As someone who has taken month-long Internet sabbaticals before, I was thoroughly intrigued by the premise of this book: a girl giving up the Internet for an entire year. I grow weary of the Internet very quickly, and I often need a break from updating my online dating profiles, scrolling through Twitter, reading Facebook posts, Instagramming every big moment of my life. Once a year, I try to step away from blogging and social media for a month and I find it really recharges me.
Evie, the protagonist in this book, is different. She not only gives up her online dating profiles and her social media feeds, but the entire Internet, which includes email and texting. She wants freedom from living tied to her phone and her computer, which is something I really identified with.
Alas, this book did not live up to my standards. I never felt a true connection to the main character, and I felt the author tried too hard to turn her into a ditzy chick-lit character (a la Becky Bloomwood, one of my most disliked chick-lit characters). She made a lot of dumb decisions, seemed to be a pretty awful friend, and I couldn’t understand her appeal.
I also thought the book seemed a bit dated. For one, Evie’s main cell phone was a flip phone and I just… my grandparents don’t even have flip phones. (I can’t remember the last person I saw using a flip phone!) For another, her work cell phone was a Blackberry. I’ll admit I don’t know all that much about what companies are using nowadays for work cell phones, but a Blackberry seems passé.
Another issue I had was the length the main character went with her Internet sabbatical. I understand wanting to live a life free from the Internet, but we also live in an technological world. You need the Internet for work, you need it to keep in touch with friends. I didn’t understand how texting was considered using the Internet, quite frankly. I think it’s fine to give up Internet pursuits, like social media, online shopping, online dating, maybe even email, but when it starts affecting your work and your friendships, it may be going too far.
All that said, I did think this novel told a really interesting story and I really, really loved the ending. I also found it hard to put the book down about 60% in and wanted to see how things would wrap up for the main character. If you love chick-lit, especially for those who loved the Shopaholic series, I’d recommend this book.
This unforgettable debut novel asks us to look up from our screens and out at the world…and to imagine what life would be like with no searches, no status updates, no texts, no Tweets, no pins, and no posts
Evie Rosen has had enough. She’s tired of the partners at her law firm e-mailing her at all hours of the night. The thought of another online date makes her break out in a cold sweat. She’s over the clever hashtags and the endless selfies. So when her career hits a surprising roadblock and her heart is crushed by Facebook, Evie decides it’s time to put down her smartphone for good. (Beats stowing it in her underwear–she’s done that too!)
And that’s when she discovers a fresh start for real conversations, fewer distractions, and living in the moment, even if the moments are heartbreakingly difficult. Babies are born; marriages teeter; friendships are tested. Evie just may find love and a new direction when she least expects it, but she also learns that just because you unplug your phone doesn’t mean you can unplug from life.
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions, unless otherwise stated, are my own.
Have you ever taken a break from the Internet?