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Meme

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For fans of One of Us Is Lying, a tense, psychological thriller for the internet age about the destructive combination of self-important goals and self-serving plans. No one is going to miss Cole Weston. A loner without friends or family and an unhealthy obsession with the darker corners of the internet, Cole had become increasingly violent toward his ex-girlfriend, and thr For fans of One of Us Is Lying, a tense, psychological thriller for the internet age about the destructive combination of self-important goals and self-serving plans. No one is going to miss Cole Weston. A loner without friends or family and an unhealthy obsession with the darker corners of the internet, Cole had become increasingly violent toward his ex-girlfriend, and threated to do so much worse. So it was only logical–only right, really–that his former friends took it upon themselves to rid the world of Cole Weston. Now, Logan, Meeka, Holly, and Grayson are forever bound by Cole’s body, buried under the cold Vermont earth. The failsafe should any one of them consider betrayal: their old phones, buried with Cole, disconnected from service, and each wiped clean except for one file–their video confession. As expected, no one misses Cole. Or even realizes he’s gone. But a few days later, the meme appears. It’s a stupid meme, old school and not even funny. But every terrible joke has one thing in common, the same photo–a screenshot from the confession video still entombed six feet under with Cole.


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For fans of One of Us Is Lying, a tense, psychological thriller for the internet age about the destructive combination of self-important goals and self-serving plans. No one is going to miss Cole Weston. A loner without friends or family and an unhealthy obsession with the darker corners of the internet, Cole had become increasingly violent toward his ex-girlfriend, and thr For fans of One of Us Is Lying, a tense, psychological thriller for the internet age about the destructive combination of self-important goals and self-serving plans. No one is going to miss Cole Weston. A loner without friends or family and an unhealthy obsession with the darker corners of the internet, Cole had become increasingly violent toward his ex-girlfriend, and threated to do so much worse. So it was only logical–only right, really–that his former friends took it upon themselves to rid the world of Cole Weston. Now, Logan, Meeka, Holly, and Grayson are forever bound by Cole’s body, buried under the cold Vermont earth. The failsafe should any one of them consider betrayal: their old phones, buried with Cole, disconnected from service, and each wiped clean except for one file–their video confession. As expected, no one misses Cole. Or even realizes he’s gone. But a few days later, the meme appears. It’s a stupid meme, old school and not even funny. But every terrible joke has one thing in common, the same photo–a screenshot from the confession video still entombed six feet under with Cole.

30 review for Meme

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melanie (mells_view)

    ”It never just is. There’s always a story behind things, but the stories get buried. Written over. Forgotten.” Have you ever read a story with a cast of characters that are each flawed and unlikable in their own way, and they’ve also done something incredibly heinous, but you’re oddly rooting for them anyway? Yeah. Meme is that story. Cue up Meme. A story with a (justifiable?) murder, a digital resurrection, and a gaggle of anxious teenagers. Basically Cole is an alt right loose cannon, who has th ”It never just is. There’s always a story behind things, but the stories get buried. Written over. Forgotten.” Have you ever read a story with a cast of characters that are each flawed and unlikable in their own way, and they’ve also done something incredibly heinous, but you’re oddly rooting for them anyway? Yeah. Meme is that story. Cue up Meme. A story with a (justifiable?) murder, a digital resurrection, and a gaggle of anxious teenagers. Basically Cole is an alt right loose cannon, who has threatened to kill Meeka, his ex, and their small group of friends. The friends, Grayson, Holly, and Logan, are panicked by Cole’s abuse and threats and decide one night that they’ve gotta murder Cole for themselves and Meeka. Seems extreme, but what is a YA thriller without its extreme acts? I don’t want to spoil anything, but essentially they bury Cole’s body, along with their old phones, with recorded confessions on them. Somehow days after the murder, a snapshot from that confession, in the form of a meme, starts making its rounds in their high school. Thus ensues teenage panic and paranoia amongst their group. Honestly. I didn’t know what was going on, who to trust, and what the heck would happen at the end until the very end. And let me just tell you, I was NOT expecting that ending. I mean. Yeah, no comment. To end this story was incredibly well written. The characters are self serving and sketchy as all get out, but I kept hoping the best for them. Which, honestly makes me wonder if I need some form of therapy, but yeah. It also kind of explores the question of what happens to the subject of the meme after the meme. Like we poke fun at these people’s expense and then one day they just fizzle out, or they no longer look like the meme. Just a curious thought this story poses. Overall, a well written read that will keep you in suspense. The ending is quiet unexpected and very poetic. I kind of want to pinch Aaron Starmer though. Just a little tiny pinch. AVAILABLE NOW! *ARC provided by PenguinTeen through NetGalley!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Angela Staudt

