Wednesday, 3 April 2019

The Disconnect Book Review

I always get excited when Barrington Stoke send me books to read and review. Ok they are aimed more at the children than me but there are some that manage to resonate well with adults too. One of the most recent stories that had such an affect was The Disconnect by Keren David. I was kindly sent an early copy in exchange for an honest review.


Could you last six whole weeks without your phone? Six weeks without sharing photos, without group messages, without being kept in the social‑media loop?

An eccentric entrepreneur has challenged Esther’s year group to do just that, and the winners will walk away with £1,000.

For Esther, whose dad and sister live thousands of miles away in New York, the prize might be her only chance to afford flights for a visit… 

But can she really stay disconnected long enough to win?

Now in recent years technology, phones and the internet have really taken over haven't they. I've said many times to my own children how I didn't have a mobile phone until my late teens, social media did not even exist and actually we spent more time outdoors.

How times change.

Nowadays kids (of all ages) spend hours and hours cooped up in their rooms, glued to TVs, tablets and phone screens, streaming random videos on the internet. I know I am not alone in wanting my children to break this cycle however I'll put my hands up and say that I too am guilty of being glued to my phone at certain moments in my day.

This short story looks at a group of year eleven teenagers being asked to give up their phones for six weeks in exchange for a prize of £1000.

True to form, many of these boys and girls either decided straight away that they wouldn't be able to even attempt this experiment whilst others tried and failed. Their mobiles are like extensions of themselves and the idea of being separated from them filled them with immense fear.

Could you give up your phone for that long? I'm not sure I could.

The main protagonist, Esther, reluctantly agrees to have a go but it's actually much more difficult for her than she initially envisaged. You see her father and sister live in New York and her way of communicating with them is via Skype calls (on her phone). And then of course there is the problem that most of her friends are still using their phones. 

What Keren David does is highlight just how much of a digital culture we have and how reliant the younger - and older - generation are on modern technology.

A real examination on the lows and highs that come from living your life through your phone.

As well as looking at the digital world, The Disconnect provokes thoughts on day to day teenage life. Families, friendships, the affects of peer pressure, bullying and just how easy it is to hide certain things that are happening via the world wide web.

This is a tale that will have the reader re-thinking their own phone habits. How often they look at social media, virtually chatting to people rather than talking face to face.

A rather compelling read that gives a truer voice to our younger generation. I myself have been given a reality check, I mean one of the first things I do each morning is check my social media profiles.

The Disconnect is a realistic, riveting read for a digitally obsessed world.

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