The Bright Side of Going Dark by Kelly Harms

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title:The Bright Side of Going Dark
 Kelly Harms
Genre: Literary, Contemporary, New Adult
Release date: May 12th, 2020

>>Content warning<<
 Suicide, panic attacks, mental illness, depression, fat-phobia, death.

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As one of the most popular influencers on social media, Mia Bell has lived her life online for years. With her celebrity dog and gorgeous fiancé, she is planning the ultimate virtual wedding—expensive, elaborate, and entirely paid for by sponsors. But off-camera, her world is far from picture perfect. After being jilted by her fiancé and faking her nuptials to please her sponsors, Mia finally has had enough. She heaves her phone off a cliff, ready to live—and maybe find love—offline for a change.

Mia’s sudden absence doesn’t go unnoticed, especially by techie loner Paige Miller, who hacks Mia’s account and begins impersonating the internet celebrity. Paige has her reasons. Her half sister, Jessica, idolizes Mia and desperately needs something to believe in. If taking over Mia’s online persona is Paige’s only means of connecting to her sister, so be it.

Creating a like-worthy life is more fun than Paige expected. But when she grows too bold and is caught in the act, a fiasco ensues that could forever change Mia, Paige, and the people who love them. Because somewhere amid the chaos is an invaluable lesson—one that only real life can teach.

The Bright Side of Going Dark questions our dependence and pervading feeling of entitlement towards influencers’ lives whilst also tackling themes of mental health, family relationships and grief. Though the novel successfully opens up discussions regarding these topics, it struggles to showcase subtle characterizations and leans towards exaggerated traits to portray the difference of opinion.

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Review: You by Caroline Kepnes

Title: You
Author: Caroline Kepnes
Genre: Thriller, Contemporary
Release date: September 25th, 2014

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When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

You is a book that creeps up on you. You don’t want to have fun reading a stalker’s story, but you do. You don’t want to side with him or agree with him, but sometimes you find yourself doing just that. This novel is creepy, funny and psychological. The narration in second person is perfect for such a unique novel and the flawed complex characters will make you think twice about what you do on social media and  what people are hiding underneath the surface.

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Review: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath


Title: The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Genre: Literary fiction, Contemporary
Release date: January 14th, 1963

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Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.

I had the hardest of times trying to rate this book. On one side, I enjoyed the writing, Esther’s feminist views and the honesty with which Sylvia Plath conveyed mental illness. Then, on the other, the protagonist varies drastically between refreshing and unlikable, the constant prejudiced comment put me off, and the other characters were not that powerful for me. Continue reading “Review: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath”

Genre Exploration: Romance and its subgenres

Today is the second installment of my Genre Exploration series, where I discuss genres I don’t normally pick up, define them, talk about their classics and new releases, recommend books and authors, and much more.

This time I’ll be talking about Romance, which is probably the genre I avoid the most. It’s not that I hate it, but I’m usually disappointed at how the relationships are portrayed or I’m not really in the mood for it. I want to read more of it because I think that I’m missing some nice stories, so I’ll start really small by defining it and talking about some of its sub-genres. Let’s go!

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