    Meme started out incredibly strong and with a murder. Four very close knit friends decide to murder someone who was once close to them. They all make a confession on their old phones, and then put the phones with the dead body. It was a whirlwind of a beginning and we are getting perspectives of each of the four friends. Slowly though, I lost interest in this book. A meme of them making their confession gets leaked, so they know someone was there that night watching them. They all start to unrave Meme started out incredibly strong and with a murder. Four very close knit friends decide to murder someone who was once close to them. They all make a confession on their old phones, and then put the phones with the dead body. It was a whirlwind of a beginning and we are getting perspectives of each of the four friends. Slowly though, I lost interest in this book. A meme of them making their confession gets leaked, so they know someone was there that night watching them. They all start to unravel and you don't know who to trust. I just felt like these were all very flat and bland characters. They have all done some messed up things, but I didn't care. I mean all it took was one meme and they all basically hate each other, which if you were such good friends to murder someone you would think they would stay together through this hiccup. Another thing, was this book was all over the place and some things that happened were not even important in the book, but yet we spent a lot of time on them. The ending felt like a cop out and when I finished I kept going, is my book missing pages? Am I missing a chapter or two? It ends very abruptly and I did not like it, nor is it believable at all. Not a single thing was wrapped up in the end, which I don't know if that means this is going to be a series or what. I think this had potential to be a great thriller, but the characters needed more depth. I needed to be more invested with each character to care about what was happening. Don't let my opinion dissuade you from reading this, I think it's a good thriller, just not up their with the best books.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joleen (starlightbooktales)

    Thanks to Netgalley & Penguin Teen for allowing me to read this book. 3 stars Meme by Aaron Stramer sounded like my kind of book. YA thriller/murder mystery, I mean that’s one of my favorite kinds of reads! And while the start of the book was great, the concept of the story was very interesting. The whole meme aspect was exciting. But I sorta lost interest in the middle of the book. I had high hopes that the story would pick back up by the end, but I just didn’t care for the characters or the stor Thanks to Netgalley & Penguin Teen for allowing me to read this book. 3 stars Meme by Aaron Stramer sounded like my kind of book. YA thriller/murder mystery, I mean that’s one of my favorite kinds of reads! And while the start of the book was great, the concept of the story was very interesting. The whole meme aspect was exciting. But I sorta lost interest in the middle of the book. I had high hopes that the story would pick back up by the end, but I just didn’t care for the characters or the story. This had so much potential to be a great thriller but the characters were just so unlikeable. And while I don’t like to spoil things, I will say the ending was unsatisfying in so many ways.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    Meme by Aaron Starmer started out so strong but it became progressively weaker as the pages turned. I loved the idea of a random meme popping up featuring the four murderers on the night in question. It is literally catnip to my mystery loving heart! The four people in the meme didn’t find it so coincidental since the meme photo was taken from a screenshot of their combined confession and buried with their phones with the body! Here’s where things fell apart a bit for me; for a group of friends Meme by Aaron Starmer started out so strong but it became progressively weaker as the pages turned. I loved the idea of a random meme popping up featuring the four murderers on the night in question. It is literally catnip to my mystery loving heart! The four people in the meme didn’t find it so coincidental since the meme photo was taken from a screenshot of their combined confession and buried with their phones with the body! Here’s where things fell apart a bit for me; for a group of friends that are so tight that they would murder someone to protect one of their own only to fall apart via a lack of communication and paranoia was just a bit too much for me to swallow. There just wasn’t enough core content and character development for me to feel like the characters were even that good of friends, which made it hard for me to empathize with any of the characters, outside of Gus. What I did like was the beginning to the meme mystery. The sense of who-dun-it was thrilling but then the narrators came in and I felt like they were all living on different planets. I liked the in-depth look at how a meme can destroy someone’s life and have an impact years later. I liked the writing style and the creepy atmosphere that hung over like a cloud and this brings me to the ending! I did not like the ending! Seriously? You leave me with an ending like this and I’ll be thinking of what may have happened for weeks, possibly months! Ugh, I don’t like interpretive endings! This is a good YA thriller/mystery but I think it could have been stellar if there was better character development and a little more to the ending.

  5. 5 out of 5

    TL

    What the heck did I read? I wasn't super into it but I was curious enough to see where it was going (the meme angle was more interesting than the other plot point). It was a three read for me for awhile. Until that ending and the reveal.. umm? Very abrupt and kinda lazy, especially since the writing up to that point was pretty good/compulsively readable. I can enjoy a mystery even if it gets predictable. Sometimes its just about escaping reality for awhile, but this felt like a lost opportunity. What the heck did I read? I wasn't super into it but I was curious enough to see where it was going (the meme angle was more interesting than the other plot point). It was a three read for me for awhile. Until that ending and the reveal.. umm? Very abrupt and kinda lazy, especially since the writing up to that point was pretty good/compulsively readable. I can enjoy a mystery even if it gets predictable. Sometimes its just about escaping reality for awhile, but this felt like a lost opportunity.

  6. 4 out of 5

    ella (alecsbow)

