Saturday, March 21, 2015

Can't Look Away

Can't Look Away
by Donna Cooner
Point, 2014. 264 pages. Young adult fiction.

Torrey Grey is a fifteen-year-old Internet sensation, with her fashion and beauty video blog reaching hundreds of thousands of viewers. But Torrey quickly learns that fame is fleeting when her younger sister is hit by a drunk driver after a terrible fight, which is caught on camera and uploaded for the world to see. Suddenly Torrey's fans become her worst critics, leaving streams of vitriolic condemnation for her actions. Torrey hopes that moving to a new state and a new school will mean a new beginning for her entire family. But how will Torrey know who to trust in this new environment?

This book had a lot of really good messages to it. It is very clear about the dangers and pitfalls of having an online persona, teaching teens the importance of filtering the information they allow about themselves online. It also talks about real grief and regret and how to continue living when tragedy strikes. It talks about the most important kinds of friendships and choosing to surround yourself with people who build and uplift. The only real drawback to this book, in fact, was Torrey herself, who made herself so difficult to like through all but the final 10 pages of the book that it was sometimes a chore to read on. I know she was supposed to be grieving and grasping for something solid in her life, etc., but she often just came off as the selfish girl everyone was saying she was and Cooner tied up her sudden transformation at the very end really quickly. My advice to readers who are struggling with Torrey's personality like I was is to keep pressing on. There are some touching moments at the end that make it worthwhile.


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