Don
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.

Don Details

TitleDon
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 28th, 2020
PublisherInkyard Press
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult Contemporary, Games, Gaming, Teen, Audiobook, Pop Culture, Fandom

Don Review

  • jv poore
    January 1, 1970
    It’s tough for me to write a review for a book I love more than mochas. But, I can’t not share my ardent admiration of Divya, the sensational Glitch streamer in the center of Eric Smith’s spectacular Realistic-Fiction-YA, Don’t Read the Comments.Initially, I find it incredibly cool that this high-school student enjoys playing almost as much as she treasures the comfort and camaraderie of her followers and fellow gamers. Impressive that she is making money while doing it. Intensely delighted It’s tough for me to write a review for a book I love more than mochas. But, I can’t not share my ardent admiration of Divya, the sensational Glitch streamer in the center of Eric Smith’s spectacular Realistic-Fiction-YA, Don’t Read the Comments.Initially, I find it incredibly cool that this high-school student enjoys playing almost as much as she treasures the comfort and camaraderie of her followers and fellow gamers. Impressive that she is making money while doing it. Intensely delighted discovering why.The man she’d prefer not to refer to as her father, has happily taken everything they built as a family for himself. And his mistress. Divya’s mother is finishing classes and working two jobs, so the payments for trying and talking about gnarly new gadgets makes a significant difference. Herfirst con appearance might even allow for new furniture.Bekah, Divya’s best bud and imperative part of D1V’s streaming success and popularity, has designed swag to sell. Appearing on a panel will broaden their audience, as well as put them in close proximity with current fans. It is a great opportunity.Divya’s mother is not so sure. Pride and gratitude war with worry. Some of the comments she’s seen have been downright mean. Apprehension turns to angst as the trolls’ words turn from taunting to threatening. Harassment intensifies as the con date gets closer. Even Bekah is ready to bow out. Disappointing, yes, but certainly something Divya understands. And yet, Divya already knows that she will attend. She will be scared and alone, but the trolls will not win easily. There is one person that remains positive and supportive. If only he wasn’t a fan she’d bumped into online. Aaron is constantly dodging desk-duty at his mom’s medical practice to work on a new game he is creating. He is grateful, though a bit perplexed, that his father has been so supportive and willing to cover for him. His mom will not even listen. Perhaps if he had received any form of payment or contractual agreement from the “friend” he was working with, she would be a bit more open. And, maybe Divya and Aaron have more in common than moms that just don’t understand.I dig how this book gets the typical teen as well as reaching students that truly have roles and responsibilities outside of school. I’ll be adding this to several classroom libraries.Huge ‘Thank you!’ to Goodreads First Reads for the Advance Review Copy which has been donated to my favorite classroom library.
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    This was a fun cute story, but I am definitely not the target demographic. Some young adult books will resonate with people of all ages. I think this book will appeal more to actual young adults. And it has been a very long time since I’ve been classified as a young adult. Having said that I still really did enjoy the book and I thought the message was timeless. This was a story about Devya A gamer who became famous by streaming her gameplay. As a mother of a teenager it still baffles me that my This was a fun cute story, but I am definitely not the target demographic. Some young adult books will resonate with people of all ages. I think this book will appeal more to actual young adults. And it has been a very long time since I’ve been classified as a young adult. Having said that I still really did enjoy the book and I thought the message was timeless. This was a story about Devya A gamer who became famous by streaming her gameplay. As a mother of a teenager it still baffles me that my son spends time watching other people play video games. My son tells me, “it’s just like watching sports, but better, because there’s personality to it“. With Devya’s Fame comes the haters and the trolls. She is determined for this not to bring her down and not to read the comments. Aaron is an aspiring video game creator, who games for fun. The two of them Meat on a video game and become fast friends. When the threats start to become personal and lead to physical threats Devya is truly tested and Aaron is there to support her. This was a story about being yourself and not worrying about what other people say about you. Something that I think is even harder these days with social media. It never fails to surprise me what hateful things people will post about people they don’t even know. And the reasons given in this book for this group to go as far as they did were truly baffling, but sadly there is probably some truth to it. There was a tiny bit of romance in the story and what there was was sweet. This really however was a story about being yourself and not listening to what others have to say.This book in emojis. 🎮 💻 🕹 🪐 🛸 *** Big thank you to Ink Yard Press for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
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  • Kate (GirlReading)
    January 1, 1970
    This is a wonderfully geeky story that explores sexism, misogyny, racism, doxxing and toxicity online and specifically within the gaming industry with nuance and candour. With two strong and unique voices, multiple brilliantly explored relationship dynamics, epic bookish shoutouts (one of the characters has a bookstagram!!), a diverse cast of characters and VR gaming passages that almost made me forget I was reading a contemporary and not a sci-fi (in a good way), this was a thoroughly enjoyable This is a wonderfully geeky story that explores sexism, misogyny, racism, doxxing and toxicity online and specifically within the gaming industry with nuance and candour. With two strong and unique voices, multiple brilliantly explored relationship dynamics, epic bookish shoutouts (one of the characters has a bookstagram!!), a diverse cast of characters and VR gaming passages that almost made me forget I was reading a contemporary and not a sci-fi (in a good way), this was a thoroughly enjoyable read and perfect for gamers and non-gamers alike.TW: discussion of sexual assault, sexism, racism, harassment, doxxing.
