Hello everyone, it’s been a while!
Everyone tells Kat that her online personality – confident, funny, opinionated – isn’t her true self. Kat knows otherwise. The internet is her only way to cope with a bad day, chat with friends who get all her references, make someone laugh. But when she becomes the target of an alt-right trolling campaign, she feels she has no option but to Escape, Delete, Disappear.
With her social media shut down, her website erased, her entire online identity void, Kat feels she has cut away her very core: without her virtual self, who is she?
She brought it on herself. Or so Wesley keeps telling himself as he dismantles Kat’s world. It’s different, seeing one of his victims in real life and not inside a computer screen – but he’s in too far to back out now.
As soon as Kat disappears from the online world, her physical body begins to fade and while everybody else forgets that she exists, Wesley realises he is the only one left who remembers her. Overcome by remorse for what he has done, Wesley resolves to stop her disappearing completely. It might just be the only way to save himself.
The premise of this novel really intrigued me. It’s so current and as you see more and more people staring at their phones as they walk down the street, you do start to wonder if the internet is taking over real life. This novel explores the idea that your whole existence only exists on the internet.
The action starts in this novel very quickly so if the premise of the story interests you, there isn’t too long to wait. There are blurred edges between virtual life and reality and you need to pay attention to know which is which. Luckily this held my attention well so keeping up with this was relatively easy for me. Having said this, the “fade” itself is very subtle and I really enjoyed the uncertainty throughout.
The characters are very well written and (Not wanting to post spoilers) I could really sense their characteristics and imagine their faces and traits. They are not the stereotypical, and felt very “real” not only in their characteristics but also their speech. Although I’m towards the end of the spectrum of “young adult” (I’m 26, so not actually sure…) I really felt the characters.
This novel really made me think about my internet usage and I love it when novels really make me consider my life choices. Although I feel that my internet addiction is relatively minor – I know plenty of people who can’t even walk down the street without a phone in their face – I am ready to reconsider my internet usage.
How has the internet made your life better and how has it made it worse?
It has made my life better in several ways, because if I’m heading into town and need to know if a shop is open, I can quickly Google it and find out. It also lets me see if there is a particular shop/restaurant nearby. I also have a bit of anxiety when it comes to speaking on the phone,so having the ability to book appointments at the hairdressers or the doctor for example is incredibly useful. However, I think the easiest way to get over a fear is to keep doing the thing you’re scared of until you’re no longer scared to do that thing, and this has caused me to be pathetically nervous about ringing people. (but at least you can now see who is phoning you unless they withhold their number, right? Also if it wasn’t for the internet, this blog wouldn’t exist and I wouldn’t be able to look at other people’s blogs either!
I sometimes find that when I’m bored, I’m endlessly scrolling Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I often wish I hadn’t signed up for them, because I find that I’m not paying attention to things around me and that’s really sad. My partner has a strong aversion to technology (he has a “brick phone”) and often chastises me when I look at my phone for too long (although sometimes I’m looking at my phone because I’m reading the books I’ve been sent to read). It’s a complicated question. I guess in my mind, I like the internet, but have a strong love/hate relationship with social media.