Considering the current rise of social media influence and YouTube channels, almost every single person in this world has some sort of social account. Many watch YouTube channels every day, and some have tried filming their own videos. It’s only natural that the authors would pick up on this trend and incorporate it in their stories. After all, when we read Contemporary, we want to see the world familiar to ours.
In my early teens, we dreamt about Hogwarts and magic schools. Nowadays, teenagers dream of being YouTube stars.
In «Tinfoil Crowns» we follow Jessica and her early rise of YouTube popularity. But there is so much more to this story than that. This is a story of loss, betrayal, forgiveness, and hope; and most importantly family relationships.
Seventeen-year-old internet video star Fit is on a mission to become famous at all costs. She shares her life with her fans through countless videos (always sporting some elaborate tinfoil accessory), and they love her for it. If she goes viral, maybe she can get out of her small casino town and the cramped apartment she shares with her brother and grandpa. But there’s one thing Fit’s fans don’t know about her: when Fit was three-years-old, her mother, suffering from postpartum psychosis, tried to kill her.
Now Fit’s mother, River, has been released from prison. Fit is outraged that River is moving in with the family, and it’s not long before Fit’s video followers realize something’s up and uncover her tragic past. But Fit soon realizes that the only thing her audience loves more than tragedy is a heartwarming tale of a family reunion. Is faking a relationship with River the key to all Fit’s dreams coming true?
Thank you Netgalley and North Star Editions – Flux for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.
«Tinfoil Crowns» is a perfect transitional book between YA Contemporary and Adult Fiction. It has just the right amount of YA lightness in it, but the chapters written from Jessica’s mother point of view provide this initial step into Adult Fiction, and to be completely honest, those were the chapters and part of the story I enjoyed the most.
WHAT I LIKED:
1 – The mystery behind early events in Jessica’s and Frankie’s life that led to the imprisonment of their mother. Don’t worry this is not a spoiler! This is not a thriller and the fact that River, Jessica’s mother, was in prison is told on the very first pages. What I loved about it was how differently characters reacted to these events. This is where the subjects of betrayal, anger, and forgiveness were thoroughly explored, showing different sides of human nature.
2 – The relationship between Jessica and River. But from River’s point of view. I guess I just didn’t like brash, rude and hasty Jessica. River, in the beginning, seemed a little like a pushover, but what else would you expect from someone who was separated from her children during dire circumstances. However, I liked watching her subtle tries to smooth things over, her guilt but also some hints of hope that someday it could all be alright again.
3 – The pacing of the first 20-30 pages was a little slow for my taste, but once the main elements were introduced, the story started to flow easier, making it a very quick and enjoyable read.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:
1 – I very much disliked Jessica, or should I call her “Fit”, her online persona. From the very beginning, Jessica is not an easy character to like, to relate to or to root for. She is obnoxious, loud, rude to her caring grandfather. She lies, she betrays her friends. Of course, she is not actually that bad, as I described. And Erin Jones did try to give her some redeeming moments, but I don’t easily forget the bad things the main characters do.
2 – This is not particularly a bad point, but also not a great one. Erin Jones did a very good job of putting certain relationships and subject to the front for us to focus on, and bringing other important elements to the background. But yet again, I felt the presence of a “checklist”. Something that had to make it into the book, but wasn’t relevant enough to actually explore and develop – for example, Fit’s love interest.