SweetFreak by Sophie McKenzie, published by Simon and Schuster on 24th August 2017
Carey and Amelia have been best friends forever. Then Amelia starts being trolled by SweetFreak, a mysterious and hateful online account, and Carey is accused of being behind the vicious comments.
Shut out by her other friends and shunned by Amelia, Carey is determined to find out who's really sending the messages. But as the online threats spill over into real life, events start spiralling out of control...
Can Carey expose the real SweetFreak before it's too late?
'SweetFreak' was another good read by British author Sophie McKenzie, although I didn't love it as much as I was hoping to. I found it a fairly quick read and finished it in one sitting. It had a fair amount of drama, but it wasn't as tense or as gripping as other YA novels that I've read lately. Please don't take that to assume that I didn't enjoy it, I did, but I've also read better edge-of-your-seat thrillers than this.
Best friends Carey and Amelia are at the centre of the story. Amelia is sent disturbing messages online and Carey ends up accused of being the culprit, something which she vehemently denies. Carey has to prove who the mysterious SweetFreak is and clear her name in the process.
Although this book was described as CyberBully meets Gone Girl, I just didn't find it as exciting as I was expecting it to be. I guessed the culprit quite quickly and although there were some further twists near the end of the story, I didn't feel any sense of real danger.
I like the way that McKenzie has explored themes of online and offline bullying and the abuse of social media. It's all too easy now for people to hide behind their computers and I think the book did a good job of showing the harm that online bullying can cause to a person. This is something which is really topical and I thought that the author very effectively highlighted the danger of this.
'SweetFreak' is probably better suited to slightly younger teenage readers but I think that anyone who is a big Sophie McKenzie fan will still enjoy it.