I confess. I’m not a gamer. I played a bit old school in elementary school like Super Mario Brothers, but nothing extravagant like the online game explained in Don’t Read The Comments. It honestly took me some time to get into this young adult novel, but once I did I was hooked.
Enter Divya who has her own streaming gaming channel where she plays Reclaim The Sun. She has a great fan base who all support her except for online trolls who don’t like that a woman is a gamer and actually popular. One day while trying to claim a planet and name it the said trolls descend in mass and blow up her ship. This ship Divya had decked out from gaining experience points, etc. She was shocked and devastated to have to start from scratch.
One day while playing the game she finds a planet she can name, but someone else is already there and the player doesn’t look familiar. He seems nice and when he realizes whose there with him he totally fan girls over her. This player, Aaron can’t believe Divya is actually chatting with him in the game. She doesn’t get what all the hype is about. Divya enjoys gaming, but for her it’s a way to earn money from the sponsors she gets so that she can help out her mom financially.
Aaron and Divya slowly start an online friendship. Divya has her best friend Rebecca who is also, who helps produce her streams for the channel is a tad leery of Aaron after the way the online trolls took out Divya’s ship.
When the trolls start upping their harassment Divya is not sure if she should still attend GameCon in person. Should she report them? How do you report anonymous harassers?
I received my complimentary digital copy of Don’t Read The Comments by Eric Smith from Park Row Books, Hanover Square Press, care of NetGalley. The views expressed are mine and of my own choice. This novel will sure become a favorite wether you are a gamer, or not. The topic of online harassment is uncomfortable. With a lot of social interaction being online people feel they can spew hate and that it’s not equally harassing since it’s not in person. This book will be a great conversation starter for teens of all ages. I think it’d be great required reading for junior high and high schoolers.
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