    2.5/5 thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgallery for the arc! :) four friends, bound together by a secret. murder. the murder they committed together. everything seems to be going according to plan, they’ve covered their tracks. they’re safe. until suddenly, they aren’t anymore. a picture, alas, a MEME, is leaked in which can easily bust each and every one of them. sounds so good, right? i thought so too😭 here’s the thing. it was a fantastic idea. really, genius. but the execution was..... not the gr 2.5/5 thank you to Penguin Teen and Netgallery for the arc! :) four friends, bound together by a secret. murder. the murder they committed together. everything seems to be going according to plan, they’ve covered their tracks. they’re safe. until suddenly, they aren’t anymore. a picture, alas, a MEME, is leaked in which can easily bust each and every one of them. sounds so good, right? i thought so too😭 here’s the thing. it was a fantastic idea. really, genius. but the execution was..... not the greatest. first of all, if you’re going to write a book on memes, you should have some kind of idea of the station of current memes. now, it can get tricky considering they change so often, but i think we can all agree there are some memes we just can’t, and will never want to let, die. as soon as i saw the word “dank” in this book, i heaved to myself the greatest sigh i have ever heaved and knew it was all over. this book could have had such potential. us teens love our pop culture references! if the author would have thrown a reference to a vine or something simple, like he literally could have put the words “two(four) bros chilling in a hot tub” over the meme and i would have been like yes!!! I UNDERSTOOD THAT REFERENCE!!! it started out strong. i was hooked. i was hanging off the edge of my seat, as they say. but then..... there was a twist. kind of? i don’t know. an idea was brought up about halfway through the book and that was where it started to go downhill. in a mystery book such as this one, i find that it’s important to have shock factor. you’re patiently waiting for that jaw-dropping finale. you’re sweating in anticipation. you’re just DYING to get to those last pages. it’s fun sometimes when you can figure out the ending before it happens. that means the author has conviently and expertly laid little hints and clues for you to pick up on. i don’t mind this. but when the ending is spelled out for you and has been since the beginning of the book... that’s just not fun. there were times i was rushing through this. there were times i was pinning my eyeballs open to try to get through the next few pages. this book was all over the place. it certainly doesn’t get points for character development, and it definitely doesn’t get any points for diversity. every character in this book is straight and white unless i somehow missed something. overall, good idea but cringe execution. i want my “two bros chilling in a hot tub five feet apart cuz they’re not gay” reference next time, thank you very much.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)

    Uff... I really, REALLY wanted to like this one but unfortunately it fell very short for me. As a meme lover, I couldn't help but be drawn in to with the title and the synopsis. And for some reason I thought this was horror but turns out it's actually a thriller ... and not very thrilling at that. The book opens up nicely with the gang burying their "friend", Cole. The timeline alternates here and there and goes through each of their POVs so you get a full rounded picture of what was going on wi Uff... I really, REALLY wanted to like this one but unfortunately it fell very short for me. As a meme lover, I couldn't help but be drawn in to with the title and the synopsis. And for some reason I thought this was horror but turns out it's actually a thriller ... and not very thrilling at that. The book opens up nicely with the gang burying their "friend", Cole. The timeline alternates here and there and goes through each of their POVs so you get a full rounded picture of what was going on within this crew of characters. Honestly, I LOVE to hate on characters but they need to be complex and interesting and I just didn't find any of these teens intriguing. What I did like about this book is how social media/memes, etc. can become extremely hurtful and how teenagers actually will react to being publicly shamed with these. Unfortunately this is an all too real problem in society. However, the reasoning behind the initial murder didn't hold water and the ending was just no..... it felt like someone doing a voice over and while I don't mind ambiguous endings at times, the openness of this one failed to impress.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emily ~ breatheeasybooks

    I. Am. Sooo. ANGRY! First of all, the writing in this book was fantastic. The chapters alternate between 3 out of 4 of the main characters, creating 3 well written unreliable narrators. The story was intriguing and I was hooked from the very beginning. The meme mystery was enthralling and felt very relevant in this digital age and the psychological aspect that the characters dealt with was really fascinating to watch unfold, so most of the time I just couldn’t put it down! I don’t read many myste I. Am. Sooo. ANGRY! First of all, the writing in this book was fantastic. The chapters alternate between 3 out of 4 of the main characters, creating 3 well written unreliable narrators. The story was intriguing and I was hooked from the very beginning. The meme mystery was enthralling and felt very relevant in this digital age and the psychological aspect that the characters dealt with was really fascinating to watch unfold, so most of the time I just couldn’t put it down! I don’t read many mysteries/thrillers, so to be completely captivated by the story from the very beginning was awesome; when I was reading I was on the edge of my seat, and when I wasn’t reading, I was wanting to because I GOTSTA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS AND HOW IT ENDS! And this feeling continued until the very last chapter when, sadly, the ending ruined it all for me. I won’t say why because of spoilers, but one piece of the final chapter left me so angry so I had to set my kindle down carefully to avoid throwing it. I’ve never read a thriller with this kind of ending, so I’m just feeling very conflicted about it. The way it ended feels simultaneously like an act of evil genius and utter laziness. It all comes down to feeling like I don’t have the closure I desperately need! A part of me thinks giving it 2 stars seems a little too harsh considering how captivated I was by the majority of the book, but I can’t stop this feeling of being let down. I don’t want to deter anyone from giving this book a try because the writing was fantastic and the characters made me root for them despite all the bad things they’d done, but that ending just ruined my feeling for this story. I truly hope others enjoy it more than I did. Special thank you to NetGalley, Penguin Group, Dutton Books for around Readers, and Aaron Starmer for sending me an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Avid Reader and Geek Girl

    I received an eARC of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. 3.5 stars This book was okay. The pacing was horrible, the book seemed to drag on and on. The characters were all unlikable and had a medium level of character development. The “big” reveal was not good or surprising at all, except for the very last page of the book. The writing quality was okay. It was slightly though-provoking. It was entertaining at least and fairly I received an eARC of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. 3.5 stars This book was okay. The pacing was horrible, the book seemed to drag on and on. The characters were all unlikable and had a medium level of character development. The “big” reveal was not good or surprising at all, except for the very last page of the book. The writing quality was okay. It was slightly though-provoking. It was entertaining at least and fairly enjoyable what is what gave it a higher rating.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Aimee Dars

