Friday, January 16, 2015

Keeping Count

Thought for the day:  Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.  [Oprah Winfrey]


[courtesy of Morguefile]
Remember the simple innocence of childhood friendships? For me, part of those good old days entailed decorating a shoe box with lopsided construction paper hearts every Valentine's Day, cutting a big slit in the lid, and then sitting it on my school desk to collect cards from the other kids in my class. You know, back in the days when everybody was everybody else's ♪ tra-la ♫ best friend. 

Yeah, right.

It would have been really nice if it had worked that way. Truth is, not all kids got their shoe boxes stuffed full of cards. Some were ridiculed and shunned on the playground... and then horribly humiliated on Valentine's Day by how few cards made it into their boxes. That must have hurt. Kids crave a sense of belonging and self-worth, and for better or worse, they get a lot of that from how the other kids treat them. How many ♪ tra-la ♫ friends they have... or think they have... is terribly important to them.

You think that's why some people are so keen to amass a ton of ♪ tra-la ♫ friends on Facebook? I wonder. 



[image courtesy of Morguefile]

Now, don't get me wrong. I like making new friends as much as the next person. I'm one of those weirdos who strikes up conversations with complete strangers all the time. (Hey! Strangers are just friends we haven't met yet, right?) But I don't make ♪ tra-la ♫ friends indiscriminately on social media. Just because I always gave Valentine's Day cards to every kid in my class doesn't mean I have to say yes to everyone who approaches me on social media. 

Like that weirdo who said his hobby was collecting women. (Um, no thank you, I think I'll pass...) Or the despicable guy who slept with our friend's wife back in the sixties when he was deployed overseas with the military. (Did that guy really think I'd forgotten how much pain he caused...?) 

Are you a fan of Facebook? I must admit, I post on there from time to time... mostly punny stuff, things that tickle my funny bone, or info that I find particularly interesting. Can't say that I've ever announced to the world that I just ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast, or that I'm currently driving on I-85, though. (Who cares???) And I also like other posts from time to time, too. Again, it's mosty punny stuff, things that tickle my funny bone, or info that I find particularly interesting. But I, um, don't click like on my own posts. To me, that'd be like high-fiving myself. 


But how about today's kids? Being popular on social media is really important to them, and they all want the status of having BIG NUMBERS, so I don't know how much they discriminate. They want lots of friends, lots of likes. Being un-friended is a big deal, like a humiliating slap in the face. For youngsters, the whole experience can be wrapped in drama, and sometimes, in genuine tragedy. 


Life is an awful, ugly place to not have a friend.  [Sarah Dessen]


Author Medeia Sharif is well aware of how important social media are to young people these days, and it rightfully plays a vital role in her latest book. And guess what? You don't have to wait six months or more to read her new book, because it is being released... (ta DA!)


                          TODAY!!!!!!

Here's a little blurb to whet your appetite:



52 LIKES by Medeia Sharif
Cover Reveal, Evernight Teen, 2015

After a brutal rape and near-murder, Valerie wants to get past feelings of victimhood from both the assault and her history of being bullied. She’s plagued by not knowing the identity of her rapist and by the nasty rumors in school about that night. Valerie follows clues from ghostly entities, past victims of the rapist-murderer, contacting her through a social media site—why do all of their eerie photos have 52 likes under them? Their messages are leading her to the mystery man, although he’ll put up a fight to remain hidden.

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon



Sounds good, doesn't it? It IS good. The lovely Medeia was kind enough to send me a copy last week. This is what I posted about the book on Goodreads:

What can I say about this book? I LIKED it; I reeeeally liked it. I think it's gonna hit a big fat bull's eye with its target teenaged market, but it's a book well worth reading for us (ahem) more mature folks, as well. 

The appeal for teens? The author zeroes in on what it's like to be a teenager in today's world, so kids will definitely be able to relate to the behavior and language of this book's characters. I must admit, I was a little taken aback at the first f-bomb I encountered, but hey! I suppose that IS the way some kids talk nowadays, whether we old effs (as in fogies) like it or not. Social media plays a vital role in this story, which is certainly something kids will understand. What's more, the potential danger of using social media recklessly is also a vital part of the story. Young people's eyes may roll or glaze over when we try to "warn" them about those dangers, but this book, while engrossing them in the story, allows them to reach that conclusion on their own. It teaches a very important lesson without waving an annoying know-it-all finger in their faces. (We ALL hate that, right?) Plus, there's the story itself. Rape and murder, pain and cruelty, and the meaning of true friendship... it's all in there. Oh, and how about some paranormal stuff, too, to stir the pot up even more? Yep, I think this is a book a lot of teens will love. Personally, I plan to buy it for my two teenaged granddaughters.

