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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Selfie by Allayne L. Webster


Selfie is the new novel from Australian author Allayne L. Webster and finally answers the question, what would a modern novel look like that completely understands the state of life for young people today? The authentic style to the writing through to the messaging that it presents gives readers of all ages the opportunity to explore and learn more about online life, and themselves.


The novel tells the story of a teenager - Tully - who sees herself as incredibly fortunate to be best friends with Dene. Dene is not your average teenager though, she is a famous influencer on instagram with an incredible following. But, of course, social media brings its own challenges along the way. The pair need to navigate their high school lives while being caught in the world of online socials.


Above all, it is a story of positivity, and encouragement for young people to see the world outside of their smartphone and engage meaningfully with others in the ‘real world’.


Giving young people positive messages around the joys and challenges of the wonders and pitfalls of social media is such a vital concept in the modern era, and Webster draws on her own experience as a writer and a user of these same sites to create an authentic and important world in which these characters can thrive.


The characterisation of Tully, in particular, is really well crafted. There is an eagerness and a candidness about her that is rare in modern literature, but also a maturity, which is increasingly rare in young adult fiction. The blend of these creates an intriguing and utterly believable central figure in the novel.

Overall, this is a meaningful text and should be part of every young person’s experience in this age. Taking time to connect with others must always be central to life, no matter how many apps, or likes, or followers, or scrolls may be available to us.


Reviewer: Chris Reed

Text Publishing

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