Friday, November 29, 2019

Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith - OPTIONAL

Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith, 320 pages. Inkyard Press, 2020. $19.

Language: R (142 swears, 43 swears); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13



For Divya, video games aren’t just for fun -- streaming for her channel and sponsorships help her and her mom pay rent. Even though she has been very careful not to put personal information online, Divya is being attacked by trolls both online and in real life. How do you fight back against anonymous and dangerous foes?

Smith raises a lot of issues through this story that we all need to be more aware of, including how online safety is huge and you can take precautions to protect yourself as well as the seriousness of online harassment and hating. I loved reading this book because the characters felt so real with legitimate concerns and rationalizations that make sense, and they illustrate how much people can be hurt by what goes on online. The people online are people in real life, and no one has the right to hate on them, drag them down, or hurt them. I would more highly recommend this book if there wasn’t so much unnecessary swearing because I think most people would benefit from reading a new perspective of how online actions impact real life. That being said, I don’t feel like the ending gave very much closure to the issues; I was left wondering if everything was really resolved, which could’ve been purposeful to create discussion about what happened but seems unnecessary after everything that happened in the story, if that is the case. The mature content and violence ratings are for both sexual and non-sexual harassment and for malicious intent.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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