And for us older folks? It's absolutely eye-opening to see how cruel kids can be to each other. No wonder some kids hate to go to school. I had no idea...

Plus, there's the story. It's captivating, whether you're fourteen, forty, or (ahem) even older. I'd give it four and a half very enthusiastic stars, rounded up to five. Many thanks to the author for sending me a copy for review prior to publication. The rest of you can get YOUR copy on January 16th!

***

Um yeah, that's TODAY! 

Have a terrific weekend, y'all. Maybe we'll cross paths on Facebook this weekend. There's a real good chance I'll be having breakfast... and will be riding on I-85. Just in case you wanted to know...

                               Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

86 comments:

  1. This is the second blog featuring 52 likes which I have read today. And they popped up one after the other.
    As someone who decidedly wasn't one of the cool kids, and who doesn't play FB it is calling my name.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Two in a row, huh? Yep, it's definitely kismet. Resistance is futile.

      Delete
  2. Oh, wow. The first half of your post was amazing with personal tidbits--I didn't exchange Valentine's Day cards as a kid, thank goodness--and then boom, there's my book. I'm so glad you liked it. :) Thank you for featuring it.

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    1. It was my pleasure to feature your book. (P.S. I only feature books I LIKE!)

      Delete
  3. Hi Susan and Medeia .. I never really got into the social stuff as a kid - sort of 'not interested' .. I don't like doing much what others do .. similarly now - but I just might venture into FB and TW in the next few weeks .. with some sensible things to say ... eg about my op ... and others down here have asked how one goes about it ... and I vaguely know - but will make me get my ducks in order ...

    Good luck Medeia .. the title draws me in .. and I'm sure the read will open our eyes ... cheers to you both - Hilary

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    1. Hi, Hilary! Sounds like you were... and still are... an independent trend-setter. I think you may like FB, though. I only joined it to see pictures of our grandchildren, but have found it to be good for keeping in touch with some long-lost friends, too.

      Cheers!

      Delete
  4. When I was a kid (I think Taft was president) our teacher made us exchange Valentines with everyone in our class. It was always fair & square and deliciously proper. Nobody was disappointed.

    Things have changed drastically nowadays with the ubiquitous social media mentality. Children have unwittingly become subjected to adult issues - - and adults are often behaving like children (i.e. an obsession for collecting "friends" on FB, etc.). Unfortunately, the social media is an ideal outlet for bullies and stalkers.

    I haven't yet read "52 Likes," but it sounds like a book well worth reading by adults as well as teens.

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    1. Hi-ya, cowboy! Good to hear from you again!

      Later on in elementary school, the rule became, "Give a card to everyone, or don't give any at all," but in the earlier years, the process wasn't nearly as kind.

      Yeah, I don't quite "get" the social media mentality, either, but it IS the easiest way to get the latest news from my kids and grandkids, because that's their primary means of communication. (Yeah, a couple of the grands have "friended" me... what a hoot!)

      Delete
  5. I'm very glad we didn't have that whole Valentine's Day thing here in Australia. A box on your desk so everyone can publicly see how many friends you do or don't have?? Most kids know that already and the public humiliation in the classroom would be awful. Unless you're the type of child who values her/his true friends and doesn't need everyone to like him/her. And how many children are there like that?
    I personally think Valentine's Day goings-on should be left to those who are old enough to know that receiving cards and chocolates from someone or everyone isn't such a big deal unless the gifts are exchanged between people who are in love.

    The book sounds pretty good, it's added to my list. My ever-growing list which currently fills half an exercise book.

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    1. Yeah, turning the whole Valentine card exchange into a popularity contest was really cruel, wasn't it? (What WERE they thinking?) That was right up there with having team captains pick their teams members in P.E. class. The same people were always chosen last. That had to hurt, too.

      HA! I know what you mean. My TBR list is ridiculously long. I must think I'm never gonna die.