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  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 20% This definitely feels like one of those "it's me, not you" sort of things, because I have no doubt this book is going to make a lot of readers very happy! That said, this wasn't working for me at all and I frankly don't have the time or energy to devote to books that are grating on me. I had a gut feeling I shouldn't have requested this, and as soon as the author and book name-dropping started in the first chapter, I thought, "Yep, should've listened to my gut..."Anyways, I dig the DNF @ 20% This definitely feels like one of those "it's me, not you" sort of things, because I have no doubt this book is going to make a lot of readers very happy! That said, this wasn't working for me at all and I frankly don't have the time or energy to devote to books that are grating on me. I had a gut feeling I shouldn't have requested this, and as soon as the author and book name-dropping started in the first chapter, I thought, "Yep, should've listened to my gut..."Anyways, I dig the diversity in this story and I enjoy the premise of it, and I know a lot of people will dig it. It just wasn't for me (and before anyone asks, I'm a life-long gamer, so no, I don't think being a gamer will necessarily dictate how readers feel about this story).Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    This is so nerdy and delightful. If you love gaming, stories where brown kids at the main characters, sweet romance, and a real exploration of the insidious nature of trolling, this is your perfect read.
  • Vinny —☽.。* Artsy Draft
    January 1, 1970
    —.:* Quick recap! This book is about two teens whose obsessed with a VR gaming but the reality might be not as exciting as the online trolls started to attack them. Read this book if you're a fan of pop-culture and everything video game related! You might want to consider it because it featured a lot of triggering scenes, from the racism to the female oppression.My first impression of this book is its outstanding gaming-focused story. It was obvious that Smith is a huge fan of video games and —.:* Quick recap! ☆ This book is about two teens whose obsessed with a VR gaming but the reality might be not as exciting as the online trolls started to attack them.☆ Read this book if you're a fan of pop-culture and everything video game related!☆ You might want to consider it because it featured a lot of triggering scenes, from the racism to the female oppression.My first impression of this book is its outstanding gaming-focused story. It was obvious that Smith is a huge fan of video games and poured his heart for developing this fast-paced yet heartfelt story. Centering around everything fun and geeky, Smith doesn’t forget to include heavier topics in this story, including racism, sexism, and online toxicity, making this story balanced perfectly. Don’t Read the Comments is also featuring many great representations, starting from racially diverse characters to the case of female oppression when it comes to field that considered to be manly, including video games.—.:* Full review to come! Thank you Inkyard Press for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Madison Lessard
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to the publisher for providing an advance digital copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.While Don’t Read The Comments wasn’t 100% for me, I try to approach every ARC I’m lucky enough to read pre-publication without being influenced too much by my personal preference. This is sometimes difficult, because reading is an inherently subjective activity, but it’s important to me that I make a thorough evaluation rather than just saying, hm, it wasn’t for me.So Many thanks to the publisher for providing an advance digital copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.While Don’t Read The Comments wasn’t 100% for me, I try to approach every ARC I’m lucky enough to read pre-publication without being influenced too much by my personal preference. This is sometimes difficult, because reading is an inherently subjective activity, but it’s important to me that I make a thorough evaluation rather than just saying, hm, it wasn’t for me.So with that said, let me tell you what I loved about this novel. First of all, there’s geekery galore— and it’s so nice to see unapologetic geeky content in YA, because it helps teens who have those kinds of interests feel so much more seen. I love Divya and her determination not to be defeated by the trolls, of which there are plenty. I feel like I’m in a place now where I don’t have to point out every strong female character, because there are so many more of them than there were in YA ten years ago, and that is amazing— but even so, I’ll make note of the fact that Div is every bit the queen of the game that the synopsis makes her out to be. Aaron is creative and supportive, and so not the typical YA love interest, which is a breath of fresh air. Even though this is told from a dual perspective, Div shines through, and Aaron adds perfectly to her story while telling one of his own.Also, the marginalized, intersectional representation in this book is wonderful, and comes in a variety of forms from various characters, both major and minor, throughout the story. On the note of the supporting cast, both Rebekah and Mira were wonderful, and so was Ryan.I think I can chalk at least part of the reason I’m not completely in love with this book to the fact that I’m not into gaming at all— but then again, I read books about characters doing things I don’t do or enjoy all the time, and I’ve loved plenty of them. I think it’s okay to say that sometimes, a book just isn’t your favorite, and that’s what happened for me here. I would absolutely still recommend it, because this will for sure be one of the biggest releases of January 2020, and I’ve already seen so many people excited about it. It’s a sweet, geeky romance, but maybe more importantly, Don’t Read The Comments says a whole lot about the Internet-infused world we live in, and I think this is super timely and important.If you love gaming, romance that isn’t the main plot, and teens standing up to the rude and cruel of the great wide web, this one is for you. It’s not to be missed.I’m a writer, literary intern, college student, and amateur podcaster. Here’s where else to find me.
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  • pagesofchapters
    January 1, 1970
    After finishing this book I had very mixed feelings. This was a very quick read for me and I really liked that it tackled topics such as racism and gender equality, and I think the concept of this book was very unique and interesting. I did however, find myself struggling to really get into the portions of this book that were told through the video game shown. While I do think this book was written well, there was something about it that made me struggle to stay interested in what was going on. After finishing this book I had very mixed feelings. This was a very quick read for me and I really liked that it tackled topics such as racism and gender equality, and I think the concept of this book was very unique and interesting. I did however, find myself struggling to really get into the portions of this book that were told through the video game shown. While I do think this book was written well, there was something about it that made me struggle to stay interested in what was going on. There were many sublots between the two characters we followed, and I felt as though they weren’t able to fully develop because there were so many of them going on at once.As for the characters, I did really enjoy them. I can’t say that I fell head over heels for them, but I did enjoy the different relationships we saw throughout this book, as well as the sweet and cute romance. I definitely think the romance was very sudden, but I will say that it was one of my favourite aspects of the book. Something that I liked in this book was that we got to see all the intersts each character was passionate about, and I did actually like the references about different fandoms. I could definitely read through the pages just how much fun the author had writing this book.Overall, this book was a solid 3 stars for me. I did enjoy my time reading it, but I didn’t fall in love with it.
