November 20, 2014

Like by Bart Hopkins

LIKE is a selfie of modern times that takes you on a journey through the lives of normal people—the new normal—fully connected in an electronic age.

You’ll meet Greg, a realtor whose success stems from his Internet savvy. His tweets are re-tweeted a hundred times and thousands follow his blog.

Then there’s Paul, who stumbles on an old crush while Facebooking. Through research of her online habits, he arranges a “chance” meeting so they can fall in Like with each other.

Martin is a cancer survivor with renewed purpose in life thanks to a supportive social media family.

It’s a tapestry of people and events woven together with this era’s most abundant thread: social media.
This is a very character driven novel. There are a few different storylines to follow that are all very separate but end up intertwining at different parts of the novel. Their stories are creative but all very, very real.

As I was reading, I thought it was silly how dependent they were on social media, how often they brought it up, and how big it was in their lives. Taking a step back, it wasn’t even an exaggeration. The amount of time the characters in this book spend on social media is comparable to how much real people spend on it in their everyday lives. You can’t go many places without hearing about something on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

I can see this being a book that shows what the norm for what many novels is going to be in the future – probably the near future; Very strong characters with communication driven by social media.

One thing I really enjoy about Like as well as Bart’s other books is his likable characters. Time is put into the planning of his characters and their personalities and how they really fit into the story. They all carry some of the weight, but I found myself thinking of Greg as the main character because he is the first that the reader meets.
The one complain that I have is that I wish this book was longer. I got pretty attached to some of the characters as I was reading it and would have liked to know how their stories turned out a few years down the road. Although, you run the risk of a book getting boring if it does drag on too long.

4/5 stars. Great characters, great stories. A little cheesy at times which is to be expected when it is centered around social media. Overall, it was a fun read that I think readers of all different types can enjoy.

Trigger Warning: Domestic Abuse.

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