      Delete
  6. I'm in the Far East at the moment - and have been struck my how many groups of young people, sitting round a table with each other, aren't actually talking but are doing something on their phones. I'd seen some of them earlier, in an old Chinese mansion, taking endless selfies, so presumably they were putting them on Facebook, with the message - this is me, this is me, this is me ... But I'm not sure they've actually looked at anything.

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    1. I know! Ever the adventuress.

      Social media is a worldwide phenomenon, especially among young people. What a phenomenal waste, though, for them to be in amazing locations, and so consumed with taking endless selfies, they barely notice their surroundings.

      Have fun! Looking forward to hearing more about your latest trip.

      Delete
  7. I do remember those Valentine mailboxes. We were told that if we planned on participating we had to include everyone..no exceptions.

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    1. That's a lot better way to handle the Valentine's Day cards. It became that way when I was in the latter part of elementary school, but in the early years, card-giving versus NOT giving was a springboard for cruelty.

      Delete
  8. Congrats to Medeia! The book sounds incredible.

    Thankfully at the school I went to, you had to bring a Valentine's card for everyone so no one would be left out.

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    1. The card exchange became much more equitable when I got a little older. I guess the attitude when I was younger was that pain was good for kids? I dunno, but I'm glad the policy changed.

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  9. I liked your definition of strangers that they are the also the friends whom we haven't met. That sounded interesting. Hehe.

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    1. Thanks. That definition is right up there with another of my favorites. I'm an amateur radio operator, (AKA a "ham") and in a newspaper article, a fellow ham wrote, "In the amateur radio fraternity, there are no strangers." It's true, too!

      Delete
  10. I do know the cruelty many children face. Even as an adult, it took me many years to understand the difference between friends and acquaintances.

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    1. Yeah, I understand what you mean. When I was a kid, I liked everyone, and thought EVERYONE was my friend. Now, I have a much firmer grasp on the true meaning of friendship.

      Delete
  11. Did the valentines thing too way back when, everyone got one. As for people, I ignore many haha screw facebook, I ditched that and deleted everyone off there. Haven't seen them in years so what do i care that they are constipated lol

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    1. HA! Yeah, some people don't seem to understand the line between things that should remain private, and things that are okay to be blasted out on social media for all the world to know. Kinda like online Jerry Springer shows at time.

      Delete
  12. I wanted to tell you I love the picture of your cat and the shirt. Cats offer me so much amusement. :-)

    As to FB, I pick and choose who to accept as friend. I have a lot because of the blog but I do have some local contacts and family as well. I really need to separate them--a blog persona and separate one for my family/friends. But then, that involves time and effort and I don't feel that right now.

    Good intro to Mediea's book. And yes, I remember the whole valentine/popular kids versus those not. I did the same, gave a card to everyone.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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    1. Thanks, Sia! When my hubby tossed a flannel shirt on the bed, Dash thought one of the sleeves would make a cozy nest. I couldn't resist snapping several pictures of her.

      Maintaining separate FB pages sounds like a real pain in the patootie. (Not that I do much in the way of maintaining the one page I have now...)

      Delete
  13. Love Love Love your header today !
    I joined facebook because my best friend was posting photos of her home and my old neighborhood. I haven't done anything with it but I keep getting friends request from people who know my friend through their friends friends, who know a friend who knew someone from another friend !
    Ack !
    Who are these people and why do they want me as a friend ? Is this what they do with their time ? I am so confused. Plus I don't want so much of my info out in the world. The less my x knows about me the better it is for me.
    I am trying to spend less time on the computer because I want to spend more time on my art.
    lalalalalalalalalalalalalalala and my Square Gud Dugs ! as they are woofing at me right now !
    Must go and give them some snuggles.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thanks! (Isn't she a cutie?)

      It really is amazing how many people want to be "friends" on FB, despite the fact they don't know us, isn't it? Like you say, I guess they must have too much time on their hands.

      Cheers! Have a super weekend.

      Delete
  14. The book sounds good, but scary. I have a Facebook page but don't do much with it. I like to see photos of the children in my family. I talk to strangers, but I don't ever want to see them again. The Internet is a great place for an introvert, which I am. I can be friends with all sorts of people but never put up with them stopping by my house to mess it up.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. It is good, but not really scary. Not in a Stephen King sorta way, anyhow. It's just a little scary to think how mean kids can be to each other.

