Author: Kelly Hourihan
Published November 7th 2013 by Lemon Sherbet Press
* This was given to me thanks to Lemon Sherbet Press & Netgalley for an honest review.
Summary: Fifteen-year-old Jane Shilling’s best friends don’t know her real name. In fact, they don’t know anything about her at all. Jane’s life has collapsed in the last few years; following the death of her mother, her father turned to drinking, and Jane is reeling from the double blow. To escape, Jane devises a number of online personas, each with a distinct personality, life history, and set of friends. But things become trickier when she finds herself drawing close to some of her online friends, and winds up struggling with the question of how to maintain a real friendship while masquerading as a fake person. With the help of Gary, a socially awkward classmate and competitive Skeeball player who is Jane’s only offline friend, and Nora, her therapist, Jane begins to sift through her issues. The only catch is that that involves taking a long, hard look at what her life’s like when the computer is shut off, and that’s a reality she’s been fighting for years.
4 to 16 Characters is a story of Jane who loves being online and creating fake personalities mixed with her own reality to not face her own world.
I hate to admit this, but I related to Jane A LOT in this book. A few years ago I was apart of the very popular fandom of LOST, and would often role play characters from the tv. While I didn't do the fan fiction writing of it, the role play was very much in the same sense. I was glued to my group of online writing fans and we would talk about the show and talk about up coming lines we would have in the writing group. It was a lot of fun at the time. It's something that was a lot of fun, and allowed you to connect with other fans in the same fandom. Unlike Jane, I didn't have multiple personalities online. Just the one I was writing in the group, and when I was talking "out of character" I was true to who I was.
I thought this book was entertaining and a quick read. This was told through emails, posts, and other forms of online which makes the book quick. The only thing I would complain about is that the adults had voices like children. Sure the father did lose his wife and was a drunk, but how it was written he sounded like a whiny teenager. Overall, not a bad book. Enjoyable.