This is the story of the trials and tribulations of Millie Porter as she tries to cope with her changing family life and the pressures of being on social media. Millie decides to go and live with her father and grandfather after her mother’s boyfriend becomes too obsessive about cleaning the house. At the same time she is coping with being a target for the school ‘queen’ Erin, who is on Instagram and has a successful lifestyle vlog. Eventually Millie decides to fight back and starts her own advice vlog, but then her cat Dave decides to lend a hand. Suddenly life becomes even more complicated.
Whilst this is a funny and charming story, it is also a somewhat salutary tale about the modern world and the pressures that young people feel. Millie comes across as a very likeable young girl who thinks that she is quite sensible, but as outsiders we can see the anxiety that she has and also the conflicts that are part of everyday life. It is very much a story about family and about friendship; reminding us that it is the people who surround us who are really important, not the ‘friends’ that we have on social media. As an adult it is good to be reminded that young people really do feel threatened by things that happen online and they are more heavily connected to this world than we are. I am not sure that this book provides any answers but it does show the readers that they are not alone in their insecurities. It is one of a growing number of stories that have social media as the central focus and is able to deliver its message without seeming to be ‘preaching’ to the audience. This is a book that can be read from year 6 upwards; although we are all aware the children tend to gravitate towards books that are cited as being for slightly older readers.