I feel like I need to preface this review with two facts. First, though I am technically a millennial, I don’t really identify with ‘millennial culture’. In fact, most of the time it annoys me. Second, if I had paid more attention to the synopsis, I probably would not have read this book. I wanted a book about people my age who aren’t married or dying or serial dating, and this seemed like it would be a fun read.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
(From Goodreads) When Elinor Tomlinson moved to New York with a degree in journalism she had visions of writing witty opinion pieces, marrying her journalist boyfriend, and attending glamorous parties with famously perverted writers. Instead, Elinor finds herself nannying for two small children who speak in short, high screams, sleeping on a foam pad in a weird apartment, and attending terrible parties with Harper’s interns wearing shapeless smocks. So when Elinor is offered a job at Journalism.ly, the digital media brainchild of a Silicon Valley celebrity, she jumps at the chance. Sure, her boyfriend is writing long think pieces about the electoral college for a real website while Elinor writes lists about sneakers and people at parties give her pitying glances when she reveals her employer, but at Journalism.ly Elinor discovers her true gift: She has a preternatural ability for writing sharable content. She is an overnight viral sensation! But Elinor’s success is not without cost. Elinor’s boyfriend dumps her, two male colleagues insist on “mentoring” her, and a piece she writes about her personal life lands her on local television. Broke, single, and consigned to move to a fifth-floor walkup, Elinor must ask herself: Is this the creative life she dreamed of? Can new love be found on Coffee Meets Bagel? And should she start wearing a smock? With wry humor and sharp intelligence, Sociable is a hilarious tale of one young woman’s search for happiness–and an inside look at life in the wild world of Internet media.
Had I known more about Sociable before diving in, I most likely wouldn’t have picked it up. Yes, it was an interesting story about post-college millennials finding their way in the world, which I’m sure many people can identify with. Honestly, I think that if you feel like you fit into the millennial stereotype for the most part, you’ll probably enjoy this book. I definitely don’t. I was born pretty much right in the middle of the ‘millennial years’, but I act much more like gen X. So I had a hard time identifying with this novel. I also found both the writing and the characters to be kind of annoying. In the same way a twenty-something vlogging in a public place would annoy me. I do get that the author was trying to shine a light on millennial culture, but it just didn’t speak to me.
I think one of the biggest ways this book fell short (for me) is the writing. I have never read a book that felt so much like someone was just talking at me, and it made me want to back away slowly. You know those people who are just a lot to take in? That is this book. Admittedly, I am probably more annoyed by these people in real life than the average person, so take this with a grain of salt, but this book is too much all at once. As a real millennial would say, it’s “extra”. I think it pulled off what the author was trying to accomplish, but unfortunately it’s not something I enjoy reading. Or encountering in real life. Or on TV. Pretty much in general.
The characters themselves fell into the stereotypical millennial trap of both trying way too hard and letting everything affect them way too much. It could be that I’ve just been in a funk this month, but I couldn’t make myself care about their problems. I’m only a couple of years older than these characters, but that gap felt so much larger while I was reading about their lives. And feeling older than I am is not exactly something I look for in a book, especially when I’m anticipating a fun read.
★★☆☆☆ – Unfortunately, I did not enjoy Sociable. It reminded me why I don’t identify with millennial culture (and why said “culture” annoys me on a daily basis). It’s not a bad book – I actually think if you identify with these characters, you might enjoy this book – but it was definitely not for me.
Sociable will be available March 27. (If you’re interested, you can find it on Amazon now.)
To get the audiobook for free, use this link to sign up for a free trial of Audible and choose Sociable as one of your two free books.
This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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