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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Laura Heffernan's Anna's Guide To Getting Even is the tumultuous story of Anna Guerra, a hard-working junior executive that falls victim to having her life destroyed by a vengeful ex. After surviving a major hurricane, when Anna and her current boyfriend Jay enter their office, the internet, email, and even Anna's phone are filled with thousands of racial slurs and sexually degrading remarks. Anna soon discovers that nude photos of her are plastered all over billboards, the internet, and even fake profile resumes. Her phone number, address, and email address are attached to the photos. Anna loses her job, Jay ends their relationship, and her reputation nosedives. She goes into hiding at a hotel and falls into depression. One evening Anna decides she needs to get control of her life and makes a life-altering choice.
Anna's Guide To Getting Even is a fictional story and isn't an actual guide. Laura Heffernan addresses the need for young people to be conscious of what they share on social media. I liked the emotional views and relatable attitude of Anna. She was a very independent woman and fell in love with a controlling man interested only in his life aspirations. This story made me rethink how much trust I can put in a person with my confidential information and sensitive photos. The backstory is well-written with imagery that explains Anna's mindset, and the conclusion of the story is realistic. Technology advances but it can also cripple. This is a great book that parents should share with their teens. Remember that once you put anything on the internet or send something by a smartphone application, it is always out there. Your identity is available to anyone to hijack, and the more you share, the easier it is to be exploited.