    When Cole Weston, the school's erratic and violet bad boy threatens a group of friends, they decide they have no choice but to stop him. They think their plan is foolproof--until a still of the foursome confessing--a fail safe they were going to hide with Cole’s body as collateral against incriminating each other--is turned into a meme and goes viral. The book shifts between the perspectives of the four friends, Grayson, Meeka, Holly, and Logan, as their perfect plan comes apart. Rather than work When Cole Weston, the school's erratic and violet bad boy threatens a group of friends, they decide they have no choice but to stop him. They think their plan is foolproof--until a still of the foursome confessing--a fail safe they were going to hide with Cole’s body as collateral against incriminating each other--is turned into a meme and goes viral. The book shifts between the perspectives of the four friends, Grayson, Meeka, Holly, and Logan, as their perfect plan comes apart. Rather than work together to determine the origin of the meme, the teenagers devolve into paranoia and suspicion, starting their own inquiries, reneging on agreements, forming dubious external alliances, and blaming each other for the breach in security. Meme is action-packed and fast-paced, and an entertaining look at the dissolution of trust and loyalty. I liked having alternating points of view; however, I thought the characters were a bit stereotypical and underdeveloped, and I wish each character had a more distinct voice. Through the example of a famous meme, Boyatee, that Cole was obsessed with, Starmer also explores the impact, often negative, of internet fame. While I was in general intrigued by the last chapter, I did want more closure to the ending. Try if you liked One of Us Is Lying. Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton Books for Young Readers/Penguin Teen for providing an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review. Aimee Dars Reads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Flickr | Pinterest

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tori Brown

    Did I enjoy these characters? Not very much. But did I root for them despite their flaws? Yes. When Cole threatens to kill his ex and the rest of their friend group, they decide to take matters into their own hands and kill him first. After the murder they film confessions on their phones and bury them with Cole. However, a few days later a meme is spread amongst their school and the meme is a screenshot from their confession. The story takes us on a journey to figure out where that meme came fro Did I enjoy these characters? Not very much. But did I root for them despite their flaws? Yes. When Cole threatens to kill his ex and the rest of their friend group, they decide to take matters into their own hands and kill him first. After the murder they film confessions on their phones and bury them with Cole. However, a few days later a meme is spread amongst their school and the meme is a screenshot from their confession. The story takes us on a journey to figure out where that meme came from and who knows about Cole. This book gave me Pretty Little Liars and Outerbanks vibes. I enjoyed it but I feel like the story did drag on. I really wish Aaron would have started the book off before the murder happened to get more insight of what exactly led up to their decision. Each chapter is a different point of view which I didn’t mind. I feel like the suspense was written great and some of the twists were unexpected. The characters weren’t very likeable to me and I never felt connected to any of them. The last page though is extremely shocking!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Four teens bound together by a secret they share about a fifth, then suddenly a meme appears that could expose that secret. How would you react? Probably the same as Holly, Logan, Grayson and Meeka do: suspecting each other, suspecting others, frantically plotting some way to get out of their situation. There's a huge clue as to what's going on for careful readers, and the suspense is sometimes ramped up in ways that make it actually less suspenseful. On the other hand, these are supposed to be Four teens bound together by a secret they share about a fifth, then suddenly a meme appears that could expose that secret. How would you react? Probably the same as Holly, Logan, Grayson and Meeka do: suspecting each other, suspecting others, frantically plotting some way to get out of their situation. There's a huge clue as to what's going on for careful readers, and the suspense is sometimes ramped up in ways that make it actually less suspenseful. On the other hand, these are supposed to be high school seniors so overreacting is kind of their thing. eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Heather Emokpae

    Came for the story, left because of the language. The premise of the story was intriguing, and it had so much potential. The characters were underdeveloped and detracted from the story. Too much cringing while reading for my liking.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Hailey Carrell

    I went into this book expecting something kind of dumb but fun, but I just was not into it. It started off intriguing, but the characters were just NOT likeable and it was hard for me to care.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Abbie

    Hmmm. I see this doing well as a movie As a book, it was a bit dragging.

