The Online Boys is Daniel Shebses’ first novel, and an impeccably constructed one at that. We live in a time where cyberspace is more significantly effective on our lives than our real lives. The teenagers are full of raging hormones, even more than their bodies are naturally inclined to produce, and all thanks to today’s food which is pumped with unnecessary hormones.
For teenagers, little matters and issues become the centerpiece their lives, revolving around quite instantly. Their basic instincts constantly nag at their brain to act upon them. No matter how insignificant the issue might be, it becomes so domineering that their mental health ends up paying a hefty price. This book opens with an online conversation between teenagers which is true to how to real life conversations in the cyberspace go about.
All these teenagers live in different parts of the world, and united by one cause – bullying. They are outcasts with no existing or prospective social life. Due to extreme peer pressure, kids are often forced to participate in the outside world while all they want to do is to keep by themselves and not get hurt. They have experienced such filth in the real world that they are too afraid to ever try again. So, they succumb to the overbearing presence of the internet. During a vulnerable time, they find Nikki – a person they stumble upon online who seems to have all the soothing remedies to ease their pain. Quickly, she becomes best friends with the three.
Mind you, they have never met in person and yet still choose to put all their beliefs in her. We see how the boys try their best to reach new heights of trying to impress a person – even though they have never met them. Daniel’s journey does not end here, but begins with new hope and enlightenment.