Sara’s Letter Essay #3: Backlash

I have recently completed reading Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman. Backlash is a 325 page realistic fiction novel that really demonstrated a big theme and message. Sarah Darer Littman is an award winning columnist for the online site CT News Junkie and she teaches creative writing as an adjunct professor in the MFA program at Western Connecticut State University and with Writopia Lab. Backlash was published April 28, 2015. I chose to read this book because it was recommended by many people. Additionally, the summary on the back really fascinated me and it motivated me to begin to read it.

In the novel Backlash, 15 year old Lara hasn’t felt this depressed since middle school. She thought that this guy Christian, who Lara has been talking to online for weeks, really liked her, but she is shocked by all of the sudden changes and horrible comments on her facebook wall from him. No one realized how far Christians harsh comments would really impact Lara and push her to do such disastrous things. Lara’s online life conflicts with real life, and everything is turned around as she is burdened with more and more surprising news about the situation, especially when Lara’s former best friend Bree, makes a confession and the truth starts to come together, turning things out of control for not only Bree and Lara, but their families as well.

I liked the way the author really made the effort to include so much detail and description. All of the thoughts and feelings of the numerous characters were really emphasized through detail, and figurative language. It really set the tone of the story and made the book much more interesting and enjoyable to read. I could really imagine how each character was feeling. For example, Lara’s frustration with Bree when she confessed what she has done was so descriptive and intense. It brought the story to life.

I noticed how the author had each chapter told from the perspective of a different character. I like that because you can really get an insight on the inner thoughts and feelings about all of the characters. It really adds a lot to the story and enhances the book. Reading about the situation and conflict from a variety of viewpoints helped me gain more from the book, and really grasp an understanding of each character’s opinion and their thoughts on the problem and how it affects and alters their life. Different points of view really did make the book very enjoyable to read.

The character development throughout the story was a significant portion of the novel. Lara, the Main character changed a lot during the story and the author illustrated that through her writing very well. Sarah Darer Littman explained the procedure of Lara’s recovery and the whole process of her trying to make sense of things and attempting to fix everything. Also, when Bree’s life was turning upside down, due to her poor decisions, the author showed very well how she changed and regretted the choices she made, and how she was dealing with everything.

This passage is a scene where Liam, Bree’s younger brother is just told who Christian really is.

““I’m that jerk Christian guy. He never existed. He was fake, right from the beginning.”The horror of what Bree just said crawls all over me like I’ve just stepped onto a nest fire ants. I stand up and back away from her bed, by breath catching in my chest. “You mean . . . that awful guy . . . who wrote all that stuff about Lara . . . was you?” My sister nods slowly, staring back at me with eyes red from weeping, her face stained with tears. “What is wrong with you?” I ask just above a whisper. “Why would you do that?” She doesn’t answer. She just puts her head down and just starts crying again. I’ve realized that I’ve grown up with Bree and I have no idea who she really is. Because the sister I thought I had wouldn’t do something that sick to anyone, especially someone who used to be her best friend.” (pg 213)

I liked that I this quoted passage the author included figurative language to highlight how Liam felt about the situation and his intake on it. The passage also included author’s craft and it has a little bit of suspense in it that made you want to keep on reading, and find out what Lara’s reaction would be to all of this. Also, no one really expected Bree to be Christian. It was surprising. Backlash was a great read and I would recommend it

I would rate this book a 8.9 out of 10



Sara Wiesenfeld

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4 thoughts on “Sara’s Letter Essay #3: Backlash

  1. This book sounds awesome. Where did you get it? I really like the the paragraph you chose to quote but, you gave away the whole book! Next, time you could try to leave some suspense.

  2. I read this book over the summer and it was really good. I really liked the paragraph you had because it added a lot of suspense to your letter essay!! Good Job!!!

  3. Really nice job! I’m doing an essay in that book, and I didn’t really know what to write but now since I’ve read this, I have a perfect idea! This is one of my favorite books of all times! Great job!

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