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  • San
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come
  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    Please go out and read this book! Don't Read the Comments is a fantastic and timely YA contemporary that tackles sexism and racism in gaming, doxxing, online harassment and bullying, and toxic masculinity. These are such important and relevant issues, and I am so glad that this book is making its way into the world! Plus it's a really sweet story about friendship, first love, and standing up for what is right no matter the cost. Divya Sharma is a popular streaming gamer known publicly as D1V and Please go out and read this book! Don't Read the Comments is a fantastic and timely YA contemporary that tackles sexism and racism in gaming, doxxing, online harassment and bullying, and toxic masculinity. These are such important and relevant issues, and I am so glad that this book is making its way into the world! Plus it's a really sweet story about friendship, first love, and standing up for what is right no matter the cost. Divya Sharma is a popular streaming gamer known publicly as D1V and she uses the money from her sponsorships to help pay for rent and groceries while her mom goes to school. When she becomes the target of a vicious group threatening to dox her (release her personal information publicly), she must decide how to respond. Adam dreams of being a writer for RPG video games, but his immigrant parents are pushing him to become a doctor. He befriends D1V online while also dealing with the threat of racially driven mistreatment and being used by people he thought were his friends. I won't say too much more, but I loved the way this story unfolded. The relationship between Divya and Adam is just so precious, and the author does a great job of uncovering why these issues are so serious and the misogynistic stereotypes that assume women aren't "real" gamers and have no place in that world. This is one well worth picking up and contains a very satisfying conclusion. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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  • USOM
    January 1, 1970
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Don't Read the Comments is a story that even after finishing makes you want to immediately start again. Whether it be the YA book shout outs, our mutual love of enamel pins, or Divya's love for her mother, you will want to jump right back in. I read Don't Read the Comments in one sitting because not only are there moments of tenderness and hilarity, but it's emotionally gripping. (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) Don't Read the Comments is a story that even after finishing makes you want to immediately start again. Whether it be the YA book shout outs, our mutual love of enamel pins, or Divya's love for her mother, you will want to jump right back in. I read Don't Read the Comments in one sitting because not only are there moments of tenderness and hilarity, but it's emotionally gripping. Incredibly timely, Don't Read the Comments is a story that made my heart ache - how Divya is harassed by these trolls, the lengths they go out of fear and insecurity to make her feel unsafe and unwelcome. But at the same time, my heart ached in the best way as we see Divya's call to action, the community she has online, and her budding friendship with Aaron. Don't Read the Comments is an emotional roller coaster of the best variety.full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...
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  • The Nerd Daily
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Vinny MSWith a full blast of all-out geekiness, admirable online friendship, and fierce fights with internet trolls, Eric Smith’s upcoming contemporary, Don’t Read the Comments, is going to transfer you to the magnificent virtual universe of Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. The novel is led by Divya Sharma, also known as D1V online, one of the most popular streaming gamers in the community, and Aaron Jericho, an aspiring game Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Vinny MSWith a full blast of all-out geekiness, admirable online friendship, and fierce fights with internet trolls, Eric Smith’s upcoming contemporary, Don’t Read the Comments, is going to transfer you to the magnificent virtual universe of Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. The novel is led by Divya Sharma, also known as D1V online, one of the most popular streaming gamers in the community, and Aaron Jericho, an aspiring game developer and a writer who fell deep into the world of gaming but couldn’t fully pursue it due to his parents’ expectation for him to become a doctor. Prepare yourself for a fast-paced story full of action that will make your heart beats faster with every page passing by.For Divya, Reclaim the Sun is not just a game that will entertain her when days are slow. It’s her passion, obsession, but most importantly, it’s a side income that helps her and her mother to pay the piling bills, thanks to her irresponsible father that decided to leave. Earning a small amount of money in exchange for doing sponsorships on her popular channel, it’s the least she can do to help her mother who’s ready to give up her education and search for a second job instead. She simply can’t let that happen, though it means she has to face the stream of negative comments that she continuously gets.Meanwhile, all Aaron Jericho wants is to be able to write his own script for a game, if it’s not for his unsupportive parents, especially his mother who expect him to continue the family legacy by becoming a doctor just like her. He spends his spare time to work on his mother’s medical practice instead of working on a game’s plot which yet to be paid. Though his father is a bit more relaxed when it comes to Aaron’s love for the gaming world, he also has a little sister, Mira, who he very much loved.Told in alternating point-of-view, this is a story of Divya and Aaron in facing the worst side of online gaming community. When the threats are no longer exists online and start haunting them in real life, the two must work together in order to survive.My first impression of this book is its outstanding gaming-focused story. It was obvious that Smith is a huge fan of video games and poured his heart for developing this fast-paced yet heartfelt story. Centering around everything fun and geeky, Smith doesn’t forget to include heavier topics in this story, including racism, sexism, and online toxicity, making this story balanced perfectly. Don’t Read the Comments also features many great representations, starting from racially diverse characters to the case of female oppression when it comes to field that considered to be manly, including video games.Though I could see how gamers will have a blast reading this story, non-gamers (like myself) are more likely to have a great time too, thanks to Smith’s wonderful narrative in describing this online community with all its dramas and problems. The gaming plot was narrated fiercely and it felt as if I no longer read a contemporary anymore, as the sci-fi bits blended perfectly, creating a wholesome new experience in reading this modern tale.This story is very much a character-driven one as it featured deep connection and intimacy amongst its characters. And as for the plot, I couldn’t help but compare the universe of Reclaim the Sun in Don’t Read the Comments to Oasis in Ready Player One. While the two VR platforms feel familiar during earlier chapters, Smith’s crafted a universe that soon separate itself and grow to become something entirely unique.In conclusion, Don’t Read the Comments is a solid genre-bending story that doesn’t shy away from today’s ugly reality of online community.
