I’m going to go ahead and admit that this has been sitting on my nightstand, half-read, for awhile now. Also, this is a non-fiction book, so it will be judged under slightly different criteria which can be found here.

Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed delves into the deep and utterly terrifying world of how someone’s life can be changed in a matter of hours over internet shaming. Ronson takes us through the process of internet and social shaming, as well as trying to shake the shame, by bringing in actual victims. Will society ever learn?

(Note: This is not in-review of the section entitled “Afterword” included in the paperback version, as it was not included in the original, hardcover version.)

Basic Thoughts

Oh boy, this is a juicy read!

I originally found this through the recommendation of Ariel Bissett. I mean, how intriguing? A book describing numerous public shammings and society’s role in keeping those shammings prevalent today. How one tweet, or comment, can ruin your life.

So, I bought it. And boy does it hook you with those shamming stories fast, and boy does it draw you in. Ronson does a fantastic job at keeping the reader interested in the topic, if they weren’t already, by giving you real interviews of these people who have shammed – showing the reader what it’s like and the impact society’s backlash has on people. And, boy is it powerful.

It really gets you to thinking about the next time you go out to tweet something.


  • Interesting and relevant subject matter
  • Raw interviews
  • The author really doesn’t care what people think about his opinion


  • I felt it dragged in some places, like, say, when you’re trying to reach a certain word count in an essay and you repeat what you’ve said numerous times.
  • I sometimes felt he would jump around with names of people he had talked about previously in the book, and I would have to be like, “Wait, what did they do, again?”

Overall View:

I hardly ever read non-fiction, and this book is a pleasant change. It’s interesting and it’s relevant.

Would I have rather been reading fiction? Yes. But, not because the book was poorly written, just because I like fiction better; I can get lost in it. However, if you are a fiction reader, like I am, and want to read your one non-fiction for the year, I highly recommend this one, as it touches on a topic extremely relevant in today’s society.

Final Rating:

Readability: 3.5/5

Credibility: 5.0 / 5.0

Overall Interest Factor: 3.5 / 5.0

FINAL RATING: 4.0 / 5.0


Final Thoughts:

Like I said, if you’re looking to read that one non-fiction for the year, than this is one I would highly recommend. As a matter of fact, you can purchase it here.

But, do keep in mind that this is just the honest opinion of an English Major.


Daniel xx


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