GLST Reads: Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith

Audience: Young Adult

Genre: Realistic Fiction; Video Games

Author: Eric Smith

Tags: video games, streamers, streaming, girl gamers, strong female lead, gender issues, discrimination

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ /5

Release Date: 01/20/2020

Disclaimer: I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book for free through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

This one’s for my proud #nerds who love video games, whether playing them or watching others play. The main character Divya is a highly successful streamer known as D1V on the well-known game streaming platform Glitch. The money she makes from ads and sponsors help her single mother pay the bills for their small apartment. She catches a lot of flak from strangers on the internet for being a #girlgamer, which has led her to one important rule she sticks to- don’t read the comments. But as the threats from anonymous online group Vox Populi escalate and things turn dangerous IRL, Divya will have to decide how far she’s willing to go to keep her voice.

Meanwhile, Aaron is still busy juggling writing for an indie video game designer with a summer job as a receptionist in his mom’s private practice while trying to convince her that video game design is a career worth pursuing. It might be easier to make his case if only the guy he’s been writing for would actually pay Aaron for his work as promised. When Aaron crosses paths with infamous-but-private D1V on accident while playing his favorite video game, he can’t believe his luck. Slowly he becomes entangled in her world, which he begins to realize is closer to his than he ever thought. While navigating his own struggles, Aaron works to help Divya navigate hers and begins to learn what it really means to be a good ally.

Filled with a lush and well-rounded set of characters (even the most minor background characters have depth and personality), this is a fun, powerful, and timely read about the struggles girls and women face when they try to participate in activities or spaces traditionally thought of as “for guys only” that accurately portrays the impact of video games and streaming on the lives of those for whom it means so much. This was one of my two #bestbooksofMarch for day 3 of my #30booksofApril bookstagram challenge (@msburrowsclass93) over on Instagram. Highly recommend this book!!!

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