  16. 4 out of 5

    CapesandCovers

    I received a e-arc of Meme via Netgalley thanks to Penguin Teen, but this in no way affected my opinion in this review. I'm going to be honest here, Meme is one of those books that's not going to age very well, because of what it's written about. Not to say that there's anything wrong with that, but memes tend to die out, and the way we consume them is constantly changing and going to date this book even more than it already felt. Meme follows four teens who have murdered their classmate, Cole (an I received a e-arc of Meme via Netgalley thanks to Penguin Teen, but this in no way affected my opinion in this review. I'm going to be honest here, Meme is one of those books that's not going to age very well, because of what it's written about. Not to say that there's anything wrong with that, but memes tend to die out, and the way we consume them is constantly changing and going to date this book even more than it already felt. Meme follows four teens who have murdered their classmate, Cole (an alt-right troll), after he vaguely threatened them while drunk one night. They say it was in self defense, and all four of them record a group confession on the phones they bury with Cole's body. Only a few days later a screenshot of their confession becomes the new it meme, leaving the group to panic and point fingers at each other and their classmates for the image. I really liked the concept for Meme, the use of social media so prominently in a thriller sounded amazing, even if it ultimately fell flat for me. I will say that I enjoyed how fast paced things were, the start of the book kicks things off immediately, and the momentum only builds from there. Starmer's writing kept me hooked through the entire book, but unfortunately his multiple POV format didn't work for me. It was to give everyone's perspective to keep the reader guessing, since each character's narration was unreliable, but each character's voice was so similar, I had to keep scanning the dialogue to see who's POV I was reading from because I'd forget mid-chapter. The ending was disappointing to me as well, I had expected things to have more of an explosive finish because of the anticipation I had from all of the buildup, but instead the plot just kind of rolled to a stop.  The entire premise of the book is centered around memes, as you can guess from the title, but I felt like Starmer hasn't actively kept up with how teens interact with memes. I understand that when it was written TikTok wouldn't have been at it's peak, so the consumption of memes was naturally going to feel outdated, except it just came across as the author not paying attention to how Zoomers interact with memes. Throughout the book, all of the teens (all of whom had easy access to technology) felt like they never used the internet...like, for anything fun at all. They all knew how to easily erase their search histories and their computer drives, cookies, etc., but acted as if they didn't look at memes. It was this odd divide as if looking at memes made you a loser (Cole and his outcast friend Gus), and that the main characters didn't anymore, as if it was something they outgrew. Which, if you know any Gen Z teens, makes literally no sense, all the ones I know live, breathe and speak memes. I mean, at one point one of the main characters literally Googles "How to make a meme" which is ridiculous. I know this is a bit of a nitpicky thing, but it really felt disorienting to me, and I have the feeling it will to teens reading it as well. Meme really had so much potential, but just couldn't live up to my expectations. If you're looking for a quick read and are in the mood for a decent mystery, or really love the concept, you'll probably enjoy this, but if you're unsure I'd skip it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Maeghan K

    A very quick and easy read, for which I give Starmer lots of credit. While I didn't really enjoy the story overall, the text itself is extremely readable and goes by fast once you sit down with it. I did, however, have trouble consistently keeping up with the changing POV. I found 2 characters' voices nearly indistinguishable at times (Logan and Holly), and sometimes only clued in due to personal pronouns. That said, the character narrating each chapter is announced at the beginning--and I am ver A very quick and easy read, for which I give Starmer lots of credit. While I didn't really enjoy the story overall, the text itself is extremely readable and goes by fast once you sit down with it. I did, however, have trouble consistently keeping up with the changing POV. I found 2 characters' voices nearly indistinguishable at times (Logan and Holly), and sometimes only clued in due to personal pronouns. That said, the character narrating each chapter is announced at the beginning--and I am very forgetful, admittedly. More often than not, I had to flip back a few pages to confirm who was speaking if I wasn't paying careful enough attention. As for the other primarily featured narrator (Grayson), he certainly had a more recognizable voice, but I didn't find him believable in how he talked or behaved. It all seemed grossly exaggerated, referring to other teens who annoyed him as "that kid" and other language that just seemed too old or formal or uppity for a teen, and the explicit language just seemed odd at times. I agree with many other reviewers in that the ending was confusing and ultimately unsatisfying, but I will avoid further comment for now to avoid spoilers, at least until I can word them better. Finally, even though some of the more prominent memes are made up for the purposes of this story, the real ones referenced are already quite old and this book will date itself fast. This is even acknowledged as such in the story (like, "this meme was around when I was in first grade" or similar), but I don't find that acknowledgement very beneficial. It's still pretty weird. As a big fan of Starmer's Riverman trilogy, I found this contemporary work for (older?) teens disappointing, though nothing about this story indicates that it will be a paranormal romp for middle grades, you know? If you are looking for a very fast read with some quick murder at the beginning, and seeing the devolution of a strong friend group in the midst of life-changing (and life-ending) decisions, you may have fun with this one. I need to get some real teen feedback for this book!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Angelica

    Memes have been the visual form of expressing an emotion or situation. But what happens when the meme is about a murder you helped commit? Meme is I know What You Did Last Summer with a Pretty Little Liars twist. Starmer weaves four narratives to drive the plot, giving several different perspectives on how memes can affect youths. The plot is fast-paced right from the start, dropping the reader in a murder scenario. Soon after the deed is done the pace grinds to a halt. Each character gives a sl Memes have been the visual form of expressing an emotion or situation. But what happens when the meme is about a murder you helped commit? Meme is I know What You Did Last Summer with a Pretty Little Liars twist. Starmer weaves four narratives to drive the plot, giving several different perspectives on how memes can affect youths. The plot is fast-paced right from the start, dropping the reader in a murder scenario. Soon after the deed is done the pace grinds to a halt. Each character gives a slight increase in the momentum by barely giving the plot any depth. The plot was interesting but poorly executed. Logan, Meeka, Holly, and Grayson are all shallow stereotypes of the oops we murdered someone genre. There is no genuine passion in any of the characters and seem to only be held up by the stereotypic archetype they represent. Logan is the superficial go-getter that wants to help the less fortunate only because it makes him look better to the community and wears his privilege like a badge of honor. Holly is the jock that can't help being a leader and doesn't feel she has accomplished anything. While Grayson is the misunderstood bad boy who is artistic. Meeka is the adopted child who gets into a destructive relationship, although no background or evidence is presented besides Cole being an awful person. Yet, all the characters seem to be over privileges, self-absorbed children pretending they know better. There are no qualities that the reader can grasp to feel a connection and makes sympathizing with these characters difficult. An ARC was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sophie T

