Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review: Socially Awkward by Stephanie Haddad

Socially Awkward: A Novel

Synopsis: Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Did you ever try? Jennifer Smith spends most of her time wishing she had a more exciting name, lived a more exciting life, or that she could just become someone else for a while. With her sister Claire's help, Jennifer channels her life's desires into the perfect graduate research program: a fake Facebook identity that allows her to "study" the world's reaction to perceived beauty. Making up a new name, designing a new personality, and doctoring a photo or two seems like the perfect plan; how could it possibly backfire? Especially if it helps her get the attention of a long-time school crush... Lost in her new-found "popularity" as Olivia Saunders, Jennifer's real life starts to slip out of her grasp piece by piece. Before long, she finds herself caught in a love square--where one of the four corners is an imaginary person. While Olivia's life has all the glitz, glamour, and guys she could ever have wanted, Jennifer has to decide if she can walk away and learn how to be okay living life as herself.

STARS: 3.5 

Review: This was a sweet story.  It was confusing at first and in a few places, but altogether it was sweet.  

Olivia has all you need to know about her on her Facebook profile.  Moving around because her father is an Army sergeant, is an only child, has acquired many skills, speaks three languages, and is a model. However, Olivia doesn't even exist. Jen is a grad student and your typical girl next door. She is a grad student working on a sociology project.  Jen isn't really sure of who she is but knows how she would make things more exciting, which she ends up doing with her project.  

Olivia is actually Jen.  Jen even has her sister Claire Photoshop her picture as she would like herself to look.  So begins the journey of Claire helping Jen to become who she perceives herself to be.  Claire helps Jen with her eating habits and has her join a gym.   Jen meets Noah and Tom at the gym.  Tom and Claire seem to know each other if you know what I mean.  Olivia's Facebook page also gets a new friend, Sean from Jen's past.  

This is where things get to become funny and yet so complicated!  Sean likes Olivia but he thinks Claire is Olivia.  Noah likes Jen. Tom likes Claire but flirts heavily online with Olivia.  Sean likes Jen just as friend, when he remembers who she is.   

This book is funny.  It is truly about relationships and how people use the internet to be hypocrites.  This book is written from a very different point of view.  It begins with the sisters having a fight and mom stepping in to see what is happening.  The rest of the book, is Jen telling the story of the mess she has gotten herself into. 


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