Title: Identity Crisis
Author: Melissa Schorr
Publication: January 18th 2016 by Merit Press
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
When curvaceous Annalise Bradley’s scandalous freshman year hookup sparks the anger of her female classmates, three of them decide to get her back by “catfishing” her, creating a fake online profile of the perfect boy to toy with her affections. Against her better nature, introverted Noelle Spiers, goes along with her friends’ plan, hoping to distract Annalise from dreamy Cooper Franklin, her lifelong crush who has fallen for Annalise instead. As Annalise discovers she is being played and seeks revenge, Noelle increasingly regrets her role in the cruel hoax and tries to salvage their relationship.
I received a Digital ARC of this book from Merit Press via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
I don’t know what enchantment Identity Crisis has but I’m totally charmed by this book. Okay wait, I think I do know. The excellent blend of the characters and the plot made this book the perfect read especially for young readers. I’m not overstating things but I really believe that EVERYONE needs to read this book. It’s relevant, honest and a lot of different things you’d be glad to find in 1 book.
We get the gist of the story just by reading the synopsis; Noelle and her friends, Tori and Eva, create a fake online profile and uses it to side track Annalise from falling for Cooper Franklin, a boy Noelle has been crushing on. Things turn rather disastrous when Annalise discovers she’s been catfished.
While the main plot was about Catfishing, there were also quite a few issues that this book addressed. First, it was about Annalise and how she’s struggling with body image. Typical YA portrayals of character body issues are more inclined on weight problems, but in Identity Crisis, the character’s struggle is about her cup size. It results in her being sexualized and bullied to the extent that she already has plans about having a reduction. It also has affected the way she thinks about herself. Then, we have Noelle and her struggle with peer pressure. Noelle’s character is portrayed as someone who is afraid to stand up for herself, she’s spineless and doesn’t know how to say no. She often goes along with Tori and Eva’s plans even if she doesn’t want to because she’s afraid to lose her friends. Both of these characters are genuine and relatable. I love how the author incorporated these issues through the characters, and not only through Annalise and Noelle but through minor characters as well.
Identity Crisis also did a good job on highlighting the role of social media on how we portray ourselves. There’s a big difference on what we see on the internet and what we see in real life. How we identify ourselves online could be far different from what we really are. The social media “bit” of the book also shed it’s light on online beauty pageants. Tori’s #InstaHotorNot gives us a glimpse on how these online pageants can be brutal and offensive but still, people are entertained by such thing. It reflects today’s society’s social media usage.
I honestly wasn’t expecting a lot but the book handled the issue well and at the same time, it was eye-opening. The author took the issue lightly but made sure that it will make an impact. And it did.
The ending made sure that it’s readers would be able grasp the message of the book. The author clearly made a point that it is in everyone’s nature to judge other people’s whole being based only on the outer appearance. I was really impressed with how the author ended the book.
All in all, I highly recommend Identity Crisis. There’s no doubting how this book made my 2016 favorites list (it’s never too soon to have one for the whole year) and it could be on yours too.
Also check out my interview with Melissa Schorr!
“Don’t apologize for your looks. Own it. You’re a beautiful girl. But that’s not all you are.”
We’re all just a bunch of glamour shots and Facebook brags and auto-tunes. What feels real can turn out to be fake, but also, what feels fake can sometimes turn into something real. All that flashy gadgetry—our handles and avatars and screen names— can let us scrape away the surface and connect somewhere true, somewhere deep inside.
Dual POV – I really enjoyed how this book shows both sides of the story. The story shifts from Annalise, the one being catfished and Noelle, the catfisher. I can’t imagine how the story would go if it’s only written from a single perspective. Dual POVs could sometimes be confusing but not in Identity Crisis. It even made the story’s continuity easier to follow.
Fandom – OH MY FANGIRL HEART. Not only is this book about catfishing and bullying but, there’s also this bit of a boy band, being in a fandom and all that. I mean, my fangirl heart could really relate to Annalise and some of scenes were actually something I have fantasized about irl and that made me squeal. I also love how that bit was incorporated into the plot and not just some side dish for the main course. 😛
Lessons learned – 1.) You won’t get one bit of satisfaction from pretending/trying to be someone else. 2.) Only dead fish swim with the current. 3.) Never judge
someone based on outer appearance.
Book Description and Cover Image from Goodreads