    *I received an e-arc through Netgalley in exchange for a review. These are my honest opinions* Cole Weston was making Meeka, Logan Grayson, and Holly's lives miserable. He threatened them, and they didn't know what he was capable of. So they killed him, buried him in Meeka's backyard with four of their cellphones that have their confessions on them in case the body is ever found. The plan seems foolproof until a meme starts circulating around school. What's on the meme? It's photos of the four; p *I received an e-arc through Netgalley in exchange for a review. These are my honest opinions* Cole Weston was making Meeka, Logan Grayson, and Holly's lives miserable. He threatened them, and they didn't know what he was capable of. So they killed him, buried him in Meeka's backyard with four of their cellphones that have their confessions on them in case the body is ever found. The plan seems foolproof until a meme starts circulating around school. What's on the meme? It's photos of the four; photos from their confession. Everyone loves a good mystery/thriller. At least, I know I do. It took me a little bit to get into Meme. I think that's because the beginning is a little confusing; there is a lot of back and forth. Yet after the first quarter, I couldn't put the book down. It held my attention longer than most books have lately. I really enjoyed the multiple perspectives, though I'm not sure how I feel about the characters. They're really spoiled and super privileged. The book shows them all slowly spiraling into madness, especially Logan. I couldn't really connect with any of them, but the plot was just too interesting. This was almost a five-star book for me. But then there was the ending. I'm not a fan of cliffhangers in general, but especially not for standalones. Some people might like the constant wondering, "what actually happened?" I'm not that person. I like to know exactly what happened, and that's that. Should you read Meme? Absolutely, especially if you like memes, mysteries, thrillers, and multiple perspectives. Just be prepared for the ending, because you may not be happy with it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ellie Blackwood

    Rounded up from 4.5 stars The second I read the blurb for this book, I knew I had to have it. A cast of antiheroes? Twisted secrets? Internet meme culture? Yes please! For the most part, this book totally delivers on what it promised. I devoured most of it in the space of a day because I couldn't put it down! It's not a super long book, but Starmer manages to create a claustrophobic atmosphere that feels just right for the length. While there is some discussion of meme culture, it doesn't overwhel Rounded up from 4.5 stars The second I read the blurb for this book, I knew I had to have it. A cast of antiheroes? Twisted secrets? Internet meme culture? Yes please! For the most part, this book totally delivers on what it promised. I devoured most of it in the space of a day because I couldn't put it down! It's not a super long book, but Starmer manages to create a claustrophobic atmosphere that feels just right for the length. While there is some discussion of meme culture, it doesn't overwhelm the plot development itself, which I appreciated. Several of the twists made chills creep down my spine, and the narrators themselves felt deliciously unreliable. Oh yes, the narrators! Let's be clear, most everyone in this book is a terrible person, but they feel authentic in their terribleness. I especially loved Logan, the golden boy philanthropist who has the innocent charm of a puppy but isn't always assertive enough to do the right thing. Oh yeah, and he kind of starts to go insane toward the end. We love to see it *chef's kiss* I would have rated this book the full five stars, but honestly the ending threw me a bit. It felt abrupt and I wasn't entirely sure what happened? I couldn't bring myself to dock a full star, because an ambiguous ending felt somewhat right for this kind of story, but I would have liked a little more closure. Thanks to Penguin Teen for the e-ARC!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Margarita (margaritathedrink)

    This book was exactly what i needed to help me get out of this reading slump. Thrillers are usually a hit or miss for me and usually predictable but this one was a page turner from the very beginning and I couldn’t put it down until I could figure out the ending - sadly my prediction was off but that means this story wasn’t easily predictable (well for me anyways). I am a sucker for books with a group of friends who kill one of their friends, its the biggest dark academia trope and although this This book was exactly what i needed to help me get out of this reading slump. Thrillers are usually a hit or miss for me and usually predictable but this one was a page turner from the very beginning and I couldn’t put it down until I could figure out the ending - sadly my prediction was off but that means this story wasn’t easily predictable (well for me anyways). I am a sucker for books with a group of friends who kill one of their friends, its the biggest dark academia trope and although this isn’t considered dark academia, it can easily fit in that category. This book is read through different point of views of the friends who killed their friend and you can see them slowly unraveling, some not handling it as well especially when a meme of all four of them from a screen capture of when they were saying their confession of killing their friend is trending all over their school. From then on you are trying to figure out who knows, and how did they find out if the phones where they took their confessions is buried with their friend Cole. The ending really threw me off guard and a part of me wanted to be mad but more so because i was completely wrong. Over all, i enjoyed this thriller and I am not mad at the ending. Thank you Netgalley and Dutton Books for the e-arc

  22. 4 out of 5

    Peyton

    TW: murder mention, drug and alcohol addiction mention, murder description, implied usage of the n-word, slut-shaming, victim-blaming Meme is a fast-paced story that is about a group of 4 friends who murder the ex-boyfriend of one of the friends in the friend group. A couple days later, a picture from the confession video to the murder surfaces on the internet as a meme and the friends scramble to uncover who posted it. I found Meme’s pacing to be pretty spot-on, but I do feel as if the characte TW: murder mention, drug and alcohol addiction mention, murder description, implied usage of the n-word, slut-shaming, victim-blaming Meme is a fast-paced story that is about a group of 4 friends who murder the ex-boyfriend of one of the friends in the friend group. A couple days later, a picture from the confession video to the murder surfaces on the internet as a meme and the friends scramble to uncover who posted it. I found Meme’s pacing to be pretty spot-on, but I do feel as if the characters were a bit two-dimensional. I felt no real connection to Holly, Grayson, Logan, or Meeka. I also felt as if their friend group dynamic was very odd and it didn’t feel as if the characters had any real reason to be connected. Although, Aaron Starmer’s writing of intense and dark scenes is fantastic and I felt fully immersed in those scenes. The book is very plot-based, and going off that, I think the plot was well-developed. There are a lot of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing, so I was never knowing how an event in the book was going to end up. Overall, Meme was an enjoyable fast-paced story that is rich in intensity and suspense, but falls short at developing well-rounded characters and relations. *Thank you to Penguin and Netgalley for giving me an advanced reader copy. All opinions stated in my review are my own.*

