My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Title: Don’t Read the Comments
Author: Eric Smith
Format: eBook (NetGalley)
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Categories: Gaming, Young Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Disclaimer: **I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**
Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.
Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.
At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…
And she isn’t going down without a fight.
Thank you to Inkyard Press and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.
Don’t Read the Comments hit home for me because my son, he’s 7, wants to be a YouTuber, gamer, streamer – and I’m trying to learn the lingo. Can you tell? 😂 My hubby is a PC Gamer and my son is already following in his footsteps so the fact that this story is about the gaming world – is awesome.
Divya is an online gamer and she streams herself playing this one popular game. She’s built a big enough following that gaming companies send her product to advertise, which is helpful because she sells it to help pay the bills. Yes she’s a teenager, but her dad left and it’s just her and her mom.
Aaron Jericho loves gaming too but he’s not a pro like Divya, in fact he wants to work in the video game industry writing stories and scripts for the game itself! Of course his parents want him to be a doctor, sounds about right!
These two teens have a moment where their online worlds collide and maybe, just maybe they can actually have a relationship in real life. But first Divya has to help her mom and deal with these trolls trying to ruin her life.
- Just this being about the gaming industry was interesting to me because my son and hubby are gamers. I own a Nintendo Switch lite so I’m not big on it – but it’s eye opening to see the problems that are present in the gaming world with the trolls bothering Divya and ruining her reputation to seeing the process of Aaron and his friends creating a game. I like how we see two sides to the gaming industry.
- Diversity is a given in this book and I like that.
- This book shined a light on girl gamers in this masculine world – it’s amazing what they have to put up with in the online world and the real world. Some real world problems that arose in the book was connected not only to Divya but her best friend, Rebekah, who was assaulted by a group of boys at her college. The fear is there in Divya and Rebekah and I’m glad the story didn’t shy away from what they felt. The story also brought up issues like bullying, trolling and doxing.
- Divya and Aaron’s relationship is a slow burn and they don’t meet in real life until late in the book. But their relationship is cute because it starts off as friendship. I enjoyed watching the two of them get to know each other.
- Love that no matter how hard it got for Divya, with those trolls harassing her – she kept fighting back. Even though she was scared, she fought back. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
- Aaron’s family dynamics seems like what most parent/teen relationship would be like when said teen wants a career in gaming. Already I have talks with my son trying to point out that games are made and created, someone takes the time to illustrate the graphics, the story line, the big companies that make them, etc…and he’s 7!! I relate to Aaron’s mom wanting the best for your child and a steady path, a steady career…you know – with benefits and a retirement package. 😂
- I was interested in this book because I have gamers in my life. For people not into gaming, I don’t know how much this story would interest them. There is a lot that takes place in a virtual world, the online game that Divya plays. I found it fun and interesting, but I don’t know if that is everyone’s cup of tea.
- Triggers: memories of assault, harassment, online trolling/bullying
Like I said earlier, this one hit close to home for me and it made me learn a lot of things I didn’t know about the gaming world. I loved how it show cases the gamer and the game creator. Most importantly it brought up the issues of the toxic online culture that is present in the gaming world and social media and it talks about boundaries too. I enjoyed this one and it was a super quick read for me. I look forward to reading more books from this author!