Friday, December 1, 2017

Sociable - by Rebecca Harrington: Book Review

Title: Sociable
Author: Rebecca Harrington
No. pages: 256
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Release Date: 27.03.2018
Format: Kindle

I don't understand why the hatred towards this book: it's shallow because these are the characters acting in it. This is the youth of the 21st century. I think I can be a bit harsh with the characters of this novel because I, too, am a 20 something living in a world of hastag everying, LOL when you have a straight face, constant social media checking, the desire to appear deep and profound, but in reality being too shallow for our own good, and with a question mark at the end of a statement (which btw is more than I could handle in this novel.)  So, it is a novel focusing on millennials. No better definition of the word than this select group of characters.

"Funny" is not the word I'd use to describe this book. Sure, there were some moments. However, what sums up this  book is cringy. The focus on appearance, the failure to be of any substance, the obsession with one fix idea one has - it's too much at times. And yet, I couldn't blame the author; this is who the young people are nowadays, in larger and larger numbers. 

I liked how the author at times addressed the reader directly. I wish she had done that more often. At some points it felt as if she kept the distance, and only sometimes came closer to the reader again. Those ocassions were when one of the characters (usually the main character, Elinor) did something worse than before. 

I didn't like any of the characters. Elinor lacked any tact and individuality. She is dependant and seemed to like to dwell in self-pity (she has a bad day every time we see her doing something, anything) and conformity, she is fake and selfish. She is like a child who expects a gold star for doing something that's expected of them; except she's an adult. Her ex-boyfriend, Mike, is beyond what words could describe: annoying, self-sufficient, self-absorbed. Mainly all the characters exist to benefit from the others, to gain something from their large network. The characters manage to drive you nuts!

It left a bitter taste this novel. It's an easy read, lacking substance as far as depth of character goes, but maybe this was the point - to show the shallowness which we as a world are heading towards. Despite the light tone, it's sad. I am sure anyone over 35 years old would not like this novel, and those younger would still need tolerance for it. Silly me actually thought there'd be a redeeming moment for Elinor. Nothing though. Nothing can redeem the world this novel shows. 


I received a free e-book copy of this novel from the publisher via Net Galley. All thoughts expressed here are my own.

List of Characters (might contain spoilers)
Elinor Tomlinson - used to baby sit, gets a job at Journalism.ly. 26 y/o
Mike - her boyfriend, also a wanna-be writer
Pam - Mike's mother, a freelance writer for various publications
Sean - owner of Journalism.ly
J. W. Thurgood - an employer at Journalism.ly
Peter - writer at Journalism.ly
Sheila - Elinor's best friend. nurse
Ralph - Sheila's on-and-off boyfriend

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