The Bright Side of Going Dark
publication: May 12th 2020 by Lake Union Publishing
From the bestselling author of The Overdue Life of Amy Byler comes a fresh, funny, and thoughtful story about going off the grid in order to truly live.
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.
I almost passed on reading/reviewing The Bright Side of Going Dark, let me say that would have been a mistake for me. I have been struggling with focusing on my reading, nothing is really holding my attention until Kelly Harm’s book. I started this book, I quickly became invested in the characters, and I found the story easy to follow. There were times I would sneak away just to read a few more pages or, hopefully, another chapter.
While I am not a social influencer, there are times that I feel like I am hooked to my screen. I loved that Mia, a social influencer, makes the difficult decision to step away from her life on Instagram. It was amazing to see her bloom into a real person, a person who had friends, who did not photograph everything, and a person who could see her life for herself not just as her followers see her. The story opened my eyes to what I am missing when I sit with my phone or tablet open while the family is around. I really like that with Paige’s side of the story you could see how someone who didn’t spend a lot of time on social media and then starts to spend more time was losing herself and losing time that she couldn’t make up. While it could be fun, for a bit, to be an influencer there is so much more to life and The Bright Side of Going Dark shows just how much is missed when your stuck behind your screen.
The other part of this story is the anxiety, grief, and family. The generation gap between mother and daughter, the age difference of sisters, the fiancé calling off your wedding, and the cute neighbor with the adorable daughter are all added aspects to this story. I definitely recommend picking up your own copy.
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