June 06, 2017
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High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.
Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.
Internet Famous was one of those books where I had forgotten much of the premise before I started the book (that or it was from Swoon Reads so I didn't really read all of what it was about) so a lot of the story was a surprise for me. A very pleasant surprise.
This is absolutely a very sweet and cute romance, but the other parts of the story - and Madi's life - really take the story to the next level. The different dynamics at play in Madi's family were unexpected but something I was all to glad to see.
"Difficult sibling dynamics are rarely explored in teen films, and this was one of many happy surprises from this rewatch." (pg 253)
Switch up a few words in Madi's statement (films to books, rewatch to read) and you have my feelings about this novel. Madi and Sarah's relationship was not your typical, teenage sisters relationship and the responsibilities Madi had to shoulder put her in more of a parental role sometimes. I really appreciated that we not only got to see her struggle with all of that, but that it was addressed by the characters, as well. The girls' relationships with their mother and father could also be strained and tricky. These extra layers of stress made Madi, her life and her story fuller.
One of the problems Madi encounters did not garner as much sympathy from me as, maybe, it was supposed to . .. I felt bad for her but also did not think she was wrongly penalized.
Madi's blog, MadLibs was fun and something different for a character. I liked how, while it was her escape, it had also impacted her daily life - and then was impacted by it, too.
I began reading Internet Famous expecting a cute, fun, if somewhat fluffy romance. It was definitely cute and fun (and sweet and romantic and goofy) but it was not fluffy. There was an unexpected depth to the story and Madi's character that rally impressed me. I will be reading the author's previous novel All the Feels (which includes some of the same fictional fandom) and anything upcoming.
digital review copy received from the publisher, via NetGalley