Saturday, March 14, 2020

Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi - OPTIONAL

Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi, 402 pages. Viking (Penguin Random House), 2019. $18.

Language: R (100+ swears, 23 “f”); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG-13



High school senior Opal is occupied by classes, grades, and college applications like everyone else, but she also often thinks about her father who disappeared years ago. When a contest gives her hope of meeting and talking with an old colleague who might have the information she needs to find out what happened, Opal has to take the chance. Then one of her videos for the contest goes viral and throws her into a spotlight she wasn’t ready for.

Set in a futuristic America, Opal’s story brings up some interesting food for thought, especially in the arguments for and against technology, but I don’t feel like the read is worth it. I wasn’t engaged enough to be immersed in Opal’s story, I got lost in the side conflicts and would forget that Opal had an overarching goal, and I felt like the ending left too many unresolved questions. The feel at the end is pretty gloomy with little triumph and satisfaction; though Ahmadi made the effort to finish on a light-hearted fluff scene, the fun and the hope in that last scene didn’t outweigh the heaviness of what came in the preceding chapters. The mature content is for underage drinking, groping, sexual harassment, partial nudity, and mentions of sex and pornography. The violence rating is for murder and mentions of suicide.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

No comments: