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The Subtweet

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Everyone talks about falling in love, but falling in friendship can be just as captivating. When Neela Devakis song is covered by internet-famous artist Rukmini, the two musicians meet and a transformative friendship begins. But as Rukminis star rises and Neelas stagnates, jealousy and self-doubt creep in. With a single tweet, their friendship implodes, one career is ...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by ECW Press
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Average rating 4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Jesse bowtiesandbooks
Subtweet is an energetic novel surrounding two brown musicians (Neela and Rukmini), illustrating how they come together, their eventual close friendship, and ultimate falling out over a twitter feud. 
The strength of this novel lies in its connectedness. Shraya expertly builds up "the music scene", the culture and lifestyle of struggling musicians, and brings every piece of music to life in her pages. In fact, you can listen to music from The Subtweet once the book releases! A merciless
I've been putting off reviewing this book because I feel like my words are inadequate in face of what an incredible piece of art it is and how thought-provoking and readable it was. Neela and Rukkini are two South Asian Canadian women musicians (one trans, one cis) who form a friendship when Rukmini an emerging artist, covers one of Neela's (more established) songs. The story investigates brown female friendship, professional jealousy, the pleasures and price of making art, social media and ...more
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian, lgbtqia
This novel surpassed my already high expectations. I loved it, I didn't want it to end, I miss it now.
Ameema Saeed
Predictably, I fell in love with this book in just a few pages. Sharp, thoughtful, complex, and truly wonderful - this book is a work of art.

Vivek captures the complexities of (brown) womens friendship, the sharp edges of professional jealousy, the mercurial nature of the internet, and the essence of what it means to be a woman of colour who is also an artist.

She has written some incredible, fierce, multi-dimensional, flawed, and wonderful characters - in Neela and Rukmini, as well as in the
The Artisan Geek
Dec 12, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: bookcase

A huge thank you to ECW for gifting me a copy of this book!! I love a good book about friendship - can't wait! :D

You can find me on
Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am kind of expecting this to create very polarized reviews... full review hopefully to come closer to release date.
Jan 14, 2020 marked it as to-read
* I received a digital ARC of this book (via NetGalley) from its publisher in exchange for an honest review.

🌻 My links: Blog | Instagram | Twitter
Lizz DiCesare
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Friends, its happened again. I recently read another book that I loved so much Im having a hard time finding the words to describe it. I wasnt too sure what to expect from The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya, but it exceeded all of my expectations. It was incredibly smart, well-written, and made me think a lot, even days after finishing it.

The story follows two female artists, Neela Devaki and Rukmini. Theyre both musicians living in Toronto, who become fast friends while bonding over being two brown
Alison Jacques
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian-authors, arc

This is my first time reading Vivek Shraya -- I've been off nonfiction for the last while, so I was excited to see that she had a novel coming out. I requested and received an advance reading copy of The Subtweet from ECW Press.

This is a book about women, friendship, music, race, social media culture, and Toronto. I read it quickly and really enjoyed it. The story contains a lot of dialogue and moves fast, partly by jumping over periods of time. I *loved* that there was no love interest,
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
THE SUBTWEET is the perfect novel for our time. Obviously, thanks to the title, the plot and relationships are rooted in social media and now technology affections our communication. But the story is also about culture clashes, women of color finding their place in a white-dominated music industry, and prejudice and jealousy from all types of different people. I loved following the main characters, Neela and Rukmini, as they develop a friendship and deal with the consequences of artistic and ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I was initially drawn to The Subtweet for its promise of diversity, but what ended up hooking me was its thoughtful discussion about social media and the music industry. In these ages of digital influencing, social media, activism, and speaking out, The Subtweet examines the intersection of fame, music, and activism. It opened up spaces in my mind for me to think about the nature
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
A realistic account of friendship in the era social media.

Neela's song gets covered by internet-famous star Rukmini. The two women meet and their life changing friendship begins. But just as Rukmini's rising to fame and Neela's stalls, jelousy and self doubt surfaces and with a single tweet their friendship collapses, and they find themselves in the center of an online feude.

This was a captivating read! Vivek Shraya has brought to light so much here, more than just the focus on Twitter and the
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
delightful and brilliant and refreshing and addictive and SO EMOTIONALLY RICH! shes done it again, folks! im sad its over! ...more
Karissa Fast
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-favourites
It is rare to find a book that is so wholly original, there's no good comparison.The Subtweet is incredible; I already know it will be one of my favourite books of the year.

Neela and Rukmini, each brown singers living in Toronto, have a budding friendship that started after Rukimini covered one of Neela's songs. When Rukmini gets invited on a world tour with a white popstar, their friendship fizzles, and eventually comes to an explosive hault when Neela subtweets about Rukmini's pandering to
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the book, but it sags in the Malika section.

This is a book about female friendship between South Asian women artists in Toronto. All the perspectives center them, so that when there's an excerpt of an interview with a white man, I was jarred. It's also about communication conveyed through digital means and how it leaves so much up to the imagination and miscommunications such as subtweets and other lack of direct communication. There are some astute observations about twitter
Paula Pergament
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book, and I am so glad I did. I had been hearing about The Subtweet, and was eager to read it. This is a wonderfully crafted story that illuminates the power and shortfalls of social media communications, and the role it plays in creating and destroying reputations. More importantly, Vivek Shraya focuses on the challenges and pitfalls creative women of color (cis and trans) face when trying to be seen, make a living from their work, and the criticisms they face when ...more
Katie || Totally Booked
The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya is an original and unique fictional portrayal of female artists navigating their way through the Canadian music industry.
I promise you will devour this book in one or two sittings because of its intriguing writing style and grappling storyline.
I was so hooked by the characters.
Ive never read a book that has captured female friendship in this way before. Never.
It covers themes of representation and the whiteness of audiences. I think there is so much a reader can
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
What I LOVED about "The Subtweet" by Vivek Shraya:

1) Though fiction isnt normally my thing, anything from Vivek I am HERE for and this novel was no exception. 

2) I wont give too much away but this is a page-turning story about friendship, art and social media.

3) You will immediately feel connected to the characters. The connections to social media throughout the book make this novel so real and relatable.

Huge thank you to @ecwpress for gifting this one! And if youre in to Toronto area be sure
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was absolutely riveted by this book! I read the entire thing in one sitting because I just couldnt put it down. Neela and Rukminis friendship is realistic from how the beginning when they become friends to the circumstances surrounding their break up, I saw a review say that this book is sure to get some split responses, and I agree with that. In a world of social media deciding whos right and whos wrong, I have no doubt that readers will apply those same standards to the characters of The ...more
Jo Ramsay
Dec 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Theres a lot of love in this novel, butrefreshinglynot a single romance. Vivek Shrayas The Subtweet does a number of things: it celebrates the self and examines both the art of BIPOC women in white spaces and the corruptive influence of social media, all while remaining plot centric.

Not resting since her hit book Im Afraid of Men (2018), graphic novel Death Threat (2019), and her recently debuted play How to Fail as a Popstar, Shraya explores the intimate anxieties of starting a friendship as
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the character-driven nature of the book. The time skips threw me off a bit, but I appreciated the concise nature of the book. As someone who isnt too big on romance in books, I really appreciate the focus on deeply loving friendships. Also kudos for making characters who are likeable BECAUSE they are flawed instead of likeable DESPITE their flaws.

Thanks to the publisher for the ARC
Ilyssa Wesche
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it
After reading this I am so grateful that social media was not around in my 20s because I definitely would have been guilty of all the second-guessing, the refreshing, the "why didn't she answer my text"ing. It was interesting to watch the rise of social media fame, and I enjoyed it all the more that it wasn't about mommy-bloggers from Idaho or wherever. I didn't see the end coming and I definitely appreciated it all the more.
Jan 17, 2020 marked it as to-read
I read I'm Afraid of Men in 2019 and I can't wait to read this book in 2020 (or sometime soon in the future)
Muhemed Masika
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Every month different
You act the same
Expect it
Get used to it
Rest when it says
Don't go against it
If you do
The consequences
The rash of ugliness
Naked bald
Left bruised apparently to the human eye
Muslim it?
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full Review here:

I received an advance reading copy of The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya from ECW Press and I could not put it down. A true page-turner, this novel will leave you with questions about race and power dynamics within our culture, the efficacy/validity of cancel or call out culture, how we communicate, brown female friendships and more.

Aside from all the pressing topics explored in the novel, the plot and characters are vibrant and beg you to keep
rated it it was amazing
Nov 05, 2019
ECW Press
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Mar 07, 2020
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Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, poetry, fiction, visual art, and film. A Publishing Triangle Award winner, her books include I'm Afraid of Men, even this page is white, The Boy & The Bindi, and She of the Mountains. Shraya is one half of music duo Too Attached and founder of publishing imprint VS. Books. She teaches creative writing at the ...more

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