Through a graphic medium, a 16-year-old girl recounts her experience with cyberbullying.
In seventh grade, 12-year-old blonde-haired Lexi receives her first smartphone. Initially, she is elated, but after a fight with twin girls following a volleyball game, her life soon descends into agony when they start cyberbullying her. Lexi explains how on Post Ghost (a fictional, anonymous social media gossip site) the twins would barrage her with insults about her appearance and threaten to beat up anyone who spoke to her; even their mother participated in the abuse. With a clear and concise voice, Lexi explains her feelings of isolation and hurt, although she manages to keep her readers buoyed with reminders of perseverance. Darker themes, such as eating disorders and suicidality, are hinted at but are breezily bypassed. While this volume has full-color photorealistic illustrations, the art is unfortunately disjointed. Every character is depicted as thin and athletic; there is little variance in height or weight. Certain close-ups of junior-high–aged Lexi look alarmingly adult, and oddly scattered manga-inspired renderings insert unnecessary levity to a serious subject. Cavils aside, this first in a series of teen-authored graphic nonfiction tackles timely issues and should interest a wide audience from tweens to reluctant teen readers. Lexi and most of the other characters are white and seemingly middle-class, with scant diversity throughout.
Not a deep dive but a starting point for difficult conversations. (Graphic memoir. 10-14)