Synopsis: Things haven’t been easy for Jack recently – life as a teenager has its ups and downs. But when he meets a new group of friends, who are every bit as geek as they are chic, his luck seems to be changing. Each of the group is talented and when they pool together to create Generation Next, an incredible new kind of social media platform, it’s clear that they’re on to something special.
What if your Instagram account grew by hundreds of thousands of followers overnight, and big companies were fighting each other to offer you photoshoots? When GenNext suddenly goes viral, Jack and his friends are thrust into a crazy world of fame which is as terrifying as it is awesome.
Because someone out there is determined to trip Jack up at every step. If he doesn’t stop them, soon everyone he cares about – his friends, his family, and the girl he’s falling for – will be in danger..
My Review: Oli was one of the first youtubers I started watching. Although I’m more of a casual fan, when I heard he was writing a book I knew I’d buy it. Although it is written with Terry Ronald, Oli still would’ve had to put a lot of effort in so of course I’d want to support that. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting great things. Youtuber’s books aren’t known for being the most amazing pieces of literature, but I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, the writing style can get on my nerves a little, but then I can be a very picky reader. My main complaint was the unnecessary “you know?” added on the end of sentences. That is a very small thing that others probably haven’t even noticed.
I did actually like the characters. Yes, there were a few clique stereotypes, but overall each character was distinguishable from the other. They felt genuine not something every author can achieve. Coming from Hertfordshire (where the book is partially set) it did actually make the characters feel more real. It was strange having a book set in a place I know. Normally it’s some random town in the middle of America and I have no clue where they are. It was a nice change to go “hey, my friend lives in that town” instead of “no idea where that State is”.
I did love how the characters were diverse. It included LGBT characters and a religious character. I liked how there was no fuss made about it, if a character liked a certain gender, who cares? If one character didn’t drink for religious reasons, who cares? Each character was accepted for who they were without pressure to conform. These things weren’t hugely focused on, but it still made an impression on me. Towards the end of the book something comes out about one of the characters (I won’t say what due to spoilers, but those who have read the book know what I’m talking about). When I first read that plot twist I thought “oh great, get ready for the slut shaming”, but it didn’t happen! It was really nice to see an accepting take on things in Generation Next.
The plot started quite slowly and I wasn't sure where it was going, but about half way through it picked up. Some of the twists certainly weren't predictable and they were well executed. As all hell breaks loose towards the end Jack's reaction to the events were normal, there wasn't the annoying character-can-go-through-hell-but-is-perfectly-okay trope.
The book wraps up quite nicely. I don't know if there will be a sequel, even of there is you can still read and enjoy Generation Next without having to continue the series.
I do have to say well done to Oli. Writing a book is no small task and even with his co author Terry Ronald it took time and effort. I thought it would be a poor and cliched book only successful due to his YouTube career, but he proved me very wrong. So well done to him.
Overall a decent book that certainly beat my expectations. If you’re looking for a fun and easy read with a good plot I’d definitely recommend Generation Next.
Published by Books and Peppermint Tea