A lonely high school student finds solace through social media.
At the school year’s start, introverted white sophomore Vicky Decker finds herself struggling to manage what her mother calls her “absurd shyness” and “self-consciousness” because her sole confidante has moved away. Beyond shy and convinced she’s socially inept, Vicky is nearly agoraphobic, so afraid of calling attention to herself and being laughed at that she routinely retreats to the privacy of a bathroom stall to eat her lunch. When an unfortunate butt-dial sparks radio silence between besties, leaving Vicky utterly friendless, Vicky employs her savvy with digital media to craft the persona of the confident, socially adventurous person she’d like to be. Dressing her virtual alter ego in a wild wig and zany outfits that mask her identity, Vicky Photoshops pictures of herself into various public settings and posts these images on her new Instagram page—“Vicurious”—with the all-important “#alone.” Vicky soon learns she is anything but, and, as her page starts to draw legions of followers, Vicurious begins to reach out to comfort those who feel similarly “invisible and ignored.” In this engagingly plot-driven crusade of kindness, Roat turns the voyeuristic isolation of social media on its ear to launch a community-building campaign that accommodates her message of kindness and acceptance without being corny.
Just like the protagonist’s virtual foil, this should have wide appeal to the Gen-Z crowd. (Fiction. 12-18)