Don't Read the Comments

· Sold by Harlequin
2 reviews
18% price drop on Apr 12

About this ebook

"Wonderfully geeky and deeply compassionate." —Marieke Nijkamp, #1 New York Times bestselling author

In this charming novel by Eric Smith, two teen gamers find their virtual worlds—and blossoming romance—invaded by the real-world issues of trolling and doxing in the gaming community.

We all need a place to escape the real world. For Divya and Aaron, it’s the world of online gaming. While Divya trades her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay rent, Aaron plays as a way to fuel his own dreams of becoming a game developer—and as a way to disappear when his mom starts talking about medical school.

After a chance online meeting, the pair decides to team up. But they soon find themselves the targets of a group of internet trolls, who begin launching a real-world doxxing campaign, threatening Aaron’s dream and Divya’s actual life. They think they can drive her out of the game, but Divya’s whole world is on the line…

And she isn’t going down without a fight.

Looking for more from Eric Smith? Don't miss You Can Go Your Own Way!

Ratings and reviews

2 reviews
Ritu Nair
January 29, 2020
Don't Read the Comments is about toxicity in the gaming community, and is told through the viewpoints of Divya, a popular streamer, and Aaron, an aspiring writer who wants to work in the gaming industry. Divya's story is about her being the target of online trolls who escalate the situation from trolling to outright assault and invasion of her digital life. In her real life, she uses the money from sponsorships to contribute to her household, and for her mother's college fees, so being a popular streamer is her livelihood. However, racist and misogynistic trolls think she doesn't have a place in the gaming community, and start attacking and threatening her. She meets Aaron online in the game, and they become friends; him being featured on one of her streams has him tangentially involved in the matter, but he wants to help and support her in any way he can. As the harassment escalates, though, she has to decide whether or not she wants to continue with her streaming, and how to fight back when they take it away from her. Divya shines as the main character in the story - she is fierce, outspoken and sure of herself. She has a policy of 'don't read the comments', to ignore the trolls. She is careful of her public profiles, which is why when she first receives threats, she hopes it won't get worse. Later, though, she reaches out to a sympathetic police officer who helps her and her friend Rebecca. In comparison, Aaron's story didn't have as much weight to it - there's a subplot about him fighting to go after his passion, and his issues with a gaming company he works for, who screw with him, but overall his story felt like it was sort of intersecting with hers at most. The romance itself didn't have much to it - which, fair, considering she has bigger fish to fry, and with her paranoia and caution about online folks, it would be difficult anyway; it was written well as a friendship, though. The in-game scenes were pretty good. Even as a non-gamer, I enjoyed how they explored the game and how much it meant to them, plus all the adventures they had. The game also added a sci-fi element to it, considering in the game they were exploring planets. And while the story is about the toxic faction of gaming communities, there were also good parts, like Divya's Angst Armada - a collective of her fans who stand by her, and support her. Best of all, this was a quick read - I finished it in one go!
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Roeschen Munyai
March 11, 2020
It would have been so much better it the relationship was more flushed out. I had a hard time believing them as a couple, maybe as friends. a lot more personal interaction in the form of dialogue was desperately needed. The issues it tried to tackle where well done and truly flushed out. The characters are the ones who suffered neglect.
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About the author

ERIC SMITH is an author and literary agent from Elizabeth, New Jersey. When he isn't working on other people's books, sometimes he tries to write his own. He enjoys pop punk, video games, and crying during every movie. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and best friend, Nena, and their son, Langston. WWW.ERICSMITHROCKS.COM

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