Review: Something Wiki by Suzanne Sutherland

Middle Grade Madness

Something Wiki by Suzanne Sutherland

Jo Waller has three brainy friends, two mostly harmless parents, and one deep, dark secret: she edits Wikipedia for fun. But when her 24-year-old brother moves back home with his pregnant girlfriend, Jo is forced to reconcile the idealized version of her absent, cool older brother with the reality of romantic relationships and the truth behind so many embarrassing health class videos.

With the young couple moving back into the family home, there’s barely enough room for anyone to move, let alone have any privacy. Throw in some major friendship turbulence, a seriously unrequited crush, and a mortifyingly bad haircut, and it’s looking like Jo will be lucky to make it out of the year alive. When you’re a pizza-faced dork who uses Wikipedia as a diary and would rather wear ancient hand-me-downs than shop at the mall, what’s the upside? Jo is about to find it in the most unlikely way.

Title: Something Wiki
Author: Suzanne Sutherland
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Publication date: January 3, 2015

I received Something Wiki from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friends growing apart is a common theme in contemporary middle grade, probably because it’s so common in real life. It’s something many middle grade readers have faced or will face in the near future and it’s the main theme of Something Wiki. Jo’s upset and confused, of course, when her best friend Stacey and their other friend Chloe suddenly start excluding her and lying about why they can’t hang out with her, but she handles it with maturity. It won’t bring Stacey and Chloe back, but I hope Jo and her other friend Trisha are able to hang onto each other.

A fun and unusual aspect of the book is that Jo regularly edits Wikipedia. She doesn’t just add factual information. In essence, she vandalizes it, using it as a diary, adding jokes and talking about her day and her problems. Other people come along and edit out her additions so they’re never up for very long. If this was widespread, it would render Wikipedia completely useless, but I think it would be fun to come across a random entry that someone like Jo had done this to.

Something Wiki is pretty short. There’s a lot packed into the book, but none of it is touched upon as much as Jo’s friendship issues. The other parts, including the family dynamics of adding two people (and eventually a baby) are much more in the background. Even a lot of Jo’s interactions with Jen, her brother’s girlfriend, revolve around Jo’s friendship problems. Jen is young enough to remember middle school and can relate to what Jo is going through. She also some good advice to share. I think Jo is going to find Jen a valuable resource over the next few years. While I would have more focus on Jo’s expanding family, I could have done without the descriptions of Jo’s oily skin and the popping of her zits. Disgusting.

3 1/2 stars
addtogoodreads

Jenna

Comments

  1. Popping zits?! That should never be in a book!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings
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  2. Okay… this sounds a little too familiar because some of the kids in my American Government class in high school edited Wikipedia like that all the time. At one point, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was married to our teacher.

    It seems fun enough for me to pick up for my classroom library if I teach middle school.

    Great review!
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  3. I like the whole lot idea about editing wikipedia, I never came across a book with that theme before. But indeed if it was widespread it would render wikipedia useless, but to come across an entry like that sometimes would be fun. Glad to hear you enjoyed this book, although it sounds like it’s nice if there was some more focus on the other issues beside the friendschips.
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    • I think the book just needed to be longer so she could focus on some other things. The part about her brother and his pregnant girlfriend moving in was really interesting. It just didn’t have enough time devoted to it.
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  4. Sounds good… except for the popping zits part! Happy 2015 🙂
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  5. I am glad you liked it and I so agree that popping zits should not be in books..eww.
    Stormi recently posted…My TBR List: January ~Let’s Vote!My Profile

    • I have to admit I’m getting a little tired of the middle grade main character getting left behind by cooler friends storyline, but this one was well done. I think if I’m going to continue reading middle grade I need to expand outside the contemporary genre.
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  6. This sounds like a good book for a middle grader, I used to teach that level and it sounds like them. The editing of wikipedia would have been fun. Zits not so much. TMI !
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  7. I can’t decide if I like the sound of this book or not! In some ways it sounds like it works, but in others it sounds like it really doesn’t.
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