Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sociable by Rebecca Harrington

I #StealthRead the heck out of this book because I've been so busy lately, I haven't had time to post any proper updates or anything. I've been reading SOCIABLE on the sly for the last couple nights, right before I went to bed, and can I say how shocked I am that the average ratings for this book are so low? Her other books are like this, too, and based on this book alone it seems like people can't divorce themselves from the characterization. Like, they assume intentionally unlikable character = bad book. Which it does...sometimes, but in this case, I felt like Harrington was actually making some pretty valid commentary on millennials.

First off, San Francisco is full of tech people, and while most of them are "supernice" as Elinor would probably say, there's definitely a couple of pretentious wannabes who think they're all that and a bag of potato chips. Elinor and her boyfriend, Mike, are like that. They are both journalism majors and Mike ends up working for a blog that's kind of like Vox or Politico (only, you know, not as cool), whereas Elinor ends up working at a company that's more like BuzzFeed.

SOCIABLE is a pretty great satire of what it means to make "viral" content, and how sometimes (OK, more than sometimes) those click-bait articles feel like they're scraping the bottom of the barrel. As if Clickbait Satan weren't enough of an antagonist, Elinor and her boyfriend, Mike, are total trash people. I've seen people like this talking in cafes - usually on their phones, in an otherwise quiet area - and they are the types of people who think they can do no wrong, who prephase a long rant with "I don't like drama, but..." and then proceed to shit-talk all of their alleged friends like nobody's business whilst also trying to absolve themselves of any sort of culpability or blame.

All of the characters in this book are A W F U L, make no mistake, but if you can get over that, it's pretty interesting to read. The only thing I didn't like was the ending. It felt like the book had almost ended mid-paragraph, it was so abrupt. I wanted more of a definitive conclusion after sticking this book out for several days. The ending was a major what-the-heck-is-this, and I'm kind of shocked her editor didn't check her on that decision. I would have been like, "Um, no."

But yeah, if you're one of those people who like to hate on BuzzFeed, this will be your catnip.

Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy! 

3 out of 5 stars

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