Review: Can’t Look Away by Donna Cooner

Recommendations, Review
Image from Goodreads

Title: Can’t Look Away
Author: Donna Cooner
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Publication Date:
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 2/5
Synopsis from Goodreads
There’s no hiding in the spotlight.
Torrey Grey is famous – at least, she is on the internet. Thousands of people watch her beauty vlog for tips on how to be popular and pretty. But when Torrey’s sister is killed in an accident her world implodes, especially as she feels partly to blame. And that’s when the trolling starts . . .
How can Torrey mourn her sister in private, when her bubbly public persona is all over the web? Then she meets Luis, whose family owns the local funeral home, and he challenges all that Torrey thought she knew about love, life, and loss.
Can’t Look Away is about a 16 year old teenager named Torrey, who is very fond of ‘blogging’ and gives her fans highly requested videos on beauty tips and how to be popular. However, after experiencing the death of her younger sister Miranda, she moves schools and faces problems like boys, learning and friendships. While still thinking about her followers and subscribers in mind, she tries to carry on with her videos, although she gets more grief than sympathy about her sister’s death. She’s completely new to the society as her famous self is unknown at the new school.
Torrey finds out that they move to another state,Texas, she has to face the inevitable. She wants to remain unknown to her new school for a new start, although she starts off on the wrong foot thinking everyone is going to know her. She wants to make friends, but hesitates over who. Will she choose the big leader Blair and her followers? Or the unknown, like the unliked boy who everyone despises for some unknown reason to Torrey in the beginning.
I thought the characters were all so different and it’s good to have that variation in a book, as if we’re to be made into a film, it would make the acting very interesting. The plot was believable although the characters were a bit of a stereotypical of l American teenager groups. Everything in the book could happen any day of the year and it’s good to have the realism that’s been included. I also enjoyed the point of view of the character Torrey as she was a lot like me. It made sense in all areas of the book and the author explained every situation very well. The whole point of the book was her trying to get over her sister’s death, no matter how traumatising it may have been.
Can’t Look Away was quite similar to Louise Rennison’s books, as she writes about a girl called Georgia going through school and making mistakes, which features some of the themes in this book.
Personally, I don’t have a favourite part of the book, as I believe that each chapter was equally as good as the last. Some parts in the book were extremely exciting, for example at the end when Lewis and Torrey finally kiss, as they’ve had feelings throughout the whole book. It was a relief!
My favourite character has to be Lewis because he did his own thing and he didn’t show how upset he felt when people called him names or bullied him, and that can be relatable for some people. It teaches you to stay strong and do what you’re doing because that’s all that matters.
One thing I disliked about this book was how dragged out it was. It had a very interesting beginning however, it never really went anywhere. Some parts were a bit predictable as it’s a classic teenage life story, for example how the girl always gets the boy she dreams for. If she had a better story plan with an interesting dilemma then I would have kept interest.
Something that I would’ve wished would be different, as I’ve previously said, the dilemma and solution to keep my full interest, as it described nothing I’ve never read before.
If I were to recommend this book to anyone, I would say this is most age appropriate for eight to twelve year olds. The only thing I would have to comment on for a mature theme would be Torrey’s sister’s death. Some young may not understand this part of the book and this is why I recommend this book for eight years and up. Overall I would give Can’t Look Away two out of five.

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