From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-It has been several months since Jason and Lacey started messaging each other through Facebook, and Jason has never been happier. Finally, he has found a girl who understands him and listens to the same indie bands that he does, not to mention that she also happens to be beautiful. There's only one problem: a Google search for Lacey's name links to her obituary. Stunned by this revelation, Jason is soon enveloped by the mystery surrounding Lacey's death and the dramas of the high school caste system that he has tried so hard to avoid. Defriended is an exciting mystery that will appeal to today's digital natives who have grown up surrounded by status updates, tweets, and mobile devices. Furthermore, this novel is timely due to recent high-profile examples of "catfishing"-where an individual creates a false online identity, often with deceptive or malicious romantic goals. Baron's writing style is full of references to the indie-music scene and maintains an engaging pace throughout. Of note is the regular use of instant and text messages sent between the characters, identifiable through the use of a separate font style that perfectly captures the now-dominant mode of communication among students and their peers. An excellent addition to any YA mystery collection.-Ryan F. Paulsen, New Rochelle High School, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This juicy offering from the newly revived Point Horror imprint hits kids where they live: Facebook. Jason’s mere 248 Facebook friends are indicative of his “utterly pathetic middle- and high-school career,” so it’s no wonder he’s obsessed with Lacey, a pretty 16-year-old he’s never met but who shares his music tastes via Facebook chat. Impatient to meet her in person, Jason searches the web for her name and discovers a small problem: Lacey died several months ago. So is the Lacey he’s chatting with a ghost? An imposter? Or is it possible that Lacey is still alive? Baron taps into very real modern-day concerns about online impersonations to deliver a fast, predictable, but undeniably fun horror thriller that has Jason aligning himself with Lacey’s former best friend, brother, and boyfriend, any one of whom could be the puppet master behind the deadly play. Pair this with another Point Horror title, Anna Davies’ Identity Theft(2013), which also centers around the fiendish fad of Facebook. Grades 8-11. --Daniel Kraus