Last year I read The Overdue Life of Amy Byler and absolutely loved it! I recommended it to every one I know—especially moms because it really hit the nail on the head when it comes to how all consuming parenting is.
I was over joyed to see what Kelly Harms was coming out with another novel and was eager to start reading it even if it did sound a bit different than her previous book.
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler brought a lot of heart and realism to the story and I was impressed by how emotional it was. I think a lot of readers write women’s fiction off as a fluff category but with Harms’s books there is never a lack of emotion and it most certainly isn’t fluff.
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. (summary from Goodreads)
Harms has such a great sense of humor and finding a connection between her readers and her characters. I love seeing the little bits of relatable humor in this story line as well as how the characters react to life circumstances. As we live in a world of social media and influencers, this book nailed all the pressures that comes along with living your life online. I know that as a blogger for over ten years, I have seen the changes of social media and the importance of branding first hand so this book really connected to me right away.
I have a number of friends who are also really into social media influencing and are always looking for the next post or the next pic or ways to stay one brand and relevant to their audience. I myself try to take a more relaxed approach but I certainly am not immune to getting into the social media trap and I loved how that played out in this book. It made this book relevant to so many readers.
This book deals with some pretty big issues such as phone addiction, but doesn’t make it feel oppressive or heavy in the plot, but rather it allows different topics to remain big issues (mental health, phone addiction etc) that readers can read as much or as little into it as they feel comfortable with. There is humor in this book to break up some of the more tense topics and feelings too, which helps keep it positive.
I read this book in just a couple of days. I loved the plot and the characters so much and of course the message (put down your phones and enjoy life). While I might have connected with The Overdue Life of Amy Byler a little more, I still found this book entertaining, relevant, and important. Another must read by one of my favorite authors!
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