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  • Aly
    January 1, 1970
    This was a quick, fun read! First of all, I love the title and the theme for the book. People can be so cruel, especially online where they're anonymous and reading the comments only serves to infuriate me. The message in this of just being yourself and try not to worry what other people think you should do or be is awesome. If you can surround yourself with good people, the haters won't win. The story was fun, I liked the relationship Divya and Aaron built. It was slow and sweet and felt real. This was a quick, fun read! First of all, I love the title and the theme for the book. People can be so cruel, especially online where they're anonymous and reading the comments only serves to infuriate me. The message in this of just being yourself and try not to worry what other people think you should do or be is awesome. If you can surround yourself with good people, the haters won't win. The story was fun, I liked the relationship Divya and Aaron built. It was slow and sweet and felt real. The trolls that bullied Divya and Rebekah made me so angry and it's worse because things like this happen all the time. Seeing people stand up for what's right and band together was great and inspires hope. I had a great time reading this and can't wait for everyone to see it!
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  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]
    January 1, 1970
    RTC—It was good, but Slay was better.
  • Elyse Alba
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely love this book and the message it sends out! D1V is a great main character strong fierce everything I love in a female lead. Beks made the story more down to earth and realistic. He story line was perfect for the story! I also loved how the author portrayed a women's struggle while still showing how awesome some guys can be. It was a perfect mix highly recommend!
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  • Brooklyn Tayla
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely adoredDon’t Read The Comments!It is an ode and celebration of geeky gaming culture and I loved every moment of it! I feel like there’s a lot to celebrate about this book!!Firstly, the characters are utterly amazing and just written so naturally!! They leapt off the page and their interactions just worked perfectly! I love how Divya knew she wasn’t going to back down after being faced with a brutal band of internet trolls, theVox Populi,who practically want to ruin her!It’s utterly I absolutely adoredDon’t Read The Comments!It is an ode and celebration of geeky gaming culture and I loved every moment of it! I feel like there’s a lot to celebrate about this book!!Firstly, the characters are utterly amazing and just written so naturally!! They leapt off the page and their interactions just worked perfectly! I love how Divya knew she wasn’t going to back down after being faced with a brutal band of internet trolls, the Vox Populi, who practically want to ruin her!It’s utterly despicable that online trolls exist in the internet realm, I feel like this book deals with them so well and it just made me so mad, how dare the Vox Populi try and tear Divya and Becca down, let alone the fact that they egg Divya’s Mother! It’s just so horrible what this ruthless band of trolls put Divya through, but I cannot tell you how happy it made me that not once did she even consider backing down! The fact that they also bring her best friend down too, it just infuriates her even more and has her determined to stand against them!! And Divya has a wonderful armada crew behind her too, so I love how she was never truly alone in her fight!Both Divya and Aaron are just such natural, relatable characters! Although Divya, known in the online realm as D1V, as one of the most popular stream gamers, gets all kinds of sponsorships from famous brands, it’s not at all hidden that she struggles to help her Mum pay for the rent, often selling off some of the fancy accessories she gets given to do so! See, Divya wants to help her Mother who has sacrificed a lot for her, yet she still can’t ignore she’d like to break free one day once she’s helped her mum enough to comfortably graduate from school! But of course, Divya has dreams of her own, honestly I just loved her character so much and I wanted her to do well!! Which she so clearly was! I loved it so much, reading about the moments when she logged on and went exploring through Reclaim the Sun, I mean I loved the intricate detail when this VR game was detailed! It’s a space exploration game where characters can build an avatar and explore the infinite galaxy and claim planets and when Divya slipped on her VR gear it felt like I was right there playing the game too! It was just so horrifying though when the Vox Populi try and tear her down and make it clear that they don’t want her playing games and that it’s people like them that ruin it all!It’s like, if anything, it’s the internet trolls like the Vox Populi that ruin online communities! Any corner of the internet, any community, should really be a safe place for anyone but it’s not often the case (sadly) and Eric Smith just does such a good job writing about how Divya takes a stand against these horrible people!I love the same significance and simplicity of the title, too. It’s right there at the start of the book, clear as crystal! Don’t Read The Comments is exactly what it alludes to – not reading the nasty and malicious comments as they’re posted on social media, in any form! It’s told to Divya by her Mother, who of course is naturally concerned about the malicious and hurtful comments that her daughter is faced with. I loved the tenderness of their relationship, the fierce protectiveness between Mother and Daughter, which then just brings me to Divya’s fierce determination to shut those trolls down!!I loved the dynamic that Divya had with her best friend Rebekah, how protective she is of her too! Given how much Rebekah has been brutalized by those trolls, it’s just horrible what those horrible people put her through!! I loved Rebekah and Divya’s shared passion and enthusiasm for gaming, it just made me so happy and again, I just couldn’t help but get caught up in their enthusiasm too! In turn, I couldn’t help but share Divya’s feelings throughout the book, her feeling of just letting the days struggles drift away as she explored the galaxy in Reclaim The Sun, sharing her smiles and feelings as she connected with Aaron more, and of course that fierce determination when she was adamant that those trolls would not shut her down!Honestly, this book is just such an eye opener! It’s written so brilliantly and it’s just such an addictive book and really makes you think about the internet but it will definitely get you celebrating everything there is to love about embracing your inner geek and what’s more, standing up for yourself!! Wholly memorable and altogether amazing!! An absolute must read!!More of my book reviews can be found on my blog - brooklynthebookworm.wordpress.com
