I apologise for the extremely long review. I just had so much to say. I could honestly go on about this book forever but I had to draw the line somewhere. In summary, this book is amazing, you should read it.
This book. This book. Holy moly. This one really hit close to home for me. I had seen this book around for a few months but I didn’t think much of it, I wasn’t really interested in reading it and I just thought it was going to be a contemporary novel about some friends taking risks or something. I don’t even know what I thought to be honest. But yesterday, I felt like reading a book and nothing I had was tickling my fancy so I went to Big W and I saw this, read the back of it and bought it.
Risk is an Australian novel set in Melbourne. But that’s not really important. These two girls meet some guy online, one of the girls ends up becoming very friendly with him, and plans to meet up with him at the end of the week. She goes to meet up with him and doesn’t come back.
Honestly, I think this book is such an important read for everyone. Particularly young girls in high school. I just can’t express that enough. It should definitely be a required reading, I’d say from as young as year 8. It really opens your eyes. When I was in high school and even primary school, online chatting was big. Sites like Omegle I think it was called, and Penguin Club. I can’t speak for everyone, but my group of friends all used to do it and I’m sure kids are still doing it today. You hear about the stories of girls meeting up with people they’ve met online and everything going great, or even the ones where it doesn’t end so well, but you never think it would happen to you. I have friends who still meet up with random guys they meet in Tinder or whatever else is the new craze these days, it’s scary to think they might not come back.
I know for a fact that if I had of read this in high school, it would have definitely affected me on some level. Even now, having this blog that is online having my name on the internet is kind of creeping me out. In high school I remember my English teacher showing us Catfish, but we just found it funny (scary but funny), so honestly, kids need books like this to make them understand how serious it is. I’d say don’t even tell them what it’s about and they can go into it thinking it’s a cute love story and BAM. I seriously had so many lesson ideas while reading this, shame I couldn’t use it on some year 6 kids.
So apart from the fact that this book was extremely powerful, I thought it was a really good story. The writing was great, it was very simple and it got the point across, and that’s what you want in a book. I’m not going to say that it was a literary piece of art and is a modern classic, but it achieved what it was meant to. And I think the simplistic writing style would be great for high school students. Also it is a very quick read. I read a chapter before dinner, then at about 9:30 I got into bed to read a few chapters and by 12am I was finished. I literally could not stop reading it.
I loved that this book wasn’t focused on relationships. There was some romance in there, but once everything was going down, it wasn’t all focused on that which I thought was a really nice touch, especially for young adult.
Though there aren’t many, there were a couple of issues I had with the book.
The second half of the book seemed kind of forced. Honestly, I liked the first half a lot better than the second loved the first half of the book. It was very suspenseful and it was just so very realistic. There was literally a part where I gasped out loud at the book and had to re-read it several times. If you’ve read the book you probably know what part I’m talking about. But the second half just seemed too convenient. I did like it and it definitely added to the story, but there was a scene that didn’t really fit in, in my opinion. But having said that, it also helped to wrap it all up so I understand why it was in the book.
The characters were underdeveloped. It was hard to gauge everyone’s relationship with each other, especially Callum, and Taylor, it just felt like something was missing there. With the other characters like Rachel and Taylors mum, you were given enough back story there, but I think Taylors friends Riley, Joel, Callum and Izzy, needed some sort of back story.
When I first started reading the book I thought it would have been better to have Sierra’s perspective. Even just a couple of chapters thrown in here or there would have made the connection to Sierra a lot stronger and on more of an emotional level.
I know I keep saying it but this was amazing, especially since it was a debut novel. Also knowing that the author is a former police officer and paramedic really makes this story both realistic and accurate. This life-changing, eye-opening book will make your heart race in suspense, your eyes bulge out of their head in horror and most importantly it will make you think about whether you are “online-invisible or risk”.
Format: Paperback, 279 pages
Publisher: Random House Australia
Acquired from: Big W
Seriously, if anyone has read this talk to me because I really need to talk about this book with someone who has read it!
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