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Backlash By: Sarah Darer Littman
Transcript of Backlash By: Sarah Darer Littman
About The Author
Sarah Darer Littman is the author of the middle-grade novel, Confessions of a Closet Catholic, which won the Sidney Taylor Award, along with the young adult novels, Purge, Life, After, and Want to Go Private? Sarah always knew she wanted to be a writer, but she worked in a diverse number of fields before writing full-time. Among other things, she has been a financial analyst and a farmer's wife. When she was very young, she remembers that she wanted to be an airline stewardess. When Sarah is not writing or reading, she loves playing tennis, swimming, and cooking, as well as seeing live music and playing bass guitar. She lives in Cos Cob, CT with her family and an adorable Havanese puppy named Benny.
Backlash is set in present day, in a town called Lake Hills. Lake Hills is an average-sized town with a normal high school. If the book was set in a big city or rural community, Lara and Bree wouldn't see each other as often, and probably wouldn't live right across from one another. If the story was set in the past, it wouldn't be anywhere near the same plot line because they wouldn't have the technology Bree had to use to post those comments, and Liam and Sydney wouldn't keep in touch as well and might not become friends again.
Lara sees the comments Christian posted about her on Facebook, and wonders why anyone would post or like something like that. She locks herself in the bathroom and when her sister Sydney yells at her to get out and Lara doesn't answer, Sydney runs to get her mom and calls 911. Lara had overdosed on different pills to try to commit suicide. The police and ambulances come and take Lara to the hospital. As they leave, Lara's former best friend Bree takes a picture of the scene and posts it on Facebook. After a while in the hospital, Lara wakes up and when her parents ask her why she did it, she only says "Christian". Two weeks later, when her parents come to visit her, Lara finds out she can leave the hospital the next day. Her dad tries to force her to look at a list of people who commented on the picture, but Lara has a breakdown and her parents are rushed out of the room. Lara finally comes home, but she can't leave the house except to visit her therapist. At school, things aren't much better for Sydney, people keep gossiping about her and Lara and why Lara did it. The police come to talk to Lara, but when they try to talk to her, she snaps and starts to have a meltdown. When she calms down, they tell her there are no records of Christian anywhere. Not at his school, not in the town, even his profile picture is fake. Christian DeWitt doesn't exist.
Everyone finds out Bree did it, and when Lara's dad finds out, he goes to the Connors' house and screams at them until the police come. This make the whole situation attract even more attention, and now the Connors' and the Kelleys have to deal with reporters 24/7. They don't get attention from reporters though. People are leaving death threats on Bree's phone, and she gets very scared and thinks she isn't safe. Liam and Sydney meet in the tree house and talk about their crazy life, and end up becoming possibly a little more than just friends. Lara finds out her mom wants to pass laws about cyberbullying she calls Lara Laws, and Lara gets really angry because she never bothered to ask her about them. But after that, things slowly get better for the Kelleys, Liam and Sydney are friends again, and Mrs.Kelley won the election for city council, but things aren't near as good for the Connors', especially Bree. She dyes her hair black and starts cutting herself, and worries her life will never get back to normal. Twelve months later the Lara Laws (now changed to BIC Laws) are passed, and Lara is recovering. She can finally go back to school, but it's strange seeing people who she thought were friends and knowing that they liked or commented on those pictures. Bree transferred to a different school so Lara doesn't see her very often, but it is still awkward when the do accidentally meet. Lara is cheering at a game at a different school, when she bumps into Bree. After they try (and fail) at making a conversation, Lara has to leave to get over what happened. She doesn't let it bother her too much though, she lets it go and goes to find her friends. Lara ends up going to homecoming with one of her true friends and her life is really, truly turning around. She is finally happy, and grateful the pills didn't work.
Lara: Lara is growing because she goes from overweight and depressed, to happy and confident. She is inconsiderate because she doesn't think about how trying to kill herself without effecting others around her.
Bree: Bree is growing because she goes from being fairly happy and having friends, to feeling alone and depressed. She is an antagonist because she is the one who posted terrible things about Lara. Bree is malicious, dishonest, and submissive.She is submissive because she almost always gives in to her mother.
Sydney: Sydney is growing because she becomes friends with Liam again, and develops a better relationship with Lara. She is a protagonist because she helps and supports Lara most of the time. Sydney is indignant, but brave and friendly. She is brave because she still is friends with Liam and stands up for him even though he is Bree's brother.
Main Characters Continued
Mrs.Conner's: Mrs.Connors is static because she doesn't change or learn a lesson after what she did. She is an antagonist because she joins in and talks to Lara as Christian. She is repugnant, domineering, and deceptive. Mrs.Connors is domineering because she is always pressuring her kids to do better and tells them they won't get anywhere in life.
(Two months earlier) Bree gets really jealous when Lara makes the cheer team and she doesn't. She thinks she saw Lara turn and laugh in her face when lists posed, and fed up with Lara, she decides to get revenge once and for all. She makes a fake Facebook profile for a guy name Christian DeWitt. Once she (or rather, he) has 150 friends, she sends Lara a friend request. After a celebratory dinner, Lara checks Facebook and sees Christian's friend request. She accepts, even though it's against her parent's rules, and thinks her life is finally taking a turn for the better. After a few weeks of flirting with Lara as Christian, Bree lets her friend Marci in on the secret. Marci gets the idea to hint at a dance that Christian might invite Lara to. Bree (Christian) is talking to Lara and she gets caught when her mom walks in and sees what she is doing. Instead of grounding her like a normal parent would, she
, and says Bree made her
. 'Christian' asks Lara about her friends in middle school, and Lara tells him about how Bree is acting like a brat now that they aren't friends anymore. This makes Bree furious and she posts those horrible things about Lara, then later that night Lara tries to kill herself. A little while after Lara tries to commit suicide, Bree's mom makes her delete the profile and her post of Lara on the stretcher. The police come to talk to Bree and her mom, and Mrs.Connors tells Bree to lie to the police about the account. Bree cracks under the guilt and pressure and admits to doing it.
Liam:He is growing because he stops worrying about what his friends will think and becomes friends again with Sydney. He is a protagonist because is friends with Sydney and feels sympathy for Lara. Liam is disloyal at first to Sydney, and he resents Bree, but he is otherwise friendly. He is disloyal because they had a very good friendship but he left her because he worried about what his other friends would think.
Mrs.Kelly: Mrs.Kelley is static because she doesn't learn much after Lara tries to kill herself. She is a protagonist because she does whatever sh can to help Lara, even if she does go overboard a little. She is a little overprotective and worries a lot, but she is helpful. Mrs.Kelley is overprotective because when Lara comes home, she doesn't let her do anything that might be dangerous, and doesn't even let her close her door ever, when she's sleeping, or even in the bathroom.
The theme of Backlash is think before you act. If Lara had thought about the consequences that may occur when she follows Christian on Facebook, her life may have turned out differently. If Mrs.Connors and Bree had thought before making the account and saying such mean things, Mrs.Connors wouldn't have lost her job or have been called "Monster Mom" on national television, and Bree wouldn't have such a terrible life at school and at home.
I give Backlash 5/5 'likes'. I loved this book, mostly because it's not like anything I've ever read before. The author is always keeping you on your toes with plot twists that are surprising, but not too much of a stretch.You can relate with some of the characters and almost always feel good or bad for them. It also teaches a very important lesson and shows readers what people and social media is really like.
Book By: Sarah Darer Littman
Report By: Taruna Malka And