The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya
Everyone talks about falling in love, but falling in friendship can be just as captivating. When Neela Devaki’s song is covered by internet-famous artist Rukmini, the two musicians meet and a transformative friendship begins. But as Rukmini’s star rises and Neela’s stagnates, jealousy and self-doubt creep in. With a single tweet, their friendship implodes, one career is destroyed, and the two women find themselves at the center of an internet firestorm.
I enjoyed pretty much everything about this book.
I loved our two main characters, Neela and Rukmini. They’re both really interesting characters. Neela, especially. I really related with a lot of her. She seems like a cold, closed-off person, but is really vulnerable and a great friend. I also really liked the side characters and thought they added a lot to the book. Hayley particularly was really interesting, and I thought the way she was portrayed was great.
This book also says a lot of things about a lot of different topics without feeling like it was shoving a message down your throat. It talked about female friendships, jealousy, social media, being trans and brown in the music industry, the music industry in general, performative activism. It covered all of these topics, but didn’t necessarily tell you what to think about each topic. As a very jealous person, I particularly enjoyed the exploration of friendship and jealousy. It was really well done.
I also loved the ending. I won’t get too into it, but I thought it was perfect. I was worried about the ending, because it’s a hard story to wrap-up without being either too feel-good or too sad. But it ended up being perfect, and I literally can’t think of a better ending for this book.
Last, I really appreciated the representation in this book. Most of the characters are women of colour, and I loved how most of the side characters were woc too. It felt realistic and genuine. Rukmini is trans, and it’s discussed without being a major plot point. Obviously, I can’t speak to the accuracy of any of the representation as a white, cis person, but I did appreciate the representation and diversity. We in the book community always talk about wanting diverse books about marginalized people just living their life, and this book is a perfect example of that.
So there’s my review of The Subtweet! Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Let me know!