I'm Thalia! I run a book blog called Pictures in the Words and I hope to be an editor for YA fiction. I'm a GoodReads refugee!
Yeah, okay, so these three stories had pretty much nothing to do with each other. There's the whole "effects of coltan and mining" thing, but I'm not really sure how it related to Fiona's story at all. In the afterword written by the author, she says, "In comparison with what happens to Sylvie and Laiping, the cyberbullying experience by Fiona may seem a relatively minor trauma. But the death of even one young person driven to suicide by the vicious side of social media is too many, and there have been several. Fiona comes out all right. She's a strong girl with a positive self-image, supportive parents, and a core group of loyal friends."
While I agree that there need to be stricter laws about cyberbullying (and legitimate cyberbullying, not the way many BBAs use it), the fact is that Fiona's situation had nothing to do with the effects of coltan. She had a phone. She, Fiona, made the decision to take a picture of herself topless and send it to a guy she barely knew because he asked for it. That is something she could have escaped entirely if she had made a better choice in the first place. Cyberbullying is an important issue to discuss, but it felt incredibly out of place here in this novel. She wasn't like Laiping and Sylvie, who were forced into their situations and made to suffer because of mining and the demand of new technology. (Even then, Laiping and Sylvie felt like they had very little to do with each other.) It would have been nice if maybe one of these girls was dealt with, instead of all three.
Another solid three stars.