Title: Don’t Read the Comments
Author: Eric Smith
Publication: January 28, 2020
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: Teen & YA Fiction
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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.
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
This book totally drew me in with the title. Don’t read the comments. Ain’t that the truth? Reading the comments can a lot of times do more harm than good. The other thing that drew me in was the fact that it was young adult as well as a romance. Those two things coupled together were the ultimate book for me. I couldn’t wait to start reading.
Divya is an 18-year-old gamer. She streams and makes some money off it. The big thing that makes her money is wearing and then selling things that are electronic. She makes money to help support her mom. Her big credo is don’t read the comments. This all implodes on her in a big ball of uh-oh. This book was good but not fantastic. It felt forced and at times implausible. While I loved the story and the characters there were some things that just rubbed me the wrong way. I didn’t like how unsupportive and controlling Aaron’s, the other main character’s parents were. The mother was just too in control. While I understand that in real life there are parents like that she was just over the top with it in my opinion.
The one thing that I really thought was a good part of the book was online trolls. That is something that is very, very real in this day and age. Lots of times you don’t want to read the comments because it takes something that you think is wonderful and has you second-guessing and feeling horrible about it for no good reason other than someone’s opinion. Divya has trolls that somehow manage to track her down online, even though she is basically a ghost online, and begin to threaten her with photos of her house and even go as far as egging her mother at her place of work. This is something that can totally happen. While I didn’t love this book, I thought that it had a lot of angles that are things that need to be discussed. The other part that I loved was the fact that she goes to a GameCon at the Javits Center in NYC. I went there for BookCon and could see everything that she talked about in my mind. All in all, I would probably read more things by this author in the future.
STAR RATING: 3/5
Pick up your copy of Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith when it releases January 28th on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. You can check out many more novels by author Eric Smith on his website HERE.