“An experimental, literary YA multimedia narrative centered on the experiences of 16-year-old Gregg Davis, who undergoes brutal bullying and sexual violence by her peers. Spanning the mediums of the printed page, online social media and the screen, this story offers a wrenching, empathetic look at the experience of bullying through a victim’s eyes, and then extends this theme of oppression, humiliation and violence to address issues of historical and systemic racism in the U.S. today. A picture book.”
Man, I wanted to love this book so bad. I really did. But in the end, I didn’t.
I loved the idea, the concept and the setting. Where did we go wrong, Mrs. Showman?
I’ll try to keep this review short and on point – not liking a book is an unpleasant experience for everyone involved. Especially like this: I don’t hate the book & I am so very convinced that I would have loved it as a play or slam, but this just doesn’t do the trick for me.
Firstly, the permanent lack of capitalization during “I” – if that is a stylistic device, I am not artsy enough, it just plain drove me insane and made the book almost unreadable for me. Moreover, there were loads of grammatical errors which are impossible to pass off as “surreal grammar” aiding the story and spelling mistakes. I’m not sure if current editions have those corrected, but for me, they came close to being a deal breaker. But since I hate leaving a book unfinished, I pulled through. Spoiler: it did not get better.
Long story short: I felt like important topics such as sexual assault and mental health were overly simplified. Moreover, the characters are one-dimensional and completely… anonymous. I didn’t relate to anyone whatsoever.
Personally, I don’t think time spent reading is ever wasted, but I would have preferred to read something else. Meh, hindsight is 20/20.