Summary (from NetGalley): 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.
Review: Don’t Read the Comments is a new young-adult novel by Eric Smith revolving around modern video game culture, the realities of online bullies / trolls with a hint of romance!
I admit that I don’t believe that I am the target audience for this as an adult who doesn’t participate in online gaming culture and watch/participate in streams that people do these days but I can certainly appreciate how this caters to those who do.
I like how it brings in the element of online culture now a days with the online bullying and shows just how far people can go. It brings in a lesson and leaves the reader with online safety in the back of their mind (well it did for me at least!).
It also brings up the coming of age struggle of funding for college, butting heads with parents about what to major in in postsecondary education and following your dreams.
Would recommend this book to all the gamers and streamers out there looking to find themselves in a novel and getting sucked into the Reclaim the Sun world.
*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review*
** links are unaffiliated