Book Review/Booktalk: Backlash By Sarah Darer Littman

Thursday, July 16, 2015
Backlash by Sarah Littman Review

Backlash is a beautiful book the story is very blunt and true. There is no sugar coating, while others may not find a book like this appealing, I immensely enjoyed this book. Backlash shows the two sides of bullying and how sometimes the bully is a victim too.

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Published by Scholastic Press (March 31, 2015)
Pages: 336
Source: Library

In critically acclaimed author Sarah Darer Littman's gripping new novel what happens online doesn't always stay online . . .

Lara just got told off on Facebook.
She thought that Christian liked her, that he was finally going to ask her to his school's homecoming dance. It's been a long time since Lara's felt this bad, this depressed. She's worked really hard since starting high school to be happy and make new friends.

Bree used to be BBFs with overweight, depressed Lara in middle school, but constantly listening to Lara's problems got to be too much. Bree's secretly glad that Christian's pointed out Lara's flaws to the world. Lara's not nearly as great as everyone thinks.

After weeks of talking online, Lara thought she knew Christian, so what's with this sudden change? And where does he get off saying horrible things on her wall? Even worse - are they true?
But no one realized just how far Christian's harsh comments would push Lara. Not even Bree.
As online life collides with real life, the truth starts to come together and the backlash is even more devastating than than anyone could have imagined. *end of non-spoiler section*



Favorite  Quote

“Elmo is telling kids about how great it is to share. Oh, Elmo, you poor, deluded little red fur ball. You don’t have a clue, do ya, li’l buddy? Kids are way meaner than Muppets.” 

Booktalk Okay everyone automatically feels sympathy for Lara, she is the one who was bullied. Then there's Sydney, Lara's sister and we feel sorry for her because she is forever in her sister's shadow. Also Liam and his father, they are dragged into this mess and their lives are destroyed even though they are completely innocent. That leaves Bree and her mother Mary Joe, what surprised me the most is I ended up garnering sympathy for Bree. I love books that tell both sides of a story, especially the "wrong side". Yes, cyberbullying or bullying in general is wrong, terrible, but there always is two sides of a story and sometimes the wrong side isn't as horrible as you may think. This is my main appreciation for this book, I admire an author who doesn't just tells the "right" side of the story, but also the "wrong". Another book that handles a difficult two sided problem well is The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Although the problem is not as serious, I believe this is another good example. Back to the book, personally my favorite character is Liam, I loved reading from his view. I didn't really understand why Mary Joe (Bree's mom) enjoyed tormenting Lara. That really caught me off guard, I have to say I have never quite seen a book like this. The parents are never involved in the bullying, ever.

The relationship between Sydney and Liam is really cute, the couple works very well. Their relationship helps calm down things a little. It brings a little love to a otherwise tragic situation.

When I found out Christian was Bree I was dumbfounded. I should have seen it, the clues were everywhere, but I was so caught up with Lara that I was hurrying through Bree's chapters. Honestly, the thing that blew through the wall was when Bree's Mother, Mary Joe came in and found out what was going and didn't try to stop it. Even worse she participated in it, I wish we found out more in depth why Mary Joe did it. We know she was mad that Lara's Mom was ignoring her requests, but Lara's mom was just doing what she believed was the best for her city. I may be wrong, but I think there was another reason, jealousy. Perhaps Mary Joe was jealous of Lara's Mother's seemingly perfect life, and wanted to ruin it.

I was glad we got to see Bree's side, what started as mean prank quickly escalated to a suicide attempt. What Bree did was very wrong but she definitely hadn't meant to hurt Lara that much. This book reminds me that sometimes not everything is as it appears to be.

The last touch to this book that put it together was the fact that Lara got asked out!