After a brutal rape and near-murder, Valerie wants to get past feelings of victimhood from both the assault and her history of being bullied. Not knowing the identity of her masked rapist and dealing with the nasty rumors about that night are two things that plague her daily.
Valerie will have to follow ghostly entities, past victims of the rapist-murderer, contacting her through a social media site. Why do all of their eerie photos have 52 likes under them? Their messages are leading her to the mystery man, although he’ll put up a fight to remain hidden.
14+ due to adult situations
With the girls closest to me, I see their Picomatic profile page, which is a reminder that I have a direct message on there. “Did you DM me on Picomatic?” I whisper to Cookie.
She shakes her head, briefly looking up from her notebook. I should be writing too, but can’t concentrate on the five questions Ms. Garland wrote on the board. She’s seated behind her desk as a student approaches her to ask a question. The student is blocking her face, so she can’t see me at all. During times like these, when teachers are busy, I whip out my phone.
I slide my phone out of my pocket and into my lap. It used to be a wonderful distraction that entertained me during boring lectures and educational videos. Seeing others on Picomatic, I’m now dying to know what the DM is about. Even if it’s an inappropriate or harassing one, I need to see it. If it upsets me, I’ll report it as spam. If it's extremely bad, pertaining to that night, I have to tell someone, even though last year the school didn't do much in the way of protecting me from the trio, which was the quartet back then since Hector would play their vicious games.
I open my Picomatic page. Selfies abound, some from a few seconds ago. Most pictures are from P.E. or some other class where teachers don't supervise as much. Some people are taking pictures of work that has been graded, bragging about A's or criticizing teachers who gave them F's. I tap the corner, where the direct messages are. If it’s a graphic with THOT or some other message on it, I need to know that’s not who I am. I never was. Be brave, I urge myself.
There’s a DM from someone named 2beautiful. I can’t recall any friends who use that handle. Where the profile pic should be, there’s a close-up of an eye. The eye is lined, with heavy mascara and purple and blue eye shadow. It’s an attractive picture, although eye pics can be deceiving. Sometimes the rest of the person isn’t as pretty. I don’t recognize this eye, although anyone’s eye can be transformed like this with the right makeup.
I scroll down to see the picture message she sent me. I frown, unsure of what this is, who this is. It’s almost pornographic, but not really since it’s just a sliver of skin, although there’s a hint of the girl’s V between her legs.
The picture is of a slender, yet curvaceous naked hip. The bone protrudes slightly and I can tell the girl is pear-shaped. I’m also pear-shaped, which is especially noticeable around Christmas time when I gain five pounds from eating too much during winter break.
This photo of a girl’s hip has 52 likes. I gasp. Is it a photo of me? Did someone take a picture of me at home or in the shower? Then I think back to the rape, of the flashes of light…I thought it was lightning, but I could be wrong. He had pulled me down to the floor and knocked me around. The room was dark. Maybe I didn’t notice every single thing he had done to me. Had the rapist photographed me?
Showing reviews 1-10 of 15 | Next
Posted by Robin Leigh Morgan on 17th Jul 2016
I received a KINDLE copy of this book from the author through a giveaway she had on LibraryThing and the following is my honest opinion.
What is THE MOST TERRIFYING experience any woman should ever have to face? Now image how this individual would feel if she had only been a teenager looking for an evening of fun at a party in an abandoned or vacant home and had gone to the wrong address, only to be viciously raped and nearly killed. You can image the intense impact this would have on the protagonist of this book, Valerie; can’t you. I know you can.
Being constantly bullied by her classmates had always plagued Valerie, but now, in addition, she not only had to face being taunted with nasty rumors of that fateful night; she also had no idea as to who her masked rapist was. Imagine looking at every guy passing by you and wondering if he had been the guilty culprit who had raped you.
While you would probably want to put this horrific incident of your life and the rest of the negative experiences of your life; Valerie definitely wants to. What she didn’t know when she began her quest to return her life to a sense of normalcy, had been the psychological and metaphysical hurdles she’ll have to face. The most baffling of these had been why all of the eerie photos of the past victims of her rapist/murderer had 52 LIKES under their photos, something which had to be more than mere coincidence.
The author has done a wonderful in writing about Valerie’s real life experience and feelings connecting with spirits of the culprit’s victims, especially the angst she experiences before, during and after her rape; feelings her readers should feel as well as they read this book. But when all is said and done, at the end of the day, will Valerie ultimately become an unfortunate victim of her horrific ordeal, scarred for life; or will she triumph and become a survivor. You’ll have to read the book to find out. As for me, I’m happy to give Ms. Sharif the 5 STARS it deserves.
Posted by Salirce on 24th Mar 2015
I received this book and was asked to provide a review. From the first page I was consumed. The more I read, the more I wanted to read. You will experience different emotions for many of the characters ranging from sadness to anger to relief. You have Valerie, a rape victim which you have sympathy for and hope that she will get through this whole situation. Cesar & Leon, typical bullies that truly do exists in today's schools, Rudy, the bully who changes and tries to help, Cookie, a best friend who always has your back no matter what, Hector, the boy who is not so popular with the girls and the mother, who does anything and everything for her child. These are the types of characters that you come across both fictionally and in reality because some time in your life you know or knew some of these people. The realization and fondness of of this book is why I would recommend others to read it, especially teenagers.
Posted by T B Markinson on 9th Feb 2015
This is a gut-wrenching read and much different from the other books I've read by Sharif.
The book starts off with a rape scene, putting the reader on edge. Sharif handled it well. There’s just enough description without overwhelming the reader with being too graphic. The reader feels for Valerie, but isn't overly traumatized.
