Title: 52 Likes
Author: Medeia Sharif
Publication: January 16th 2015 by Evernight Teen
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the author via NetGalley
After a brutal rape and near-murder, Valerie wants to get past feelings of victimhood from both the assault and her history of being bullied. Not knowing the identity of her masked rapist and dealing with the nasty rumors about that night are two things that plague her daily.
Valerie will have to follow ghostly entities, past victims of the rapist-murderer, contacting her through a social media site. Why do all of their eerie photos have 52 likes under them? Their messages are leading her to the mystery man, although he’ll put up a fight to remain hidden.
I received a Digital ARC of this book from Medeia Sharif via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
I was anxious to read this book at first because of the heavy theme it deals with. At the mention of rape, I was doubtful, but at the same time, intrigued. I really had no idea what to expect with 52 likes but I got absorbed right into it from the beginning till the end.
Valerie was supposed to be at a party but she ends up going to the wrong house and gets raped by a masked man. That scene was handled excellently that my misplaced worry turned into realization that I’m in for something different.
As the story progresses, the readers are shown what a rape victim goes through and how the experience of it can take over someones life. The worries of getting pregnant, or having STD and the procedures a victim has to undergo, Valerie experienced all of it. Not to mention the psychological effect of it on her. Aside from the rape, the book also sheds its light on the sad reality of bullying.
Even before the rape, Valerie has been experiencing bullying at school and is being called names. I really felt for her character but the way she handled things highlight the portrayal of a strong character which is one of the many things that I loved about this book.
The paranormal aspect though, came as a surprise. It played a big role in the story as it was incorporated where it was needed. Valerie keeps receiving strange pictures and messages from ghost accounts on Picomatic (Instagram-like app) which leads to the discovery that she isn’t the only victim of this rapist and she needs to find out who did this to her and to the other girls.
52 Likes is a dark read but still caters to the YA demographic. I guarantee that readers will be able to connect to this book. Setting aside the paranormal, this book is very real. It is also a book that I would described as a gem that everyone must hear about.
Inspiring- Valerie is a character that we should all admire. Her story is inspiring and something that we can all learn from. She was a victim, she had fears and doubts but she didn’t let it takeover her life but instead, she moved forward and became a much better person.
Supporting Characters – As much as I love Valerie, I also love the other characters in this book especially Cookie, Valerie’s best friend. She is Valerie’s support system and is a strong female character too. The other minor characters too were portayed well with their different personalities and characteristics.
Detailed Storytelling – I like stories that make me feel like I’m in the book. This might be silly but there is one part in the book where I got lost in the moment. Valerie was describing something with a foul smell that I literally covered my nose too. I got carried away with how vivid the author wrote scenes with such detail which I highly commend.
Good Mystery – The revelation of the rapist’s identity came to me as a shock. I wasn’t prepared for what I just read when Valerie learned who raped her. *goosebumps*
Book description and cover image from Goodreads