Review: Queen of Likes by Hillary Homzie


Queen of Likes by Hillary Homzie

Karma Cooper is a seventh grader with thousands of followers on SnappyPic. Before Karma became a social media celebrity, she wasn’t part of the in-crowd at Merton Middle School. But thanks to one serendipitous photo, Karma has become a very popular poster on SnappyPic. Besides keeping up with all of her followers, like most kids at MMS, her smartphone—a bejeweled pink number Karma nicknamed Floyd—is like a body part she could never live without.

But after breaking some basic phone rules, Karma’s cruel, cruel parents take Floyd away, and for Karma, her world comes to a screeching halt. Can Karma—who can text, post photos, play soccer, and chew gum all at the same time—learn to go cold turkey and live her life fully unplugged?

Title: Queen of Likes
Author: Hillary Homzie
Publication date: April 5, 2016

Karma has twelve thousand followers on Instagram SnappyPic until her parents take away her phone and delete her account. I don’t blame them for for taking away her phone after she’s become addicted to it, but deleting the account seems harsh. Presumably they do plan to give her phone back at some point before she goes away to college. She worked hard for those followers and it would be devastating (in a first-world-problems-sheltered-twelve-year-old-girl kind of way) to completely lose her account and all those followers forever.

Karma takes it pretty well, though. She does borrow her best friend’s phone a lot, but there’s minimal whining to her parents about it and she learns to get along without a phone of her own — even though it does mean she’s cut off from her friends when they’re not in school. Not only is (was) she a hit on SnappyPic, but she’s also making her move to the popular crowd at school by volunteering to take charge of social media for the seventh grade for Spirit Week. The inability to text anyone makes it a little more difficult to communicate with the other committee members, but what really hurts is losing all those SnappyPic followers and having to borrow a phone just to access the social media she’s in charge of.

Meanwhile, she’s also preparing for her upcoming bat mitzvah, which means completing service project in addition to Hebrew classes. Karma’s mother finds her some volunteer work at the historical society, and Karma’s surprised to find out that she actually likes it and the other volunteers. Unfortunately, her time at the historical society cuts into the time she’s supposed to be spending on Spirit Week. Missing committee meetings is not appreciated, but no one is too mean about it. Karma has also picked up a new hobby and is throwing herself into it, which means she’s spreading herself too thin. No having her phone to post Spirit Week reminders at her convenience doesn’t help either.

It was fun reading about Karma discovering new things outside her phone. Books about tweens and teens being too attached to their phones have the potential to become preachy and anti-technology, but that isn’t the case with Queen of Likes. Karma misses her phone, but once she finds other interests, she doesn’t miss it quite as much. She’s too busy having fun, which is how it should be, phone or no phone.

4 stars



  1. Thanks, Jenna, for posting your review of Queen of Likes. I really appreciate being part of Middle Grade Madness!