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I've been playing video games for as long as I can remember, so I wholeheartedly support any books with gamers or gaming as a focus.Divya is a well-known streamer on Glitch—and of course, being a girl (especially of colour) online comes with misogynistic, racist (mostly) male assholes hiding behind faceless avatars and untraceable accounts. I really loved the exploration of that part of the gaming An ARC was provided to me for free by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I've been playing video games for as long as I can remember, so I wholeheartedly support any books with gamers or gaming as a focus.Divya is a well-known streamer on Glitch—and of course, being a girl (especially of colour) online comes with misogynistic, racist (mostly) male assholes hiding behind faceless avatars and untraceable accounts. I really loved the exploration of that part of the gaming world—of girls who don't feel safe in a gaming space, or who try building a safe space for themselves online. I absolutely loved Divya's friendship with Rebekah, who helps Divya with her streams.Divya and Aaron were great opposites: she's streaming and getting sponsorships because she can sell the free items and use the money to pay for rent and let her mom finish her degree, while Aaron wants to write video games instead of fulfilling his mom's dream of becoming a doctor. They stood independently as characters and their individual storylines developed separately, before Divya and Aaron finally meet online and become friends. It was interesting seeing their friendship grow online vs. in person. I think this book's strength was in the relationships. Aaron and Divya have messy but believable issues with their respective families. I appreciated Divya and Rebekah's friendship, and really liked how Rebekah's own issues with anonymity were handled in light of a traumatic event she previously experienced. I also liked Aaron's friendship with Ryan and other members of a budding video game developer, and how they struggle to make it big but have to also draw boundaries to avoid being exploited.This book is also easy to get into even if you don't play or care for video games. The descriptions of the game are straightforward, so don't let that deter you from checking out this book!Blog | Twitter
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  • Paula Phillips
    January 1, 1970
    When I saw this book title on my Kindle Paperwhite, I figured it had something to do with Social media hence the word 'comments' in the title but wasn't 100% sure of what the book was about since I get hundreds and thousands of books to read and review. In Don't Read the Comments we delved into the world of two gamers - one a female gamer who has her own Glitch channel stream and lives for the sponsorship to help pay bills and survive as she comes from a single mother household and her mum is When I saw this book title on my Kindle Paperwhite, I figured it had something to do with Social media hence the word 'comments' in the title but wasn't 100% sure of what the book was about since I get hundreds and thousands of books to read and review. In Don't Read the Comments we delved into the world of two gamers - one a female gamer who has her own Glitch channel stream and lives for the sponsorship to help pay bills and survive as she comes from a single mother household and her mum is also studying and working at the same time and a male gamer who games for fun but his dream is creating scripts for a game but his parent's don't seem to understand and want him to become a doctor. Our female gamer DiV aka Divya Sharma is becoming more and more popular but now she is being doxxed by a gaming community called Vox Populi who are calling her a fake and want her to stay away from the gaming world and as a female she has always been careful of her privacy but now they have crossed the line coming after not only her IRL but her mother. One day whilst gaming she comes across Aaron and the pair start talking and become fast-friends, when Aaron sees this happening to her he wants to save her and protect her. What will happen though when his being friendly with her compromises his future with ManaPunk - a company he has been writing game story for? Will he let his integrity be compromised for a future career or will he stand by his friend Divya and help her to become a face for female gamers all around. I really liked this title too as it is something when you are famous on social media whether it be for gaming or writing a book, something that is always emphasized is "DON'T READ THE COMMENTS" as this can become one's downfall as it starts to mess with your mind and affecting your own self-confidence, etc. This was a great read as it does explore the issue of female gamers and doxxing which has been an issue the past five years especially since gaming was once viewed as a "Man's World" and some people are still stuck in that belief that women should not be part of the STEM world.
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  • grieshaber.reads
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 4.5. Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC! I’d like to think I’m pretty down with the young people of today (even though I realize that sentence proves quite the opposite, lol). I’ve been teaching teens for over 27 years and I’m a mom of a twenty-two and a nineteen-year-old. I try hard to remember what it was like to be young (reading YA helps quite a bit in that department) and I’m good at viewing circumstances through the lens of a teen. But there’s one thing I just don’t get and I Actual rating: 4.5. Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC! I’d like to think I’m pretty down with the young people of today (even though I realize that sentence proves quite the opposite, lol). I’ve been teaching teens for over 27 years and I’m a mom of a twenty-two and a nineteen-year-old. I try hard to remember what it was like to be young (reading YA helps quite a bit in that department) and I’m good at viewing circumstances through the lens of a teen. But there’s one thing I just don’t get and I know I’m not alone in this. How is it entertaining to watch other people play video games??? What’s with these kids today watching YouTube for hours on end, just viewing their favorite gamers narrate while they play?? How is that fun? Wouldn’t you just rather play the game yourself? We Gen Xers just don’t get it. Well, after reading Don’t Read the Comments, I actually get it. You will never hear me ask those questions again. After reading Slay by Brittany Morris last year, I predicted we would start seeing more and better and better books written around the plot of gaming and here is Eric Smith DELIVERING. Don’t Read the Comments is freaking awesome and I can’t wait to put it in the hands of all kinds of teens (some adults, too)! Please read the rest of my review on the LibrariansLitBooks blog! https://www.librarianslitbooks.com/si...
