I’ve been following Eric Smith on Twitter for a while, and I’ve wanted to read this book ever since he announced its publication. Although I’ve never been much of a gamer (aside from some DS games back in the day), I can definitely appreciate a book that brings to light the struggles that female gamers, and especially female gamers of color, deal with on a regular basis.
While I did enjoy this book, there were a couple things that kept me from loving it. First, I thought that it started very, very slowly. It took me a long time to really care about what was happening to Divya and Aaron. Both of them eventually grew on me and I did become invested in their friendship (and later romance), but it took longer than I would have liked. And second, I felt like everything was over-exaggerated. I know that female gamers are harrassed and doxxed and it’s absolutely terrifying, but a lot of what happened to Divya felt really over-the-top. Why exactly are the Vox Populi so opposed to her, and why do they feel the need to go to such lengths to stop her? I appreciated that the book called out their toxic masculinity, but I felt that could have been explored a little more, and I would have liked to see a bit more resolution of that storyline.
But overall, the book was good. I have a soft spot for online friends-to-lovers and I absolutely loved the progression of Divya and Aaron’s relationship in this book. I’ve seen a lot of reviews that claim it’s unrealistic, but sometimes you meet someone online and you just click.
This isn’t a book that I’d just issue a blanket recommendation for, but if you like feminism and gamer culture with just a touch of romance, you might like this one.
Have you read Don’t Read the Comments? Is it on your TBR?
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