If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say - Leila Sales

Rating this book is almost as tough as reading it was.  On the one hand, I want to give it three stars because it was a tough read with a main character that I struggled to connect with.  On the other hand, I want to give it four stars for eliciting that type of reaction from my -- Winter is not a character that the reader is meant to love and for that I have to applaud this book.

If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say tackles some tough subjects that are oh-so-relevant in today's online world.  Winter posts a racist comment online and her post goes viral overnight, which leads to internet vigilante and mass online public shaming.  Her entire world falls into ruin as a result of her "mistake" and, as she struggles to figure out where to go next, she also struggles to come to terms with her actions.

What makes this book tough to read is Winter's lack of remorse for the majority of the book.  She's such an unlikeable character and even worse than most anti-heroes I've read in recent years.  Although the online smear campaign that she's subject to is definitely not deserved, she spends the majority of the book not understanding why people reacted the way that they did.  This book will be eye-opening to many, many teens who would probably feel the same way as Winter: one off the cuff remark and a complete lack of understanding of the concept of the digital footprint.  In today's online world, so much of who we are is encapsulated forever in our digital footprint and it's so important to be cognizant of how we portray ourselves online.

In the end, I settled with a four star rating for this book.  Winter's character made me squirm and cringe and the reading experience was an unpleasant one but I think that was Leila's goal with this book.  It saddens me that the ratings on Goodreads are quite low for this book because I think it's an important topic in today's world and Leila has handled it really well.  Sometimes the best books are the ones that make us a bit uncomfortable and If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say does just that.

Note: An advanced copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



  1. I'm glad that you reviewed this one and you did it so well. I considered requesting it but thought that I would have a hard time reading it due to the main character. I'm not sure that I could have seperated my feelings from the story's importance and done it justice the way you did. You should cross post your review to get the word out. I do think it is a very important topic, especially for teens.


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