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Mandi Kaye @ Never Too Fond of Books

Louisa May Alcott may as well have been writing about me when she wrote "She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain!" But I am a staunch believer that there is no such thing.

Sometimes Never, Sometimes Always - Elissa Janine Hoole Reviewed at http://www.mandikayereads.com/sometimes-never-sometimes-always-elissa-janine-hoole-review/ (10/23/13)I requested this book because I thought I might relate to it. My family became very religious during my later teen years. And I had a secret obsession with the occult.Of course, I had no idea what a blog was back then so I never did what Cass did - but were I re-living those days now I'm sure I would.It's difficult enough trying to figure out who you are as you're growing up. But when you throw a family and community into the mix who are convinced that the thoughts and feelings you have are evil - it makes it a hell of a lot harder.But Cass wasn't the most interesting character in this book to me - that honor fell to her brother. He was struggling with the idea that he was gay, while still trying to uphold his faith. His story was more interesting to me. He was very hypocritical it seemed - he was constantly telling Cass how wrong she was for her website and how worried he was for her soul - when he was himself engaging in something his church damns him for. But I understand it. I honestly do. It was a realistic depiction of how these things evolve and take over your life, your emotions. and your thoughts.Unfortunately, websites are shady things. We've all heard the phrases "don't feed the trolls" and "don't read the comments." People in Cass' school took the opportunity to use her website as an anonymous way to bully the people who came to her for advice. Way harsh, Tai. The comments made were awful. And Cass decided that she didn't need to moderate the comments because she wasn't the one making them. It wasn't until they hit a little too close to home that she intervened - but by then the damage was already done.I think Cass' story is a familiar one. Internet fame, albeit anonymous internet fame, can make you feel special. Popular. Important. And you don't want to do anything to jeopardize that - even if it means compromising who you are and maybe sacrificing a few friendships along the way.I won't tell you what happened in the end, but I'm sure you can guess at least parts of it - since it does have a very after-school special feel to it (literally). But the message was a good one. It was handled well and was far less cliched than I expected it to be.