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Genre: Mysteries/Thrillers (Dark Academia)
Age: Young Adult (YA)
My rating: 3/5 stars
THIS is how I imagined You by Caroline Kepnes’ to go! Of course it’s an Adult Thriller so I wouldn’t expect the immature HS drama, but the way Wong captures her protagonist’s stalker’s use of technology (which involves a lot of hacking) without Beck’s stupidity made this story worth reading. We’re increasingly reliant on technology which makes it easier for hackers to exploit and damage users for their entertainment, so I’m glad Wong used this story to highlight that issue.
However, I have a HUGE issue with the ending. This will be considered spoilers but it’s worth mentioning: A group of girls participate in child pornography, which is illegal and worth jail time. The girl behind this not only organized the photo shoots and distribution but reposts Kyla (the protagonist’s) fake sex tape for profit in the name of “sexually liberating women.” That’s a whole lotta crime and jail time for that stupid rich girl, but Wong does NOT touch on this AT ALL. Why is she encouraging girls to participate in that? Nobody involved faced legal repercussions, which makes it even worse.
Also, what’s up with authors and producers claiming “fun” includes sexual escapades? Especially in YA and teen movies/TV shows? You got something embarassing to tell us? You DON’T have to drink, get drunk and/or high, and have sex in order to enjoy life. NOBODY should do that during their teen years too, neither should society pressure teens to do so. Oh, and having sex with multiple people just because your hot, cute, or attractive is NOT ok – that goes for men, boys, women, AND girls.
And Wong, if you’re going to set this in a futuristic Brooklyn, New York, at least have the decency to double check whether the buildings, landmarks, and places you use are fake. Parkside Preparatory is a public middle school, not a private high school for rich kids. While we’re talking about schools, is there a reason why Parkside wasn’t slapped with a lawsuit or shut down for being completely USELESS during Kyla’s investigation? I don’t mind school administrators as villains in dark academia (since they do like to cover up crimes and scandals as revealed through the news) but don’t make them cartoonishly stupid!
For her nonsense I would’ve rated this 2 stars, but she at least earned 3 for properly handling the main plot.