Valerie is a wonderful character: strong, flawed, scared, and a typical teenager many can relate to. And she's a fighter. She’s made mistakes in the past and has taken responsibility for them. After the rape, she has a much bigger fight on her hands. Without ruining the story, Valerie learns she wasn’t the only victim. And she’s determined to find out who raped her.
There’s a paranormal/mystery twist, adding creative layers to the story. The ghosts are guiding Valerie to the truth she is seeking. This is the type of novel for readers who like YA that is edgy and dark, with a twist. It’s not all dark though. This story is also about surviving and relying on your true friends.
Posted by Peggy Salkill (UNDERCOVER BOOK REVIEWS) "Peggy Salkill" on 9th Feb 2015
WOW!!! I can't even describe into words what this book has me feeling! I can't even remotely tell you what I want to tell you! This is the first book that I have been asked to review that pretty much has me speechless for a review! If you have not picked this book up, please do! It's an amazing story of survival!
*Received for an honest review*
Posted by Candi Sary on 5th Feb 2015
Medeia Sharif is quite a storyteller. I really got caught up in this novel. Even though it takes on a difficult topic, it offers optimism as it shows how a victim can regain her power. Valerie, a high school student, is raped and almost killed. She is haunted by graphic pictures that show up on social media, until she sees them as clues that could help her identify the attacker. Despite her fears, she sets out to find the rapist—with some mysterious help from the other side. A powerful teenage drama with a touch of the paranormal makes 52 Likes an engaging read.
Posted by Samaris on 5th Feb 2015
Rape is something that you hear about t in the news and that happens to other people never to you or anyone you know. That is exactly what runs through Valerie’s mind as she is being violated and made a victim. Just when she thinks that not only will she be violated but killed as well she is saved. After her ordeal strange things start to happen. She receives disturbing messages from accounts that have been deleted. Even more disturbing are the photos attached to those messages and the strange coincidence that each one has 52 likes. As Valerie tries to uncover what these messages are telling her she has to make a choice. Will she continue to be a victim? Jump at every sound, avoid contact with everyone? Or will she hunt for justice not only for herself but for any past and future victims this man may have? A compelling story that had me from start to finish!
Posted by James Phillips on 1st Feb 2015
A very well written story of rape, murder, and survival. Teenage bullies can be the worst, but a mother's love can help a lot. Support for rape victims is a must. Valerie shows a lot of strength and determination to not just be another victim. The story contains some unique and strong characters to support the plot. The book provides for a quick read and a good ending. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
I received this book from the author thru Library Thing in exchange for an honest review.
Posted by Fee on 27th Jan 2015
I really enjoyed this book, for all it is YA it definitely starts off with a very adult theme.
It starts off with the main character Valerie being raped. She was on her way to a house party and ended up in the wrong house where a masked man attacks her. She then starts receiving messages on picomatic that seems to be coming from other victims of the same guy how raped her.
It is a story about her dealing with the rape, finding the rapist-murder and also finding herself again amidts the bullies at her school
The book focuses on how cruel bullies can be and the after effects of rape. It does a good job of portraying how teenagers are now a days and it is an eye-opener.
Will definatley check out more by Sharif
Posted by Kelly Hashway on 19th Jan 2015
After reading Vitamins and Death in one sitting, I knew Sharif could write edgy and dark YA really well, so I jumped at the chance to read 52 Likes. Once again, I couldn't put the book down. The book begins with Valerie being raped. I wasn't sure how I'd endure reading a rape scene, but it was handled really well. I felt Valerie's emotion without being overwhelmed by the horrific act. What I loved about this book was that Valerie doesn't allow herself to sit back and become the victim. She fights. Even when everyone around her is making her feel like she is the one who did something wrong, she continues to seek out her rapist and reveal his identity to everyone.
The ghosts of the rapist's victims appear to Valerie, encouraging her to fight for them, too. Valerie was supposed to die like they did, only a passerby saved her life. And that means her rapist is set on finishing what he started. The mystery behind who the rapist is and the race to reveal him and have him locked up before he gets to her again is what made me keep turning the pages.
If you like darker YA with mystery and some ghosts thrown in, this is the perfect read. I dare you to put it down once you start reading it. ;)
Posted by read-along-with-sue "sue" on 19th Jan 2015
Oh my word! I am so fast becoming a stalker of this author Medeia Sharif. When I read her other book Vitamins and death, I so enjoyed it. When she contacted me to see if I would like to read and review and give my honest take on this book, I agreed, not knowing just how much I would be gripped by this story.
I had to read this in one sitting. I tell you and I kid you not, you won't sleep until you finish it as you need to stay with Valerie.
As any young person does, they go to parties. Some more wild than others. Here we have a group of young people who find empty homes/homes sitting for new occupants and use them for their parties/raves. Except, Valerie ends up at the wrong house, she is raped by a masked man. This is where it all starts and leads you to many things, many aspects of this story. Is Valerie going to be a survivor or a victim.
Then in her discoveries of not allowing her thoughts to rest, she wants to know who her rapist was, it could be anyone, someone she knows, someone she goes to school with, neighbor?
I then wondered where the title of the book came from.........oh my......when I found out, it was ingenious for this author to name this book 52 likes, awesome, it tied in so brilliantly.
Am I fan of this book....oh yes!
Am I fan of this author.......well, this is the 2nd book I have read of hers so........yes! I guess I am.
I really hope someone reads this review and buys this book, because I assure it, it was a book I thoroughly enjoyed, and I am hard to please :)
My thanks goes to Medeia Sharif for contacting me. I am soooo glad you did
Showing reviews 1-10 of 15 | Next