Friday, October 19, 2018

Screenshot, by Donna Cooner

While Skye, Asha, and Emmy are goofing around, Skye entertains her friends by putting on a slinky negligee and prancing about for them.  In one of several lapses of judgment that fill this story, Asha posts a video of the dance to a social media site. While she takes it down quickly, a few days later Skye is contacted by an anonymous stranger who threatens to post a screenshot of her performance to the Internet.  Skye, terrified of what this could do to her reputation, let alone to her plans of pursuing an internship in the office of a local senator, finds herself caving in to the blackmailer's demands.  But how far will she go to get the blackmailer to stop?  As the demands escalate in severity and seriousness, Skye is forced to decide just how much her reputation is worth.

That's the main plot, but a series of subplots hit at the novel's broader theme of image, the effort that people will go to in order to project a visage of perfection, and the magnifying effect of the internet on this process.  The writing is not subtle and the mysterious blackmailer is not such a well-kept secret, but the story is entertaining and competently executed.  Fine literature it is not, but it is enjoyable nonetheless.

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