REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Queen of Likes
by Hillary Homzie
Queen of Likes by Hillary Homzie is recommended for children ages 9 to 13. This book tour is brought to you by Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
A tween social media queen is forced to give up her phone and learn that there’s more to life than likes in this M!X novel from the author of The Hot List.
Karma Cooper is a seventh grader with thousands of followers on SnappyPic. Before Karma became a social media celebrity, she wasn’t part of the in-crowd at Merton Middle School. But thanks to one serendipitous photo, Karma has become a very popular poster on SnappyPic. Besides keeping up with all of her followers, like most kids at MMS, her smartphone - a bejeweled pink number Karma nicknamed Floyd - is like a body part she could never live without.
But after breaking some basic phone rules, Karma’s cruel, cruel parents take Floyd away, and for Karma, her world comes to a screeching halt. Can Karma - who can text, post photos, play soccer, and chew gum all at the same time - learn to go cold turkey and live her life fully unplugged?
“So we’re come up with a new punishment,” says Dad. “Something that will get your attention.”
Dad looks at Mom and Mom looks at Dad and I can tell that they are a united front against me. “We’re going to close your Snappypic account,” states Dad.
“What?” My stomach dips as if I’ve just dropped from highest part of a roller coaster. I want to flop against the nearest car in the parking lot. “You can’t do that. It’s my account. It’s private. You can’t.” Every day, I get smiley faces and hearts and balloons and LIKES. All of the time. Waking up and not being able to se what my followers are up to? Being totally cut off like that? My parents might as well send me to Antarctica because I’m going to be frozen out of everything. “This must be some kind of hallucination,” I say. “The parents I know would never do this to me!”
“Karma, I’m sorry,” says Mom. “But I think you are over-reacting. You knew the rules.”
“Please.” I clasp my hands together. “Please, please. Please. I’ll do anything. I’ll babysit Toby as much as you want. I’ll clean the house every single day. I’ll make dinner I’ll—”
“It’s a final decision,” says Dad.
“But I’m like… a professional. I have more followers than some companies.”
“Exactly our point, Karma,” says Mom. “You’re not a company. You’re our daughter and still a kid. And I don’t really love this obsession of yours.”
The parking lot is practically spinning. “You just don’t want me to grow up!”
I fling up my arms. “Please,” I beg. “Don’t do this.”
[Want more? Click to read inside.]
Praise for the Book
"Readers will love watching what happens when Karma Cooper is forced to find validation from places other than her thousands of followers on Snappypic. Best of all, she learns to validate herself, explore her talents and act not based on others, but on herself and her own values. Dynamic characters and a clever plot that didn't go where I initially thought it would. A really fun read!" ~ Afton Nelson
"Karma has a problem that will sound all too familiar to many readers. She spends far too much time on her phone. Her happiness is dictated by how many likes her social media photos get. When her parents take her phone away as punishment, she has to find new ways to validate herself. I loved this book. It has an important message disguised in an entertaining story, which is the best thing a middle grade book can do!" ~ Stephanie Faris
"Hillary Homzie's tween books consistently deliver a hilarious voice as well as the bittersweet realizations of young adults. Queen of Likes is a cautionary tale for kids - boys and girls - who get caught up in their online lives to the detriment of their real relationships. With warm, likable family members and realistic tween school settings, it's a great read for middle school kids." ~ Amazon Customer
"Pitch-perfect, relevant, and fun novel for middle-schoolers. While the author focuses on a tween who is arguably addicted to her phone, she does not oversimplify the issue or suggest that technology is in itself a bad thing. Also, while Homzie does not shy away from addressing the cliques and bullying that happen in middle school, I was happy to see that the tired 'mean girl' trope didn't come into play here. All of the kids, popular or not, have their good points and their flaws. Overall, a fun, quick read that will provide kids immersed in the world of social media plenty to think about." ~ mbokelman
"After reading this book I sat back and watch some young teen and young adults and realized just how real this book hit on the subject. I laughed. I felt like this story was really written about those around me. The plot is real! The characters... real! And the story has moments of laughter and unbelievable realization... It was a fun read!" ~ Amazon Customer
By Lynda Dickson
Twelve-year-old Karma Cooper loves getting Likes on the photo-sharing app Snappypic, and she goes online any opportunity she can get. She knows everything about her 12 thousand followers and all the tricks to get more Likes. She's so attached to her phone, that she's even given it (him) a name, Floyd. But disaster strikes when her mother takes Floyd away and cancels her Snappypic account as punishment for using it during Milton P. Daniels' bar mitzvah. What follows is an account of Karma's days without Floyd and the Likes that she has come to depend upon for her self-esteem.
Even without her phone, Karma still thinks in terms of what she would text, what she would photograph, and how she would caption her photos. Nevertheless, she eventually finds out the real meaning of "Like" and discovers the pleasure of taking photos for herself and not others. "I focus on what's important, what's right in front of me," she says. Even the cute "My stats" and "Mood" sections at the end of every chapter slowly become less about Karma's followers and more about real life. The characters behave like real people - moody, but not one-dimensional mean girls. While Karma is always expecting the worst from everyone, the way they act usually turns out to be a pleasant surprise. This is a story about a girl who needs to stop worrying about who likes her and start liking herself. It's a lesson from which everybody can benefit.
A great read for ages 9 and up, especially girls.
About the Author
Hillary is the author of the tween novel The Hot List, which Booklist says "captures the angst of young teen friendships and fragile identities." She’s also the author of the middle grade novel, Things are Gonna Get Ugly, a Justice Book-of-the-Month, which was just optioned by Priority Pictures, and her latest release, Queen of Likes, which is about social media, as well as the humorous chapter book series, Alien Clones from Outer Space, a Children's Book-of-the-Month Best Books for Children. Emmy-nominated Suppertime Entertainment developed the books to become an animated television series and it was sold to ABC Australia. Hillary’s young adult fiction has been published in Teen Magazine and anthologized (Muddville Diaries). She has sold non-fiction and fiction projects to Klutz Press/Scholastic Books, The Learning Company, and John Muir Books. With her frequent writing partner, Steven Arvanites, she has had film projects developed by Brooklyn Weaver’s Energy Entertainment. Hillary got her start performing and writing sketch comedy Off-Broadway, and was a Heideman Playwrighting Award Finalist. Hillary holds a master's degree in education from Temple University and a master’s of arts degree from Hollins University in children's literature and writing. Currently, she’s a visiting professor of children’s literature and writing at Hollins University.
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