A fresh take on a tired high school trope.
Living in a technologically advanced near-future Brooklyn, 17-year-old Kyla Cheng, better known as Kyle, has it all: top grades, popularity, three fabulous best friends, and the attention of Mackenzie Rodriguez. But in one click, she risks losing everything when a video of her and her English teacher having sex surfaces. Even though Kyle knows the video is fake, no one else seems to believe her. As the views reach astronomical heights and Kyle ascends to internet infamy, her only option is to figure out how to take down the video—with or without the help of her friends. A key player in this mystery is the pervasive nature of technology and social media, which has boomed to encompass all aspects of life in the future. Wang brilliantly balances the complexity of lives lived online, teenage relationships and insecurities, and the double standard of slut shaming. In this world, and reflecting demographic projections, most people are multiracial, a fact which is sometimes strangely emphasized. A classmate who has two white parents is mockingly styled “Aryan Audra”; Kyle herself is half Chinese, half French.
A thought-provoking, entertaining read, Wang’s debut illustrates a future that is easily conceivable. (Science fiction. 14-18)