      Then again, on the other hand, if people are forever stopping by, that provides a good excuse if things are a little messy. ("Why, no, it wasn't ME... It was those pesky guests!")

      Happy weekend, kiddo!

      Delete
  15. Interesting comparison between the old Valentine box days and Facebook friends. This whole idea of friends and likes is rather strange as it translates online. Medea's book sounds excellent and very timely.

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    1. Thanks. It seemed like an appropriate comparison to me. At least in some ways.

      Medeia's book IS excellent.

      Delete
  16. I'm on Facebook but my friends there are real friends or ex-classmates from uni. I agree with you on childhood friendship completely.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. What a concept! Only making "friends" on FB with ... actual friends! By George, you could be onto something!

      Greetings back atcha.

      Delete
  17. That books sounds 'wow.'

    As for Facebook, there seems to be this misconception that most of us live in caves and have no access to windows. Why else would people post such statuses as, "it's raining/snowing/sunny outside?"

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    1. HA! Good point about the weather posts.Then again, people aren't just sharing that "vital" information with people who live in the same area; people from all around the world could be reading it. Like I can tell you the sun made a guest appearance here today, after about a week of dreary drizzle. Did you see THAT out your window? Um, never mind... chances are, that's exactly what you saw out your window!

      That book IS wow!I hope you have a wow of a weekend. (No matter what kinda weather you see out your window!)

      Happy weekend!

      Delete
  18. from Valentine's Day to social media - you captured life perfectly. sounds as if the book you are recommending is right up there too. Kids are cruel - I swear I learned how to survive on the school bus and the bus stop. No one reported bullying back then. You just had to hunker down and find a way. Made me good with words..........biting words. I never physically fought, but the power of the pen and words could win. Good post with a strong message, Susan. Have a great weekend

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    1. Thanks, Joanne. I'm glad you liked the post; I think you'd like the book, too. Sorry to hear some of the other kids gave you a hard time, but it worked out for the better. Made you a tough old broad. And a darned good writer.

      Happy weekend!

      Delete
  19. I never liked Valentine's Day. But I like your review! Congrats to Medeia :)

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  20. Medeia's book really sounds interesting. About 1 1/2 years ago a young girl here killed herself after being bullied, mostly on Facebook and other social media. It was highly publicized and discussed at length in our local paper. I might have to add the book to my ever-growing list.

    I like Facebook for a lot of different reasons. I know about half the people in real life, the other half I'm friends with because of shared interests. Facebook is a great tool...you just have to know how to use it properly. :-)

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    1. Meddia's book is really interesting. I remember the story about the young girl there committing suicide; it made it to the news up here, too. Horrible. (That isn't what happens in "52 Likes.")

      You're right about Facebook. It definitely serves a number of legitimate purposes, if used properly. it probably serves as a bit of a lifeline to the outside world for some people who are housebound, too.

      Delete
  21. Great post, Susan! Enjoyed your kind humor and vigorous promotion of what sounds like a fascinating book. As to FB, I was in San Francisco recently and, on crowded Market Street, people kept turning and looking at me --many pointed at me-- and said, "It's HIM! It's that guy that's not on Facebook!" This happens where ever I go.

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    1. Thanks, dude!

      When you said you were in San Fran recently, I expected you to say the people around you were more interested in taking selfies than they were in looking at the sights on Market Street.

      (I betcha when your grandchild asks you to be a FB friend, you'll sigh up in a heartbeat!)

      Delete
  22. I'm on Facebook far too much. It's addicting with all the different groups that a person can join. As for Valentines, local stores in my area had the hearts and candy displays up just a couple of days after New Years.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hey, if you enjoy hanging out on Facebook, then why not? It's cheaper than going on vacation.

      I know what you mean about the Valentine Day's decorations. Not only did I see them in the store a couple days after Christmas, but I also saw a bunch of stuff for "Happy Spring"! Talk about wishful thinking...

      Delete
  23. Susan this was so on the mark... Valentina was just telling me about a friend of hers who has so many friends on Facebook and I said ahh... those are not real friends.... I have many people on mine but the majority of them are blog followers... and I could care less how many likes I get. I think it is sad that people judge themselves on whether they have so many likes or so called friends....

