibs, and after two years she is Internet famous, with thousand of fans across the globe.
For readers interested in fandom, Internet Famous will certainly hit the mark. But it is the pull and tug of family and friends, underlying loyalties and the threat of a vicious online 'troll' that will keep all readers engrossed. Madi's burgeoning online romance with a fan attracts the troll, and it is only with the help of her friends and her sister, that Madi is able to avoid disaster when her online life and her real life collide.
Internet Famous is a fresh and interesting mix of plain text, messaging text and images. This varied design really helps to make the book fun and also inserts readers into the theme of Internet chat. The inclusion of the MadLlibbers dictionary is very helpful and will assist the reader who may be unfamiliar with the abbreviations of social media and computers. Stone also begins each chapter with a quote from a movie, one which ties in well with Madi's blogging after a 'rewatch' of an old movie and which foreshadows events in the chapter.
Stone is an author, artist and educator. Internet Famous is her second novel for young adults. All the Feels, her first novel, was published in 2016.
Libby McKeever is the Youth Services Librarian at the Whistler Public Library, in Whistler, BC.
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Table of Contents for This Issue
- September 8, 2017.