Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge (via netgalley) in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis (from Amazon)
Told exclusively in online content – instant messages, social media posts, e-mails, fanfiction, and more – 4 to 16 Characters examines the role that online friends, fandom, and fantasy play in helping one teenage girl to survive unbearable realities. When fifteen-year-old Jane Shilling’s mother died and her father turned to drinking, Jane had to find a way to escape. So she devised a number of online personas, each with a distinct personality, life history, and set of friends. Together with her involvement in the online fan circle for her favorite TV show, Look to Tomorrow, Jane thought she’d found the perfect way to cope forever. But as she draws closer to her online friends, she struggles to find a way to maintain real friendships with people who don’t even know her real name. Soon Jane is forced to begin to sift through her issues… but that involves taking a hard look at what her life’s like when the computer is shut off, and that’s a reality she’s been fighting for years.
I started this review months ago but it kept getting overtaken by reviews for books which were out sooner, or already, then NaNoWriMo happened. So my memories of this book are a little hazy. I think I should remember enough for at least some sort of review though.
I did enjoy this novel. I liked the way it was written with all the different voices against Jane’s own diary. In a way I could understand the escapism of the internet too. Sometimes it is easier to type than to talk.
It was easy to read, but a lot of the type that was more because of style than substance. In a way I actually felt sometimes the author had added extra elements just because she didn’t feel she could spread the current one enough. I am sure there are people with that many issues but it did feel a bit much. Just what was involved in Jane’s life rather than herself would have been enough I think.
It was an interesting concept, and it did work well, generally.
Have you reviewed this book? Leave me a link in comments and I will add it here.