Wednesday, 13 February 2019

All the Lonely People

Kat's whole life is online, so when she is targeted by trolls, she faces deleting her entire existence. Little does she know that feeling invisible to the world, is the first stage of the fade. Can she find a connection to stop her fading away for good? And does she want to?

Live for long enough without hope and you'll believe that nothing can ever change for you. Maybe then you make it true.

The concept behind this reminds me a little of a Buffy episode where a girl is ignored so much she turns invisible. But in All the Lonely People, the forgotten slowly fade from existence too. Kat meets another girl fading at the same time as her, someone who might be her first real offline friend.

This is the first book I've come across that has attempted to explore the reasons why young men start trolling. It's very easy to have a knee-jerk reaction and say they are just bad people, but often they are lonely and vulnerable to the real bad guys. I think we all know there are ringleaders, who manipulate their followers whilst keeping plausible deniability when things goes wrong.

Loneliness could make you reach out for company in all the wrong places, or make it seem an impossibility, even if an outlet was staring you in the face. There was comfort in being alone, unable to disappoint or be disappointed by others. Tell yourself enough, and it's not hard to believe that's the best you're ever likely to get from the world.

Wes just wants somewhere to belong, unfortunately the only place he can find that is an online community harbouring women-hating trolls. His father and older brother abandoned his family, leaving his single mother scraping by, relying on handouts and the kindness of strangers. He thinks that his father left him because he wasn't man enough, and he is determined to look after his mum and sister. David Owen does not make excuses for Wes, and his actions aren't absolved, but it does show how society is failing young men, leaving them open to indoctrination.

This book gets a lot about loneliness right and it's kind of heartbreaking that this reflects a huge chunk of society.

ATY: 24. 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #2 Something New

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Book Source: Purchased

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