Happy Friday, friends! I’m thrilled to present you today a quick review about one of the latest books I LOVED last month!
Sharon Huss Roat, How To Disappear, Published by Harper Teen, August 15th, 2017.
Vicky Decker has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight, quietly navigating the halls of her high school undetected except by her best (and only) friend, Jenna. But when Jenna moves away, Vicky’s isolation becomes unbearable.
So she decides to invent a social life by Photoshopping herself into other people’s pictures, posting them on Instagram under the screen name Vicurious. Instantly, she begins to get followers, so she adds herself to more photos from all over the world with all types of people. And as Vicurious’s online followers multiply, Vicky realizes she can make a whole life for herself without ever leaving her bedroom. But the more followers she finds online, the clearer it becomes that there are a lot of people out there who feel like her— #alone and #ignored in real life.
To help them, and herself, Vicky must find the courage to face her fear of being “seen,” because only then can she stop living vicariously and truly bring the magic of Vicurious to life.
Right from the start, I knew I could fall in love with that premise and turns out I was right. Don’t you love it when you’re right? I know I do.
- Our main character, Vicky, was REALLY relatable. Dealing with social anxiety, she finds herself at a loss once her best friend moves away and finds refuge in social media. Instagram becomes her refuge, then an obsession, an addiction, something you can’t quite keep up with. Feelings I am highly familiar with, if you ask me.
- She goes through stunning growth as the book goes on and I appreciated that so, so much. She gains a little bit of confidence with every page, then loses herself again and social anxiety takes the best of her. There was no miracle here, no magical cure, but a great evolution of the main character. I just wanted to hug her.
- We get an interesting cast of secondary characters here, characters we slowly discover as the story goes on. I loved getting to know each of them, especially Lipton. He was the sweet, awkward book boyfriend I always dream of.
- I also enjoyed following Jenna and Vicky’s journey as friends, as distance got the best of them, as communication gets hard, as new friends are made, things change and everything else. I loved the positive message of how, no matter the distance, they would and should always be there for each other. No spoilers, but I actually almost cried and did not expect to.
- I’m a huge fan of books dealing with social media and How To Disappear did this in a right way. It showed us how social media can feel empowering, addictive at times, but also how it can help us reach out to people, help them and overall showed the amazing power social media can have, a positive one, on people’s lives.
“I need a reminder that I exist outside the internet and that someone in the real world wants me there, more than my followers want me here.”
I HAD A HARD TIME WITH…
- I really appreciated the fact that the parents were present in this story, together and, well, meddling with their daughter’s lives, especially Vicky’s mother. She tries her best for her daughter, but doesn’t understand her and her social anxiety too much. I have to admit that some moments kind of irked me, how she reacted and how clueless she was. In short, she kind of made me mad for a good half of the book. That being said, by the end of it, I thought the author managed to wrap things up pretty nicely between mother and daughter, so… that’s a small complain I have.
How To Disappear was one of these amazing, underrated contemporary reads you should all add to your TBRs. Shining, for once, a positive light on the power of social media, dealing with social anxiety realistically (as far as I, personally, could tell), with great friendships and growth, it’s a book I’d recommend to everyone intrigued by the themes above.
“I am breathing. Some days, it feels like that’s enough.”
Final rating: 4 drops!
Trigger warnings: dealing with social anxiety.
Did you read How To Disappear? Do you want to read it?
Do you like books dealing with social anxiety, or social media? Do you have recommendations for me? Let me know in comments!