4 to 16 Characters by Kelly Hourihan
Publication date: November 6th 2013
Publisher: Lemon Sherbet Press
Number of pages: 371
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.
Fifteen-year-old Jane Shilling’s best friends don’t know her real name. In fact, they don’t know anything about her at all. Jane’s life has collapsed in the last few years; following the death of her mother, her father turned to drinking, and Jane is reeling from the double blow. To escape, Jane devises a number of online personas, each with a distinct personality, life history, and set of friends. But things become trickier when she finds herself drawing close to some of her online friends, and winds up struggling with the question of how to maintain a real friendship while masquerading as a fake person. With the help of Gary, a socially awkward classmate and competitive Skeeball player who is Jane’s only offline friend, and Nora, her therapist, Jane begins to sift through her issues. The only catch is that that involves taking a long, hard look at what her life’s like when the computer is shut off, and that’s a reality she’s been fighting for years.
I think that the general consensus of 4 to 16 Characters from people I’ve spoken to or reviews I’ve read that it was ok. Kind of in the ok to sort of didn’t like kind of range.
But for me it was just in the ok range.
In fact I liked some parts.
One of the things I liked was the main character, Jane. It’s so great that an author has finally written a book about a character who isn’t overwhelmingly strong and that aspect makes it more realistic. Although it got a little annoying at times.
What attracted me to the book was what the synopsis suggested, that the story would be about a girl with multiple different online personalities. And it was, but just a little. I would really have liked the book to be more focused on that.
I really liked the ending. It was cute and I’m pretty sure it brought up my rating.
One other thing that annoyed me was Gary. He makes fun of Jane for being online all the time but he always seemed to answer whenever Jane asked him something. Meaning he would have been online. In other words, he was a total hypocrite. But other than that, I didn’t actually mind him.
That’s pretty much all I can remember because I wrote the first edition of this review a week or two ago and it was never posted because something went wrong and therefore I lost it. So that was my review of 4 to 16 Characters 2.0.
Minor indent. Could have been a bigger hit.