Friday, September 13, 2013

ARC REVIEW: YOU DON’T KNOW ME LIKE THAT (Rumor Central, #2) by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Title: You Don’t Know Me Like That
Series: Rumor Central, #2
Author: ReShonda Tate Billingsley
Publisher: K-Teen/Dafina
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Genre: Young Adult
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
Source: NetGalley
My rating: 5/5


She dishes celebrity dirt no one else dares. But now, Maya Morgan is about to get a taste of her own medicine. . .

Gossip show "Rumor Central" has gone beyond Miami to national syndication. So now's the time for Maya Morgan to really make her brand blow up. But her brand starts to blow up in her face when a super-fan takes over her online life, trashing her reputation, and putting her gossip future at risk. Now Maya will need every down-and-dirty move--and a little help from her frenemies--to manage this disaster and save everything she's dished so hard to get. . .


From the summary on NetGalley, this sounded like it was going to be an awesome read, and that’s exactly what it was! When I requested the book for review, I wasn’t aware that this is the second book in the Rumor Central series, but after finishing it, I can safely say it can be read as a stand-alone AND this author clearly knows her fabulous! Though references were often made to events in the first book, it didn’t make me feel as though I was missing out on any crucial details I should know about the characters, but it did make me curious enough to want to read the first book.

From the synopsis I got the impression that Maya is an all-out diva and I was going to roll my eyes often at her attitude. Maybe in her head Maya thinks she’s a diva, but I actually liked her so much more than I thought I would. I didn’t always agree with what she did or how she handled certain situations and people, but the way she responded to it is exactly the way a teen would do, and thus I felt her character to be adequately developed for teen readers to be able to identify with her in many ways. I even liked Maya’s diva friends and I often smiled at their antics.

What I liked most about the story though is that there is a lesson in there for anyone who regularly uses the internet and access their emails; one that centers around cyber stalking and protecting your identity while online. It’s written in an informative way and through Maya’s experiences with super-fan, Jayla, the importance of being vigilant about passwords while online, and how easily it is for hackers to steal your identity, is brought to the front in such a way it makes you want to change all your passwords as soon as you’ve finished the final chapter of this book.

This is my first experience with Billingsley’s writing and I’m super impressed. I definitely want to read the first book in this series, and all the books that follow, as well as any of her other books. You Don’t Know Me Like That is a clean read void of profanity and adult content, and as such I highly recommend it for readers aged twelve and up. After the last chapter, there’s also a list of questions about the story suitable for book clubs. The dialogue is witty and though Maya’s in a class of her own, she’s a character with values and morals, but in no way is this written in a preachy manner. It’s also a light and quick read, and the reader walks away from it with lots to think about. I’m happy I gave this book a go, and…oh, yes…I think Maya should definitely give Alvin a chance!

This review forms part of my three-month participation in the NetGalley Knockout Challenge for 2013.



ReShonda Tate Billingsley is a general assignment reporter for KRIV-TV, the Fox affiliate in Houston, Texas. She is the author of the nonfiction book Help! I've Turned Into My Mother! and three previous adult novels: My Brother's Keeperfor which she received the prestigious Gold Pen Award for Best New Author from the Black Writer's Alliance and the Nova Lee Nation Award from the Greater Dallas Writing Association; the national bestseller Let the Church Say Amenchosen for Library Journal's Best of 2004 list for Christian fiction; and I Know I've Been Changeda Main Selection of the Black Expressions Book Club.
Her previous Christian teen novels are Nothing But Drama and Blessings in Disguise, both available from Pocket Books.
She is also a contributor to the story anthology Have a Little Faith.


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