While this book dealt with some big issues, it felt very juvenile. I really wanted to love this book due to all of its themes, but couldn't get past the writing.
Overall, the writing of this book felt like an adult writing how they think a teen would write. Maybe it's due to my being raised in a different school system than Polarity, but I didn't find her actions or those of the characters around her believable.
The treatment of the internet was not at all modern. While there was no mention of a time period the story took place in, there were explicit references to Netflix which only became big after the social media revolution. As such, it really makes no sense that Polarity had to research in order to figure out if a photo can be edited or not. Even if her parents had severely restricted her internet, she'd have been taught this in school.
Polarity gets practically obsessed with Zada to a really extreme point. She met the girl for approximately twenty minutes, and while I appreciate that Zada had been influential, the extent she goes in tracking Zada is stalkerish.
Her mother has Borderline Personality Disorder which adds an intriguing element to the book. I thought the treatment of this was done well and I learned quite a bit about the disorder. This was definitely the strongest aspect of the book and I enjoyed the harsh dynamic between Polarity and her mother and seeing them interact.
Some aspects felt very orchestrated. The events fell too nicely into line and were all too convenient. While I understand the motivations the author tried to give Tracey, they didn't quite add up. Nor did Polarity's reaction and her 'denial.' I didn't feel very satisfied with the ending.
There were times when characterisation could have been much stronger. This didn't feel like a romance to me despite the blurb as I felt there was little build up or tension, just Polarity's naiveté. Ethan, especially, as a character had basically no flaws and felt too good to be true, as did Polarity's grandmother and her grandmother's boyfriend. Cheryl and her cohort also didn't act the way I expected them to after receiving their own time.
Polarity acts younger than she is and rarely stands up to her parents on anything. I really couldn't like her. The way she speaks feels very child-like and she rarely manages to actually do something by herself. When she does, she's obnoxious about it. I wanted to feel sympathetic towards her, but I just couldn't.
I was disappointed to not enjoy this book as it tackles classism, racism, issues with the justice system, and other topics I think should be much more prominent in our books. However, the writing frustrated me more often than it engaged me.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.