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  • Alana Bloom
    January 1, 1970
    I’m not even sure how to write a review that will properly do this fabulous book justice! I picked it up, knowing I had a blog tour review to write in the near future and expected to read a chapter here and a chapter there but as soon as I started reading I didn’t want to stop! To be honest, Young Adult books can be hit or miss with me, particularly the characters, but I absolutely adored Divya and Aaron. Smith managed to construct separate stories for each and subtly weaving Aaron’s presence I’m not even sure how to write a review that will properly do this fabulous book justice! I picked it up, knowing I had a blog tour review to write in the near future and expected to read a chapter here and a chapter there but as soon as I started reading I didn’t want to stop! To be honest, Young Adult books can be hit or miss with me, particularly the characters, but I absolutely adored Divya and Aaron. Smith managed to construct separate stories for each and subtly weaving Aaron’s presence into the background of Divya’s story rather than making him a staple. I loved that she had a chance to shine. It's not often when I get to read a book that apologetically celebrates all things geeky, nerdy, and game-y and this was perfect. The Mass Effect and Dragon Age references brought me so much joy.Most important, however, is the topics Smith chose to explore through Divya’s story in particular. Being a gamer as a female can be frightening and even more so if you are a streamer like Divya is. Trolling and doxing received a lot of attention a few years back but it is still too relevant today. This was such a delight to read and I’m eager to pass it on to some of my reader pals to see what they think! Reading this also made me desperately wish I had time to play games again… maybe in a few years!**I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    Divya, a popular streaming gamer, and Aaron, a video game writer, accidentally meet on an uncharted planet...while playing Reclaim the Sun. A friendship began to grow between them, but as Divya battled online harassment, doxing, and real-life assaults, she began to rethink her life online.This was not the first book I have read, that tackled issues surrounding online gaming, but I do feel like it was one of the more immersive experiences for me. I would be hard pressed to learn that Eric Smith Divya, a popular streaming gamer, and Aaron, a video game writer, accidentally meet on an uncharted planet...while playing Reclaim the Sun. A friendship began to grow between them, but as Divya battled online harassment, doxing, and real-life assaults, she began to rethink her life online.This was not the first book I have read, that tackled issues surrounding online gaming, but I do feel like it was one of the more immersive experiences for me. I would be hard pressed to learn that Eric Smith was not a gaming enthusiast, because the passages, where I was in-game, had that world springing from the page. Those pieces were so descriptive and dynamic, and they captivated even a game-dabbler, such as myself.Though there was a lot of focus on the ills of life online, I liked that Smith highlighted some of the positive parts too. The sexual harassment, racism, and classism associated with the gaming world is well known, and an unfortunate part of it all, but when you can find your people, it can make a world of difference. There were several A+ moments, where we saw Divya's Angst Armada go to bat for her, both online and in real life. I loved how those virtual alliances were able to manifest off-line. Rebekah was another fantastic online friend, who became a very important person in Divya's world. She was not only her streaming partner, she was her best friend, and they offered a great deal of support to each other, as well as other girl gamers.My favorite relationship Divya made online was with Aaron. Aaron's family wanted him to become a doctor and take over the family business, but he aspired to write video games. His storyline gave a peek into what it takes to develop an online game, which I found really interesting, but honestly, I just simply adored him. Aaron was so sweet and kind. He was the exact opposite of the toxic males, who were making Divya's life miserable. I loved that Smith wrote him to be sensitive. He loved his little sister and had a healthy relationship with his parents (who were wonderful). He had discussions about his feelings and would even hug it out when necessary. And, his interactions with Divya were pretty special and smile inducing. They were fabulous together, and I was shipping them hard.Overall: A fun, yet honest, look at the world of online gaming, featuring family, friendship, and a little bit of romance.*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Celia McMahon
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to review this title in exchange for an honest review. Well, folks, I found gold in the sea of garbage. Ok, that's harsh, but I have been reading some subpar novels lately and this one came at a good time. I've come to realize how much of a sucker I am for any sort of boo, involving video games. Ready Player and Otherworld are up there with my top favorite books ever so I guess that says a lot. On one side of the tracks we have Div, a popular streamer from Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to review this title in exchange for an honest review. Well, folks, I found gold in the sea of garbage. Ok, that's harsh, but I have been reading some subpar novels lately and this one came at a good time. I've come to realize how much of a sucker I am for any sort of boo, involving video games. Ready Player and Otherworld are up there with my top favorite books ever so I guess that says a lot. On one side of the tracks we have Div, a popular streamer from a struggling family and on the other side we have Aaron, a budding writer for an indie game developer. For Div, her streaming Reclaim the Sun pays the bills, and for Aaron, it causes a rift between him and his mother, who wants him to become a doctor like herself. When Div suddenly becomes the focus of an online bullying group, she realizes that being a girl and being a non-white in the gaming world as well as the internet can be dangerous. Aaron meets Div by chance while gaming and they become fast friends, but for Aaron, aligning himself with the controversial streamer may cause his own dreams to suffer. It all comes down a boiling point during a gaming convention and nobody is backing down without a fight. First things first. Eric Smith. He's my dream agent. I'd sell my left foot to even get him to read a partial of my manuscripts. That being said, I scooped this title right up when it became available on NetGalley expecting nothing but perfection. Now, this isn't a ploy to get him to message me and be all smitten over my review because let's be real. He appreciates reviews but doesn't go scouting for talent on Goodreads ha. Smith writes the female perspective perfectly. He shows what it's like for a female in the gaming world; a female anywhere on the internet or in the real world, honestly. All of his characters are relatable and I found myself so invested that I read this book in one sitting. This was a fun book carrying heavy topics like bullying and the pains of being a teenager which, we can all agree, is a struggle in itself. Sprinkle in some female empowerment and feminism and we have gold. Read this book is you like:Gaming culture (it's the best)Strong friendshipsLight romance
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Ohh my gosh, my little gamer heart adored Don't Read the Comments by Eric Smith It was delightfully geeky, diverse and progressive, and I had so much fun reading it! Full review to come (after some gaming) ^.^ ***I received an ARC from Netgalley and Harlequin TEEN (US & Canada), in exchange for an honest review.*** Ohh my gosh, my little gamer heart adored Don't Read the Comments by Eric Smith💙 It was delightfully geeky, diverse and progressive, and I had so much fun reading it! Full review to come (after some gaming) ^.^ ***I received an ARC from Netgalley and Harlequin TEEN (US & Canada), in exchange for an honest review.***
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  • Mary H
    January 1, 1970
    GIVE ME THIS NOW.
