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Book Review: Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous by Suzanne Park

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Author: Suzanne Park

Sub-genre: Contemporary

I think you probably all well know by now, but if not, just a reminder that Suzanne was my Pitch Wars mentor and therefore I love her and would never say anything bad about her books, but also she’s ridiculously funny and talented and so I would never have anything bad to say about her books :o)

SSWNBF is about a teenage influencer who has gone viral twice, once when she was a little kid, and once as a teenager–in an unfortunate incident involving a live stream and a sports bra. When her super fancy private school threatens to kick her out thanks to her internet fame, her parents decide to send her to a detox camp on a farm in Iowa for the summer. Of course, right as she is about to be sent off to the land of no wifi and so many chickens, she gets the opportunity of a lifetime–one that requires her to both film and post a video online. Sunny is pretty unimpressed with the camp overall, both the location and most of her fellow campers, though she is definitely intrigued by the cute son of the owners. She is pretty convinced that she doesn’t need to detox and that her life is much better with her phone as her constant companion, but once she actually gives the experience a chance, she learns she might not want to be as plugged in as she originally thought.

So first and foremost, as with any book written by Suzanne, this book is hilarious. I laughed loudly and often. But what really stood out for me was a) the idea of a digital detox camp (I think I might need to go to one) and b) how our teens are being affected by our online world. Obviously I’m coming at this from the perspective of a parent, not a teen, but I found the whole idea pretty fascinating. As someone who has been sharing my personal stories online and on social media for the past ten years, this is a subject I’ve thought a lot about–how much of my kid do I share? How much do I expose him to? How will this generation of kids–kids who have had their every move documented and posted–handle *everything* when they grow up? Honestly, I was fascinated by the whole thing.

Of course underneath those existential (and important) questions is a teenage girl struggling to find herself and the super cute boy who helps her along the way. I loved these characters, I loved the setting, I loved the questions raised by reading the book, and I loved that I, as an “adult”, walked away from reading wanting to spend a little less time with a screen in my face. It’s basically perfect.

Overall Rating: 5 stars

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