Book Review: Internet Famous by Danika Stone

Summary: High school senior and internet sensation Madison Nakama seems to have it all: a happy family, good grades, and a massive online following for her pop-culture blog. But when her mother suddenly abandons the family, Madi finds herself struggling to keep up with all of her commitments.

Fandom to the rescue! As her online fans band together to help, an online/offline flirtation sparks with Laurent, a French exchange student. Their internet romance—played out in the comments section of her MadLibs blog—attracts the attention of an internet troll who threatens the separation of Madi’s real and online personas. With her carefully constructed life unraveling, Madi must uncover the hacker’s identity before he can do any more damage, or risk losing the people she loves the most… Laurent included.

Release Date: June 2017
Age Group: YA
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Maryn

  1. This book was NOTHING like I expected it to be. I had really low expectations for two main reasons: I thought it was a comic book.
  2. I saw the two phones on the front of the book & I thought it was a bit cheesy because I am not a social media addict. Yes, I'll admit that I made the mistake of judging a book by its cover. 

Usually, I'm irritated by characters who are absorbed in technology and the Internet, but the more I got to know Madi Nakama, the more I was able to understand her. What I liked most about her is how she cared for her sister with autism. I have two brothers with autism, and her relationship with her sister made me so happy!

Since the book is all about the Internet, it's full of text messages and tweets. I felt that this really added to the story and made Madi a believable & relatable teenage character. Specific themes of this story that I thought were important were internet harassment and the struggles of internet trolls (specifically on Madi's blog). All teens know what an internet troll is and at some point have had one say something mean for no good reason.  Twitter is The. Worst. There is the least amount of accountability and people will say the meanest things!

If you don't know your 80's movies this might not be the book for you, only because so many of them are discussed on the blog throughout the story. I loved it and got all the references because my dad has raised me right! 

Everything about this book was so so cute and funny. This book left me feeling happy. I think that anyone looking for a quick read would love it as much as I did. I also think that teens struggling with social media bullying should read it. And speaking of social media...

*** I just started an Instagram for >> I'd So Rather Be Reading << and need some more friends! Don't expect anything more than pretty book pictures :) *** 

Hurricane Harvey Updates & Book Donations

I'd So Rather Be Reading has been on standby for the last 4 weeks. Many of our readers might not know that we are located in Southeast Texas and were just ravished by Hurricane Harvey. I would like to thank those that sent sweet emails of concern and were so understanding of all the postponed reviews and cancellations that I had to make.

I host this blog from Vidor, Texas, a tiny Texas town two hours South of Houston. When Hurricane Harvey was flooding Houston we were so worried for all our Houstonians. But what we didn't know was that just 48 hours later there would be massive flooding all along the Gulf Coast. Our town was one of the many that sunk.

To put it into perspective, Houston is a massive city and received about 52 inches of water.  We are a town of 14,000 with one main highway, we also received 52 inches of water and massive flooding. There are a lot of towns/cities with similar stories and I deeply feel for every single person affected by this storm. Every story is unique and special. We wish all affected by natural disasters around the globe love, hope and recovery. May each of you receive what you stand in need of and then a little more.

This is our story & update to our readers. 

Me (Nat) & Maryn did not flood. Here is a little nugget of information, we are neighbors!

We are lucky in that very few streets did not overflow into homes but we have a retention ditch nearby and it saved us by literal inches! I was a floating island for 36 hours and I dared anyone to drive by and cause a wake! At one point I had fish swimming around my mailbox! Cool and a little freaky all at the same time. My family & I have been on a recovery crew since the storm and I cry once a day, it's so overwhelming but so rewarding to serve my community. This was yesterday's house pre-muck*.

This home received an estimated 15 ft of water.
Ms. Leger had the water rise to her sandbags but she did not flood!
She was stranded and without power for 7 days until she was rescued by The Diesel Brothers! That is a story for another day when she has a chance to catch her breathe. I'm told her grandson's were very upset they missed out on the experience as they are huge fans. :)

Her school (and Macy Kate's) was not so lucky. The school flooded and lost its entire library and Ms. Leger lost her classroom. Her classroom has been adopted and her supplies replaced but not her books. Here is a picture I took after we "muck'ed" her classroom. The mask can't begin to convey the smell of that water logged school.

Macy Kate 
Gosh. Macy Kate has had it the worst. Her neighborhood was a total loss, I estimate 240 homes in her community alone. She went through a water rescue, the loss of her home and then the sad reality of not being able to go home. Initially I was just going to write an update but after talking with her mom I decided a vlog told by her would be best.

I had over 25 video clips while making this vlog. Before we started Macy told me she didn't want to cry on video. I told her I understood and that if she did, we just wouldn't use that footage. Macy is a lot like me, we don't like to cry.

