Like Nobody’s Watching written by L.J.Ritchie
Wow. I did not quite expect to like this book like I did. The cover was not appealing at all (and sadly I do judge a book by it’s cover!) I will admit that I do not read a lot of NZ fiction, sticking mostly to mainstream popular authors, which tend to be from overseas.
From the very beginning it was refreshing to read about year 9 and 10 students, an age bracket that makes sense to me!
The book itself deals with the issues of bullying in a large school. And also has it’s place within the world of the internet. Despite the book being published in 2016, there is only limited mention of social media platforms as we know them, but there is the use of a video site, that kids can access with short videos.
I really appreciated the main character. He was refreshing in his conscience, which you could see him struggle with right from the beginning. This book certainly delves into the grey area around the issue of “If you do the wrong thing for the right reasons is it still wrong?”
I thought the reactions from the student body were interesting, and their acceptance of a vigilante was also interesting, given these were people that obviously knew the things that went on in the school.
Overall I thought that this was a great book that dealt with the issues and consequences of bullying, of friendships, and of the fact that everyone has secrets.
I would love to get this for our junior school, I think it could be a very powerful text at year 10. Certainly it could work for a year 11 connections report, but might be a little simple for year 12.