Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 6th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Can an online romance survive in real life?
Internet sensation Madison Nakama has it all! Her pop-culture rewatch site has a massive following, and fans across the world wait on her every post and tweet. Even Madi’s dismal romantic life seems ready to take off as Laurent, a fellow geek (and unfairly HOT French exchange student!) starts flirting with her in the comments section of her blog. But Laurent’s not the only one watching for Madi’s replies.
Internet fame has a price, and their online romance sparks the unwanted attention of a troll. When Madi’s “real life” hits a rough patch, she feels her whole world crumbling. With Laurent’s support, can Madi rally her friends across the globe to beat the troll, or will he succeed in driving her away from everything―and everyone―she loves?
Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both adults (The Intaglio Series and Ctrl Z) and teens (Icarus and All the Feels). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand
adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.
The first book in Danika’s upcoming Tathagata series (Edge of Wild) was selected as a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel of the Year Award (2013). Edge of Wild (Stonehouse CA) will be released March 2016. Danika’s YA novel, All the Feels (Macmillan US), will be released June 2016.
Ms. Stone is represented by Morty Mint of Mint Literary Agency.
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Quick Reasons: some heavy, mature topics handled with sensitivity and poise; a deep glimpse into internet “fame”–and the ways it touches everyone; endearing, well-rounded characters; just a bit of “love at first sight”, but I’m willing to overlook it; really loved that the “bully” wasn’t at all who I thought it would be
Huge thanks to Danika Stone, Swoon Reads, Xpresso Book Tours, and Netgalley for sending a free digital galley of this title my way in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinions on this book.
Let me start by saying: I ADOOOOORED SARAH! I felt she was so super well-written, and tactfully complex. I really, really loved seeing this character in a read like this! While she’s not the main character and this isn’t HER story, she’s so integral to the events and the journey, I feel this might have been a different read without her in it. I am so stoked that Danika Stone wrote her, and wrote her so gorgeously–HUGE penguin flappers to her!
There are so many important and true to life messages found within this book, though the biggest remains internet bullying. I feel that Danika Stone set out with a goal in mind–and managed to reach that goal while still retaining the poise and tact surrounding sensitive subjects that I’ve come to expect in my favorite reads. There are a LOT of things said in this book, penguins–and the fact that the “bully” wasn’t, in the end, who I was expecting–like, at all!–only helped to emphasize some of the biggest messages. I was especially impressed in how Danika Stone brought home “trolling”–and the ways it touches everybody, not just the victim.
I was, honestly, just a little disappointed in a few of the relationships. The mom, I felt, was severely lacking in several ways–while I understand that situations like this DO happen, and that even parents have the right to follow their dreams…her interactions with her family felt very fake and surface-only. I didn’t feel as if she was really putting HER best foot forward with them, I suppose–even while she expected them to do just that for her. It felt a bit fake, overall, and I’m not real sure why she was even included except to 1.) complicate the family dynamic; and 2.) give a boiling point to Sarah’s struggles, which then lead to Madi’s struggles. I guess what I’m saying is, she was a catalyst–and while I know this happens in real life, I wasn’t real impressed with it here.
In the end, though, this was a super entertaining, cutesy, snarky read–and I adored it! I really really loved the inclusion of Sarah, and the other characters (save the mom) were genuine and well-rounded. While a few of the relationships felt a bit flat and contrived, I had a ton of fun following Madi and the various characters on their journey, and cannot WAIT to see what Danika Stone will do next! I definitely recommend this to lovers of contemporary fiction, catalyst characters, and realistically dropped #truthbombs. Watch your #hashtags, Penguins– #fandom is on the loose in this read!