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deedee✌

    *2.5 stars!! I received an arc on NetGalley by PenguinTeen to review! I was initially attracted to the synopsis of Meme. Who wouldn’t be drawn to an idea of 4 friends murdering someone only for it to bite them in the butt where a screenshot of their confession video turns into a viral meme. Now, these teens need to figure out who’s behind the meme before their secret is out. The beginning was gripping and a little graphic on the murder, but the book slowly started to lose my interest. The chapter *2.5 stars!! I received an arc on NetGalley by PenguinTeen to review! I was initially attracted to the synopsis of Meme. Who wouldn’t be drawn to an idea of 4 friends murdering someone only for it to bite them in the butt where a screenshot of their confession video turns into a viral meme. Now, these teens need to figure out who’s behind the meme before their secret is out. The beginning was gripping and a little graphic on the murder, but the book slowly started to lose my interest. The chapters change perspective of each person involved in the murder, but the chapters were too short and i often found myself confused as to whose perspective i was reading at that current moment. Not only that, at first half of the book in solving who’s behind the meme, they don’t even consult with each other?? they are doing their own thing and solving it independently. when they finally come together, only 3/4 discuss and the last person is going insane. the ending really bothered me too because it seemed like it ended so abruptly and i’m not even sure what really happened. maybe that was the authors intent, but it left me feeling “meh” about the whole thing. I did give it 2.5 stars instead of one because when the team started consulting together, i was interested to continue to read as to how they’re going to solve this and all the events leading up to the (disappointing) end.

  24. 5 out of 5

    olivia ferraro

    3.5/5⭐️ The book starts shortly after four friends have murdered and buried their once friend turned enemy. None of them handle this fact well, and all begin to unravel when a meme goes viral from a screengrab of their confession that they buried with their body. convinced that someone has the video, all four of them are determined to uncover the truth, and in the process begin to become wary of even each other. This book had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. No one character is parti 3.5/5⭐️ The book starts shortly after four friends have murdered and buried their once friend turned enemy. None of them handle this fact well, and all begin to unravel when a meme goes viral from a screengrab of their confession that they buried with their body. convinced that someone has the video, all four of them are determined to uncover the truth, and in the process begin to become wary of even each other. This book had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. No one character is particularly likable but that only increases the overall vibes of the book. All four of the main characters are extremely realistic and despite the multiple povs through this book, I wasn't sure who I could trust and what the truth really was until the very end. My only main complaint is how specific the pop culture references were. Throughout the book a number of popular memes are mentioned and while at this point in time they make a lot of sense I'm not sure how long that will be true for. This might just be personal preference but things like that tend to take me out of the book and ruin the experience a bit. All in all I'd say if you're looking for a good thriller type book make sure to pick up a copy of meme when it comes out!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Megan Houde

    *Thank you to Penguin Teen for the advanced copy* We start off the book with a murder and from there we alternate between Four different characters and their voices. Logan, Greyson, Holly and Meeka all have a secret they share... they killed their old friend Cole. Cole has started getting aggressive and changing and he made some comment about ending his friends, so instead they get their revenge and then record it. They toss their confessions in with Cole’s body and tell each other they’ll neve *Thank you to Penguin Teen for the advanced copy* We start off the book with a murder and from there we alternate between Four different characters and their voices. Logan, Greyson, Holly and Meeka all have a secret they share... they killed their old friend Cole. Cole has started getting aggressive and changing and he made some comment about ending his friends, so instead they get their revenge and then record it. They toss their confessions in with Cole’s body and tell each other they’ll never talk about it again. That is until the message got out and is turned into a Meme. Who knows their secret? What’s going to happen if everyone knows why really happened? This book starts off with a really good premise and then fell a bit flat. I was all for the group keeping this secrets and what was happening to them after, but I just couldn’t connect and the story lacked in development for me. It was horrible and had great moments but as I’ve stated it fell flat. It was all over the place and I hated that these friends who shared a secret , stopped being friends. You’d think murder would make them stick it out but they ultimately hate each other. It had some great potential for a thriller but the depth and emotions were lacking.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    Thank you to PenguinTeen for allowing me early access to this title. This in no way affects my review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I rated this book a 4 star! I have been in the mood for a thriller, recently reading one that didn't hit the mark, I moved onto this one. WOW is all I can say. In the day and age of the internet and the fear in can instill (as nothing on the internet is private, lets be real), this book packed a PUNCH. I really enjoyed the first 2/3 of this novel. The ending Thank you to PenguinTeen for allowing me early access to this title. This in no way affects my review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I rated this book a 4 star! I have been in the mood for a thriller, recently reading one that didn't hit the mark, I moved onto this one. WOW is all I can say. In the day and age of the internet and the fear in can instill (as nothing on the internet is private, lets be real), this book packed a PUNCH. I really enjoyed the first 2/3 of this novel. The ending fell a bit short, but that's a personal preference. I find a ton of thrillers leave us to interpretive endings and that to me is not something I enjoy - but I won't knock a star off for that. The only thing that really made me give it a 4 instead of a 5 is that I just didn't really care about the characters that much. I can understand why a group of best friends would fall apart to paranoia, friendships fall apart every single day due to trivial BS... especially a group of teenagers. But outside of this, I just didn't feel like the characters had a true foundation as individual people. It's hard to explain without reading it and giving things away. I do think if you enjoyed One of Us is Lying you will really love this! Thanks again!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Winkfield

