Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my review.
Goodreads Summary: Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.
Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.
At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…
And she isn’t going down without a fight.
Thoughts: Don’t Read the Comments is a story that tugs at your heartstrings the whole time that you are reading it. From Divya wanting the best for her mother to Aaron’s parents wanting the best for him and everything in between, you’ll be laughing and crying with these characters. I enjoyed the complexity of race, social class, and gender in the gaming world and how that impacts Divya and Aaron’s relationship with each other and those around them.
The action scenes were written with a lot of heart and were what made me want to read more. I felt for Divya as she was harassed in the gaming world because she is a female and I laughed as Aaron first tried to come in as her savior. I loved the development of both characters as they grew with each other and come to their realizations about what this world means to them. It all reminds me of my mixed feelings of entering the gaming world and how I feel about being surrounded by men in that world.
Something else that I really enjoyed about this book was the fact that it was written in both Divya and Aaron’s perspectives. Because of this you got to see both of their lives apart from each other and it was nice to see where their lives collided. I liked being able to hear Aaron’s thoughts on everything going on and how he was experiencing things and then go to the next chapter and see Divya live through it all.
You can pre-order this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library. This book is coming to shelves near you January 28th.