  • Thamy
    January 1, 1970
    Divya has the motto of not reading the comments for the lives she does for a new game. While her popularity grows, so do the haters, but she needs to keep going to help her mother with the house. That's when she meets Aaron, who just plays the game for fun but want to be a game developer one day even though his parents oppose it. Divya prefers to keep the internet world separate from her real life, especially now she's under the attack of cyberbullies, but it's Aaron, her internet friend, who'll Divya has the motto of not reading the comments for the lives she does for a new game. While her popularity grows, so do the haters, but she needs to keep going to help her mother with the house. That's when she meets Aaron, who just plays the game for fun but want to be a game developer one day even though his parents oppose it. Divya prefers to keep the internet world separate from her real life, especially now she's under the attack of cyberbullies, but it's Aaron, her internet friend, who'll prove to be one of her biggest allies.This is one of those books I didn't notice it was written by a guy, save for very few moments. His portrayal of Divya was very good. And I think the whole gaming + streaming world also sounded verisimilar. At the same time, it should be relatable enough to those who aren't into streamers, at least it was for me. Because Divya is into keeping her privacy, she's not some famous internet celebrity and she gets to lead a normal life—as normal as her parents' divorce allows it. At the same time, there may have been some intense describing of the world of the fictional game they play that felt way too long and not that necessary; that I don't dig much but it's not bad and I'm sure lots of readers do.Be aware, romance isn't the main thing here. We have some and the interactions between the two main characters are cute but they also take time to happen.I'd say there were many great things about this book. First was diversity without the author putting it there, they're just diverse and that's how it is. Also, as I said the two are really cute together and also very different, round characters. The side characters were also well built to a point I was searching to find out if Aaron's friend's story came from a previous book so much it seemed like he had a whole other life we didn't know of (in a good way and not in a plot hole way). Last, the cyberbullying on Divya was super scary. I wasn't comfortable with their reason to do it, it sounded too much for too little, but aside from that, the writer knew how to build it all up to a point I confess I had a nightmare with it. It's not very easy for a book to get to me and this did.This is a book for those who like romance but don't want it as the priority of the story.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Divya and Aaron are two teenagers who make a connection through the world of gaming. Divya: Since her father left them, Divya and her mother struggle to make ends meet. Her online personality D1v is famous in the gaming industry. She showcases her gaming skills on a streaming site playing the hottest virtual reality game of the year Reclaim the Sun. With the money that she garners from sponsors she is able to help her mom out. Although she has many fans she has learned that social media can be a Divya and Aaron are two teenagers who make a connection through the world of gaming. Divya: Since her father left them, Divya and her mother struggle to make ends meet. Her online personality D1v is famous in the gaming industry. She showcases her gaming skills on a streaming site playing the hottest virtual reality game of the year Reclaim the Sun. With the money that she garners from sponsors she is able to help her mom out. Although she has many fans she has learned that social media can be a dangerous place full of trolls and cyber-bullies. She is careful to maintain her privacy and lives by the credo "Don't read the comments". Aaron: is an aspiring game developer. His parents runs a medical practice and assume that one day he will become a doctor and take over the family business. Since they don't support his plans for the future he sneaks around finding discarded parts to build his "Franken-computer". Don't Read the Comments is a cute YA novel that deals with many relevant topics for today's world. Racism, sexism, inclusivity, doxxing and cyber-bullying are all handled with care. The characters are endearing, their troubles relatable, and the world of Reclaim the Sun was so fleshed out that it read like an actual game. I had fun reading this one and would definitely recommend it.Special thanks to NetGalley, Harlequin Teen and Eric Smith for early access to this book.
