Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman

I found Backlash at the library. It was on the new release shelf in the young adult section. I was not familiar with author Sarah Darer Littman, but I certainly plan to pick up her other books after this.

It’s hard to describe Backlash without venturing into spoiler territory. The story is told from multiple perspectives, and this is an absolute necessity when it comes to getting the whole story. As Backlash begins, a girl named Lara tries to kill herself because Christian, the boy she had a crush on, just publicly humiliated her on Facebook and told her the world would be a better place without her. Lara has a history of depression beginning when she was in middle school, but she gained new insight through therapy, lost 30 pounds, and just made the cheerleading squad.

As Lara is rushed to the hospital, her neighbor and former best friend Bree snaps a picture of her on the stretcher and posts it to Facebook. Many classmates post messages of support, but some take the opportunity to post nasty comments.

At the hospital, Lara is stabilized, and her parents begin to ask questions. Who is Christian and why would he have such an effect on Lara? And that’s when things begin to unravel.

I found Backlash to be enthralling. I think I read the whole thing in 2 sittings. As the truth comes out, every answer leads to even more questions. As I mentioned, having multiple narrators allows the reader to get the whole story, and this helps explain the motivations of certain characters. I won’t go so far to say that certain characters were more sympathetic, but at least the reader has an understanding of why decisions were made.

In a sense, Backlash is terrifying. It shows the lengths that some people will go for revenge. The reasons for seeking revenge and the revelation of those who feel wronged were absolutely shocking.

I would absolutely recommend Backlash. This novel will mostly appeal to teens, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. On its surface, Backlash is gossipy and sensationalistic, but it is also a tale of depravity and shows the aftermath of cyberbullying from all sides. I will certainly be seeking out the rest of Sarah Darer Littman’s books.

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