Is anyone online now? Cyd you online? I really need to speak to someone now. A friend in need. L x Lesshasworld1
A few hours after posting this message seventeen-year-old Aleesha Stone is brutally murdered and the life of twenty-one year old Rubi Millar is changed forever.
When a talented and troubled teenager Aleesha Stone reinvents herself online she makes new friends and connections that seem set to help her move on in life, but it’s not long before her old identity is recovered from the deleted data of her old social networking pages and her life begins to unravel.
On a weekend break home film and media student Rubi’s life changes when she stops for a snack at the all night cafe where Aleesha works. The two young women chat briefly, Rubi collects her order and goes on her way, but forgetting her phone returns a little while later to find Aleesha brutally murdered. Haunted by the dead girl and driven with guilt at not staying when Aleesha asked her too, Rubi starts to ask questions. Rubi is drawn deeper into the dead girl’s life and death when an old family friend is accused of her murder.
In her search for answers Rubi follows Aleesha’s digital echo and finds herself walking a tightrope of truth between our virtual and actual worlds and as she embarks on the tricky business of working out what’s real and what’s pretend she must decide who she can trust. Rubi’s journey takes her through the dark and sinister side of social networking, of indelible digital identities, small town drug dealing and childhood betrayals. It is a world where you win or lose, play or be played, use or be used.
As a young adult about to enter the world and facing difficult decisions about her future Rubi’s murder inquiries also force her to confront some uncomfortable personal revelations about her own past: Questions of neglected friendships and childhood rivalries.
In the face of Aleesha’s difficult and cut short life Rubi reviews who she is, what she values and what kind of person she wants to be.
User is a story about childhood betrayals, death networking and our as yet consequence-untested world of social media. It is a story about friendship beyond the grave and the widening gap between society’s haves and have-nots.
It’s a story about lives created and lives lived in the intersections of the real and virtual worlds we inhabit everyday.