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  • amanda
    January 1, 1970
    4.5This was a sweet and surprising read, a modern take on gaming and the troll community surrounding it.Divya is a top streamer on Glitch and works hard on it not for the fame and glory but to support herself and her mother after her parents rocky divorce. Diyva is of Indian descent and a girl gamer so naturally that makes her the perfect target for trolls on the internet who feel that she doesn’t deserve her success and are out to make both her online and real life hell.Aaron lives in 4.5This was a sweet and surprising read, a modern take on gaming and the troll community surrounding it.Divya is a top streamer on Glitch and works hard on it not for the fame and glory but to support herself and her mother after her parents rocky divorce. Diyva is of Indian descent and a girl gamer so naturally that makes her the perfect target for trolls on the internet who feel that she doesn’t deserve her success and are out to make both her online and real life hell.Aaron lives in Philadelphia with his parents and younger sister and longs to write for games but his parents wish for him to become a doctor and will only pay for college if he chooses to follow in their footsteps.Divya and Aaron’s paths collide on the online game Reclaim the Sun and they battle both anon hate and lurking monsters via oculus.Absolutely loved this book. It was nerdy, funny, and could definitely relate to it in all kinds of ways. I’m not a streamer and my blog isn’t big enough to get hate comments but uh, I am pretty sassy on twitter and have been suspended once , twice, perhaps five times for bickering with the trolls so I get it. It’s never gotten to the point where I’ve been doxxed thank god but we all know about that and how crazy and hateful people can be.Especially towards women and women of color. I really loved how this book remarked on that because it is true that women have it so much worse than men for no reason at all. The dynamics of the characters were great and there were a lot of laughs in this as well. I throughly enjoyed myself.Thanks very much to Netgalley and the publisher for this copy of my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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  • Julia Ember
    January 1, 1970
    I think this is my favorite of Eric Smith’s books. It is unabashedly nerdy, and a love letter to games, gaming culture, writing, online romances and friendships ... while at the same time never shying away from the true to life toxic underbelly of the mmo world. The romance in this book is super cute, and unfolds mostly in a series of gaming sessions and app messages. Divya is a pro gamer with a huge following (go Angst Armada!), and Aaron is a casual player with aspirations of writing RPGs. The I think this is my favorite of Eric Smith’s books. It is unabashedly nerdy, and a love letter to games, gaming culture, writing, online romances and friendships ... while at the same time never shying away from the true to life toxic underbelly of the mmo world. The romance in this book is super cute, and unfolds mostly in a series of gaming sessions and app messages. Divya is a pro gamer with a huge following (go Angst Armada!), and Aaron is a casual player with aspirations of writing RPGs. The game within the book, Reclaim the Sun, is also described in detail. I enjoyed learning about this boundless world. I wanted to name planets after my cats!
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  • Joanna Bennett
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing for asking me to be a part of this tour! eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.I was really excited to be approved for this title because I am a gamer and thought the premise sounded awesome. There were some good topics discussed in this book and although I can’t talk about the racial issues, I can talk about being a female gamer.I have been a gamer since my family got a super Nintendo back in the day. Since World of Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing for asking me to be a part of this tour! eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.I was really excited to be approved for this title because I am a gamer and thought the premise sounded awesome. There were some good topics discussed in this book and although I can’t talk about the racial issues, I can talk about being a female gamer.I have been a gamer since my family got a super Nintendo back in the day. Since World of Warcraft came out, I have been a MMO gamer and have tried many different ones throughout the years. It was cool to see them mention a few and even older ones like Ultima. I have also played Call of Duty and I think that is where I have ran into the most trolls when it comes to me being a female.I definitely could relate to Divya because of the way other gamers called her names. I have been called numerous ones just for being a girl. Divya always talked about not reading the comments and although its easy to do for the most part, it’s different when you can hear them say it like on Call of Duty. As for MMO gaming, I really haven’t ran into many issues because of my gender since they don’t know who is behind the screen unless I get into a chat like Discord. Of course, you will get the infamous troll that says, “girls don’t play videogames!” but it’s easy to ignore.Divya stuck up for herself throughout the book and had friends and fellow gamers stand by her side. The gaming community can be a great community but just like any other, you will always have trolls. I liked this book’s take on it all and I thought it was done nicely.As for the other characters, there wasn’t too much development for Divya’s and Aaron’s friends but I still thought they were good characters. Aaron isn’t a big gamer but is there to support Divya. He does face racism and I thought it was a good topic to include.Another thing I liked about this book was the mention of bookstagram. I have one and the community is a great place to make friends and since this book mentions it maybe others will want to know what it is and take part in it!Overall, I enjoyed this one and glad I got the chance to read a book about a topic that I am familiar with.
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  • The Rebel Scribe
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and to Inkyard Press for sending me an e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review! Divya is pretty famous on the Glitch streaming service for playing the new planet exploration game Reclaim The Sun as D1V. For Divya, streaming isn't just for fun, it's her livelihood and it's how she helps her mom pay rent every month. Aaron is an aspiring video game writer with a Frankenstein's monster of a computer whose parents are betting on him to take over the family business Thanks to NetGalley and to Inkyard Press for sending me an e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review! Divya is pretty famous on the Glitch streaming service for playing the new planet exploration game Reclaim The Sun as D1V. For Divya, streaming isn't just for fun, it's her livelihood and it's how she helps her mom pay rent every month. Aaron is an aspiring video game writer with a Frankenstein's monster of a computer whose parents are betting on him to take over the family business which includes him going to med school.After D1V is attacked in Reclaim The Sun by a group of trolls that call themselves Vox Populi, the Popular Opinion in Latin, she loses all of her progress and is forced to start over. While trying to grind up some resources she crosses paths with Aaron who is a bit star struck after meeting one of his favorite streamers. The two strike up a friendship while everything else seems to fall apart.This is a very important book for women and people of color, anyone who has anything to do with social media or the gaming community. It shines a harsh light on the reality of the scores of women who play video games. It shows the online harassment that could easily transition into real-life aggression, the dangers of having any presence on social media as a woman or a person of color.Just as it shows how horrible people can be under the veil of anonymity, it also shows how great people can be as well. Even with all the darkness, it's a beacon of hope.As a female gamer, this book really resonated with me. I loved all the references, I felt like I was understood. I'm not exactly in the age bracket that Divya is, but I was once upon a time when it was almost as bad to be a female gamer. I also went to school for game design so I understand Aaron's experience with an indie developer since I've had something similar happen to me. This book even made me want to go buy No Man's Sky since that's what Reclaim The Sun feels like it's inspired by.That said. I loved it. Five stars.
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