CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 20 . . . . January 25, 2013
And so begins Adrian Chamberlain's FaceSpace, a tale of teenage angst. Fourteen-year-old Danny McBride is a normal teenager, dealing with feelings of isolation and loneliness. His feelings are only intensified with "FaceSpace", Chamberlain's take on the ever-popular social networking site Facebook.
After having a particularly rough day, Danny decides that he wants to be someone else, someone "cool". He decides to create a fake FaceSpace profile of a British punk-rocker named James Bradbury, a family friend, who automatically becomes Danny's online best friend. Although James' friendship gives Danny the cool factor that he is so desperately seeking at first, he ultimately comes to regret his decision to create James as a series of deceptions leaves him feeling guilty. To make matters worse, everyone, including Danny's real-life best friend Brad, and his school crush Megan, wants to meet "James".
The story comes to a head when Danny ultimately decides to "kill-off" James by creating a memorial page for him. At a sleepover at Brad's house, Danny accidentally leaves the memorial page open for everyone to see, thus unmasking his deception. At school, Danny is once again ridiculed, but he is ultimately saved by his real-life best friend Brad who stands up for Danny and brings him back to the normalcy that he craves.
After reading FaceSpace, one can see that the plot, itself, is wholly unoriginal. Who hasn't heard of an unhappy teen deciding to change his/her fate by creating an alter ego? However, what the novel lacks in originality, it gains in relevance. Young adults everywhere have to contend with the realities of social networking sites like "FaceSpace" on a daily basis, and this book might be helpful in dealing with the downside of such media.
Teresa Iaizzo is a page with the Toronto Public Library in Toronto, ON.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.