    I received an e-ARC from Penguin Teen. Meme started out strong with a murder of a teenage boy, Cole, right from the beginning. The story is told from the perspective of the murderers so the mystery isn’t about who killed him but starts to develop as the main characters unravel from what they’ve done. A meme surfaced that only could have started from someone who had seen their murder confession video that was buried with the body. It’s a really great concept and has you wondering who could have po I received an e-ARC from Penguin Teen. Meme started out strong with a murder of a teenage boy, Cole, right from the beginning. The story is told from the perspective of the murderers so the mystery isn’t about who killed him but starts to develop as the main characters unravel from what they’ve done. A meme surfaced that only could have started from someone who had seen their murder confession video that was buried with the body. It’s a really great concept and has you wondering who could have possibly started this meme? However, the character development is lackluster so I never was able to connect with any of the characters. This led me without someone to root for which is what usually snares my attention. The ending also fell really flat when I think it could have gone many different ways. It was left up to interpretation which some may enjoy. I also feel like the title Meme was a poor marketing decision just because it’s very difficult to google and actually come up with the book, there are so many hits for memes. Altogether it was an interesting concept for a thriller and with some more character development I think it could be great.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sammy

    I received an ARC from Penguin Teen through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. For starters, I loved the way we're brought into this book. The alternating days leading up to, during, and after Cole's murder was a great way to not only introduce the reader to what's happening, but build the suspense and paranoia surrounding these characters. Honestly, after that introduction, I was prepped to sit down and binge the entire book. I only ended up reading about 15% the first go around, but t I received an ARC from Penguin Teen through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. For starters, I loved the way we're brought into this book. The alternating days leading up to, during, and after Cole's murder was a great way to not only introduce the reader to what's happening, but build the suspense and paranoia surrounding these characters. Honestly, after that introduction, I was prepped to sit down and binge the entire book. I only ended up reading about 15% the first go around, but the next day I had some spare time and decided to knock out the other 85% in one go. I think that's the best way to read this book. This is a binge worthy book as you're swung from point of view to point of view, each person experiencing different feelings and thoughts on this murder. And as we lead up to the end, even I didn't see it coming. One thing I did have an issue with is the ending was al little too open for me. I wanted clarity on one aspect and we don't get it. We're just meant to interpret that idea for ourselves, which could have gone one of two ways as I see it. Either way, I loved this book and I could reread it again. Look between the lines we're given to see if I could have figured it out sooner. If you're looking for an intense murder/thriller, you've found your next favorite book! This is definitely one of mine now.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alisha

    The book starts the day after four friends murder a former friend who was threatening them. They record videos on cell phones where they confess what they did and bury the phones with the body. If any one of them betrays the others, the videos will be used to bring down all of them. At first it appears they got away with murder. Then a meme with a still from the video of their confession goes viral. This book was plotted to keep amping up the tension. I lost sleep because I could not put this boo The book starts the day after four friends murder a former friend who was threatening them. They record videos on cell phones where they confess what they did and bury the phones with the body. If any one of them betrays the others, the videos will be used to bring down all of them. At first it appears they got away with murder. Then a meme with a still from the video of their confession goes viral. This book was plotted to keep amping up the tension. I lost sleep because I could not put this book down. I had to find out how it ended. I was so on edge over the predicament these characters got themselves into. However there weirdly wasn’t much that surprised me until the very end. It was just watching Holly, Logan, Grayson, and Meeka wind themselves up tighter and tighter over the events that were happening. This book only really surprised me at the very end. But the level of tension the author was able to produce did keep me coming back. Otherwise, it didn’t really stand out compared to other books I have read in the same genre. Overall 3/5

  30. 4 out of 5

    Whit

    Meme reminded me of a 2020 version of Pretty Little Liars. We have a murdered “friend” of a group of high schoolers that may or may not be dead, a meme that implicates them ALL and a pretty decent ending to the whole ordeal. However, the further I got into the story I had to keep reminding myself that the characters were teenagers and not psychotic adult serial killers. Only one of the kids actually felt remorse/guilt participating in the murder. The others were going on as if killing someone was Meme reminded me of a 2020 version of Pretty Little Liars. We have a murdered “friend” of a group of high schoolers that may or may not be dead, a meme that implicates them ALL and a pretty decent ending to the whole ordeal. However, the further I got into the story I had to keep reminding myself that the characters were teenagers and not psychotic adult serial killers. Only one of the kids actually felt remorse/guilt participating in the murder. The others were going on as if killing someone was normal. Talk about disturbing. It fed right into the disconnected/distracted stereotype of the younger generation. (After millennials of course)! I needed a book like this to balance out my nonfiction reads. If you want a quick story with a decent plot then pick up Meme. On sale: September 8, 2020 Thanks @PenguinTeen #partner for sending me over an eARC to read/review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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