    This book sounds intriguing... I have a list of books I want to purchase, this is now one of them...

    Have a great weekend... oh, I had yogurt for breakfast... I better post that... lol

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    1. You're right. It isn't bad enough kids worry about being "popular enough" in the real world, but now they stress about it in the cyber-world, too.

      Great! If you read it and think it's worthwhile, maybe your daughter could read it, too, and you can discuss it.

      HA! Not enough information... was it Greek yogurt? With fruit? And granola on top...? Inquiring minds want to know. (Not really!)

      Take care!

      Delete
  24. Great review. I'm pretty careful about who I friend and what I say. The "friends" have to be real friends, in the true sense of the word. Sounds like this book has a strong message.

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.

      I try to be careful, too. (I can't BELIEVE some of the personal stuff some people put out there for all the world to see!)

      Delete
  25. I think that Instagram has surpassed Facebook with teens. I know that my ex's teenagers are all about Instagram (even though they have FB accounts). And the number of Likes they get is extremely important. In fact, I saw the boy kinda melt down a little when he posted something and no one liked it the first thirty minutes it existed. It was a huge relief when someone liked it. I remember him begging his sister to please like his post. I'm sure the ultimate tragedy is to post something that No One likes. Honestly, I'm so glad that internet didn't exist when I was growing up. The teen years were painful enough without the internet showing you just how worthless you are.

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    1. Medeia's book actually deals more with something other than Facebook, but I can't remember if it was Instagram or something else. I just figured more people would be able to relate to FB.

      Yeah, I'm glad this stuff wasn't around when I was a teenager, too. Especially Youtube. It was bad enough to do something stupid, but to have it recorded for all posterity would have been reeeeeally tough to deal with.

      Delete
  26. I will definitely read this. Especially since I work with teenagers and I see this kind of thing all of the time. I can also recommend it to them!

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    1. Great! I hope you... and the teens you work with... enjoy it.

      Delete
  27. I've been hearing good things about this, and I have to say, the idea that there are always exactly 52 likes on the creepy posts is the element that most makes me want to read this. I'm intrigued ...

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  28. I must admit that I don't really 'get' Facebook. I'm on it but when I first started out there I accepted every Friend request and now I see comments about people's families, lives etc and I don't even know who they are! I'd rather like to ditch my FB account and start again now I know a bit more what it's about.

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    1. You sound like my brother. He doesn't "get" it, either. Not that I do. But I at least have the excuse of being able to keep up with what's going on with our kids and grandkids. They're more into posting stuff online than they are in talking on the phone, whether I like it or not.

      Maybe you should ditch the present account and start out with a fresh slate.

      Delete
  29. Congratulations to Medeia! 52 Likes is so interesting!

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  30. Great review of 52 Likes! Sounds like Medeia really has the pulse on what so many teens are going through today. I'm also intrigued by the thriller aspect.

    Yes, I remember the Valentine mailboxes! I had more fun helping my boys arrange theirs in grammar school! We also all fought to be room mothers for the Valentine's class parties.

    Julie

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    1. Thanks! I think you'd enjoy this book.

      Funny thing is, I can't remember if our kids made Valentines mailboxes when they were in elementary school or not. Mine, I remember clear as day, but theirs? Nothing. Huh. Must be getting old... NAH! That can't possibly be it! They must not have had them... I think they just wrote out cards for every kid in their class, but no decorated boxes...)

      Delete
  31. Sounds like kind of a horrifying mystery to solve, but I Like the premise.

    (That was a social media pun)

    I suck at Facebook. I'd rather snoop on other people's crappy lives and feel better about myself than post about my own.

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    1. (Very clever...)

      I suck even worse than you. Not only don't I post about my own life, I don't give a diddle about reading the minutiae of other people's lives, either... crappy or not.

      Delete
  32. I just crawled out of hibernation, and thought it was January. But if you're talking Valentines, it must be February. So Happy Valentine's Day!

    OK; back to hibernating. See you in the spring. Blessings and Bear hugs, Susan!

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    1. HA! Nope, just a false alarm. Go back to sleep.

      Delete
  33. Thanks for taking me back to school days. Those were good days :)
    (I guess everyone reminiscences their school days).

    Facebook has come up as a alternate world in which everyone gets another chance to get it right. But somehow I managed to give Facebook a miss.