When I started asking questions Macy had a lot to say within the privacy of her battered home. It was really emotional for the both of us and we did cry a little. The mom in me just couldn't hold it in. Ultimately I handed her the camera and opened my sun roof and just let her talk and record as we toured her neighborhood. She just talked and talked and talked through that footage. I think it was just cathartic for her, no pressure and no audience. The comment in the video that really struck a chord with me was this,
"All my friends are really talkative like me and even me I'm counting, we're just not that talkative anymore. We're really quiet now and everything, we just got hit so hard and everything... kind of put our life to a halt. We have to roll with the punches I guess."
She is in good spirits and her family is resilient! She is back in school and her family is actually living with mine until her home is rebuilt! It is a party 'errday and Macy Kate & her siblings have fit right into the mob squad! Her mom is actually worried that they will not want to leave. That's how I like my house, the vortex of fun.


If you would like to donate books to Macy Kate you can mail them to the address below:

I'd So Rather Be Reading
c/o Macy Kate
 5950 Portie Rd
Vidor, TX 77662

If you would like to donate books to Ms. Leger's classroom library here is the information for her scholastic account and a quick list of books that she feels will be sorely missed. You can also mail them to the address above and I will deliver them to her.

Scholastic Book Club >>Click Here<<

Ms. Leger's class code: HWQ6M

If you don't have an account, click on the PARENTS "Get Started" tab shown below to set up an account.

All books ordered through Scholastic will be delivered directly to her temporary classroom.

Quick Wish List:
  • For the Classroom
    • How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg
    • How They Choked: Failures, Flops, and Flaws of the Awfully Famous by Georgia Bragg
  • Standalone:
    • Wonder by RJ Palacio
    • Crenshaw by Catherine Applegate
    • Wish by Barbara O'Connor
    • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  • Series
    • Goosebumps by RL Stine
    • Captain Underpants by Dave Pilkey
    • The Nocturnals by Tracey Hecht
    • I Survived by Lauren Tarshis
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
    • Ravens Pass by Steve Brezenoff
    • Shadow Children by Margaret Patterson Haddix
    • Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
    • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
    • The Infinity Ring by James Dashner & Carrie Ryan
    • Animorphs by KA Applegate & Michael Grant
    • The 39 Clues series
    • Jason Strange series
All middle grade books welcome! If you have a favorite and would like to recommend and donate it, send it down! Any duplicates will be given to students.

XOXOXOXO to all our Readers! You rock!

*What is "mucking" a house?
"the dirty, sweaty work of removing ruined carpet, ripping up floorboards, getting rid of drywall and mud" courtesy of a quick google search

Basically, it's like mucking a horse stall but worse. You are literally shoveling peoples lives into wheelbarrows and dumping them into large trash piles. Once the house is emptied of contents, you have to begin demo on the inside structure. In our type of crisis we gut to the studs and then begins the dry-out process.

Funny note, before taking most pictures it is very common to say "MUCK" instead of "cheese" right now. :)

Book Review: Famous by Default by MK Harkins

By my family's fame.
Dying to escape the limelight,
And finally, I do.

Being raised as a Jayne, I'm under constant scrutiny. The rock band my brothers formed makes it impossible to stay under the radar. Paparazzi, tabloids, rabid fans--you name it and I've got it. It all makes me sick. But getting shipped off to crazy Aunt Betty's house in my senior year of high school isn't any better. After all, there isn't a stray kid or pet in the world that my aunt wouldn't take in.

Then I meet her. She's cautious, suspicious, and not interested in me at all. But that's fine by me. Sivan Holt may be beautiful and intelligent, but she's nothing I'm looking for.

In my past.
Struggling to feel settled.
And finally, I do.

Growing up in the foster care system, I longed for a sense of belonging. All I wanted was a place to call home.
At the age of seventeen, I'm finally starting to feel it here. Home.

When he comes along, it unsettles me. I don't want him to ruin everything we've built--everything that matters. Jax Jayne is arrogant, privileged, and I want nothing to do with him. But those green eyes of his keep drawing me in. If I let down my walls, will it be my final undoing?

Release Date: March 2017
Age Group: YA, Hollywood Glam, Contemporary
Source: Netgalley
Reviewed By:  Nat


The epilogue will get you. 

Famous by Default was a coming of age story that had the emotional twists and secrets that make for a tragically beautiful story. You will be sad, angry, happy, have butterflies and then just plain confused-- you know, the typical emotional roller-coaster that every good story brings, basically #thefeels.

FBD is told in multiple POV and I really liked the shift between characters. The more I got to know Sivan, I just wanted to bring her home and let her take care of my chickens, feed her and tell her no one was going to hurt here ever again. 

Jax. Well initially I just wanted to choke the kid. I kept imagining him as the Jonas brother that no one knew (not the real life little brother but more like Nick's twin). His famous brothers were just Rockstars {literally} and I actually wouldn't mind reading a spin-off based on their lives of fame and fortune. < Seriously Harkins, don't hold back.

MK Harkins does a great job of character growth as the story progresses and I did end up liking Jax quiet a bit. Every person introduced throughout the story is so likable and real.  I want an Aunt Betty! She was a treasure and I loved all her quirks.

I really enjoyed the story pace and never felt like it was rushed or that it was dragging. With every chapter I got another piece of both Sivan & Jax's history and it was exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time. 

If you are a fan of contemporary lit mixed with a little Hollywood glam, then Famous by Default is for you!