Monday, October 30, 2017

How to Disappear by Sharon Huss Roat

Vicky was never outgoing in the first place, but since her best friend Jenna moved away, Vicky has become nearly invisible.  She goes out of her way to dress plainly and doesn't talk to anyone.  She still talks to Jenna every day but Jenna's new life seems to be going in a new direction when she begins posting pictures of herself on Instagram with popular girls and a cute boy.  Then comes the day when Jenna butt dials Vicky and Vicky overhears Jenna talking with her new friends about how pathetic Vicky is.  Devastated, Vicky decides to create a new, virtual life.  She puts on an outrageous wig and bright clothes and photoshops herself into all sorts of fun situations.  She names her new self Vicurious and begins attracting followers immediately.  In fact, Vicurious becomes so popular, so quickly, that Vicky is a little unsure what to do next and why so many people reacted so strongly to #alone and #ignored, but she decides to use her new found fame to help others like herself.

This book sounds like a light take on social media but it actually draws you in to some fairly deep topics.  I know that most teens can identify with feeling alone and ignored so it's not surprising that Vicurious touches such a nerve.  Roat also takes us into Vicky's real life as she slowly, very slowly, discovers who she is and how that has value even if she's not the outgoing person in school.  The message for teens (and adults) is great!  There's even an emotional climatic scene with Jenna that drives the points home even more and feels very realistic.  This was an unexpected gem!

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