    52 Likes looks like a promising read. I will need to lookup at my bookstore if they have a copy available.

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    1. Yes, they were good days, but I'm glad they're in the past. Not that it was all sweetness and light, but I think it was a lot easier to be a kid when I was young.

      Delete
  34. I'm terrible at the online social thing, and truth be told I have no friends or family in real life either. I'm a hermit of the worst kind! LOL
    Actually when I signed onto all this crap it was in the very beginning where getting the numbers was all the rage, collecting as you say. I collected, twitter, myspace, then facebook, and have numbers of folks I don't know and never will. But that's what you did back then. Now I blog, and comment when the time allows but I don't collect for the sake of collecting. I know no one, and no one knows me. Sad really, but preferable to overexposure. I think!!!!

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    1. A hermit, huh? So you're a J.D. Salinger kinda writer? If that's the way you like it, more power to you. If you ever get tired of not knowing anyone, I'm only an email away. (And I hardly EVER get accused of overexposure...)

      Delete
  35. I've got a teen... almost 16. Too rough for her (the book), you think? Or not too much for her to handle? It sounds like it could get pretty intense.

    As for social media, I deleted my personal Facebook years ago when I got addicted to Farmville (it was so ridiculous, I just deleted Facebook and never looked back). I have the blog Facebook, and the more followers, the better it looks to sponsors (who in kind might be kind enough to hire me for a post). ;) but in real life... I don't miss it a bit. I didn't like getting friend requests from people I barely knew in school (even as far back as grade school!!!!). It seemed artificial to me.

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    1. HI-ya. No, I don't think this book would be too much for your daughter, but you might want to read it to make that judgement for yourself. Think she's ready for a book that opens with a teenager being raped? The scene isn't too graphic, but it does come across as realistic enough to capture her attention and teach an important lesson.

      HA! I can understand getting addicted to one of the games on FB. I am a game fanatic, so I have purposely avoided getting into ANY kind of online games. I'm a strictly at the kitchen table kinda gal...

      That's a perfect way to put it. Most of those so-called "friendships" on FB are artificial. (However, I must admit... I've never turned down a friend requests from anyone who contacted me because they love my book...)

      Delete
  36. It is scary how cruel some kids can be to others. Thanks for the book review. Sounds like a good one!

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    1. Yeah, it is scary how cruel kids can be. And then more kids jump on the cruelty bandwagon against that poor "outsider" target just to be part of the in crowd.

      It IS a good book!

      Delete
  37. Great review of what sounds like a fantastic book!

    I'm with you on the "friend" thing. When did the word "acquaintance" become obsolete, anyway? It's a perfectly good word, descriptive and not at all derogatory.

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    1. Thanks! (It really IS fantastic.)

      I know what you mean. It verges on creepy when someone acts all touchy-feely and calls you "a dear friend," when you barely know the person. At least on FB, nobody can slobber all over ya.

      Delete
  38. I know a woman in her fifties who went into meltdown because someone she barely knew -- and hadn't seen in 30+ years -- refused a friend request. It's sad, actually, how what's not real becomes real life drama.

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    1. Oh. that's just awful. Her real life must have been pretty bad for her to place so much importance on something as meaningless as a single friend request. Sad.

      Delete
  39. May I be the first to wish you Happy Valentine's Day ♥♥♥
    Now I'll admit I skipped your review because I'm just getting ready to read Medeia's book, and I don't want to know anything besides the blurb before I begin.

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    1. HA! And the same back at ya, lovely lady.(So where's my chocolate???)

      No problem with skipping my review, but I never give spoilers. Just my opinion.

      Delete
  40. You were Z close, Susan! :))) But, um, hint: lots of alligators!

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  41. We did the valentine exchange when I was a kid, and it never failed to be super awkward LOL

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    1. I think it was more awkward for the boys. The giggly girls thought it was fun!

      Delete
  42. I've run into Medeia's book on several blogs today. Love seeing that support of a new release.

    I remember making those Valentine shoe boxes. A lot of teacher insisted that if students gave any Valentines, they had to give one to everyone. I think the kids receiving the "charity" cards always knew it.

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    1. Well, all I can say is it's a book well worth running into! (Yeah, I love seeing that kinda support, too.)

      Charity cards. I guess that's a good way to put it, but it's still kinda sad, especially if the kids realized it.

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