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Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Some reviews of UNFRIENDED, coming Sept 25, have appeared! Here's one from VOYA:

5Q 4P M J

Vail, Rachel. Unfriended. Viking/Penguin, 2014. 288p. $16.99. 978-0-670-01307-


Unfriended is the story of middle school popularity and bullying told from multiple

viewpoints. Truly is an eighth grader who is on the shy side. When her former

best friend, Natasha, who dropped her at the beginning of middle school to chase

popularity, invites her to join the “popular table” at lunch, Truly ditches her friend

Hazel the same way. Hazel takes revenge by unleashing an online brouhaha that

affects all the characters, from Brooke, the most popular girl in school, who is

also honestly nice, to Jack, the jock who loves to make gourmet lunches and has

a crush on Truly.

Vail has a great ear for dialogue, and her characters, while not initially

very likeable, are well differentiated and realistic. These teens are not just

interested in advancing in the middle school pecking order; they are also

concerned about academics, their parents’ finances, their siblings being

accepted, and a myriad of other real-world worries. The large number of

alternating voices makes it a bit difficult to differentiate the personalities at first,

but Vail’s use of texts, lists, e-mails, Facebook posts, and first-person narratives

eventually reveals the full picture. As the final third of the book veers into online

bullying, the pace threatens to spin out of control, but Vail leavens the tension

with some appealingly straightforward romance and some shockingly (and sadly)

realistically bad parenting.—Barbara Fecteau.

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