Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I Only Got 10 Likes in the First 5 Minutes...Do You Think I Should Take It Down?

"Sometimes your mistakes turn out to be your biggest blessings--
so you can't live your life second-guessing every choice you make."
--Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke, The Status of All Things


Genre: Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Pages: 304
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2015
Source: eARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: Standalone
Goodreads Description

What would you do if you could literally rewrite your fate—on Facebook? This heartwarming and hilarious new novel from the authors of Your Perfect Life follows a woman who discovers she can change her life through online status updates.

Kate is a thirty-five-year-old woman who is obsessed with social media. So when her fiancé, Max, breaks things off at their rehearsal dinner—to be with Kate’s close friend and coworker, no less—she goes straight to Facebook to share it with the world. But something’s changed. Suddenly, Kate’s real life starts to mirror whatever she writes in her Facebook status. With all the power at her fingertips, and heartbroken and confused over why Max left her, Kate goes back in time to rewrite their history.

Kate's two best friends, Jules and Liam, are the only ones who know the truth. In order to convince them she’s really time traveled, Kate offers to use her Facebook status to help improve their lives. But her attempts to help them don’t go exactly as planned, and every effort to get Max back seems to only backfire, causing Kate to wonder if it’s really possible to change her fate.

In The Status of All Things, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke combine the humor and heart of Sarah Pekkanen and Jennifer Weiner while exploring the pitfalls of posting your entire life on the Internet. They raise the questions: What if you could create your picture-perfect life? Would you be happy? Would you still be you? For anyone who’s ever attempted—or failed—to be their perfect self online, this is a story of wisdom and wit that will leave you with new appreciation for the true status of your life.
Have you ever wished you could go back in time to make new choices to stop something bad from happening? Uh...duh. If you say no, you're lying. The Status of All Things explores this question and more, including, can you change your fate? Kate's fiancé tells her the night of their rehearsal dinner that he can't marry her. *enter all the devastation and heartbreak here* She is shocked. She has no idea what went wrong and add to that, she is obsessed with Facebook and posting statuses and pictures and a big concern of hers is, how is this going to look? Because of and through her excessive Facebook posting, she discovers that any status she posts on Facebook...comes true. She then time travels to one month prior to try and fix her relationship and end up married.

The Idea

I loved this idea. In a culture obsessed with social media, this book's frank assessment of the importance we place on it is refreshing. Not only that, it validated a belief I've had for a long time in that the people who post the most that make their live out to appear perfect are anything but. I loved the discussion of Facebook and online appearances and the ramifications of everything involved with it. I personally cannot stand Facebook and cannot stand how often people post stuff and how much lack of privacy they give themselves so this book was a total breath of fresh air.

The Writing


The writing of Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke is effortless. It is exactly what I look for Adult Contemporary in that it is easy to read, thoughtful, poignant, and completely relevant to today. I breezed through this book because the pacing is fantastic, I had to see what would happen to Kate next and what she would try and alter. And it surprised me. There are things that happen and resolutions that occur that I never expected to happen, in a good way! I won't spoil too much but there is a character and confrontation I didn't think would happen and I am SO happy it did. I was so angry at this character's underhandedness in their actions and the breaking of girl code that I wanted to rage. However, Kate does my Sicilian rage justice. And while I'm being vague and it takes two to tango, I love how this scenario was written. I had a few issues with how little another character took accountability but overall, the rage was unleashed where it needed to be.

The Journey


Kate is not perfect. She is not a particularly enjoyable character to read about at times because of her choices and lack of awareness to the obvious situation at hand BUT I also adored her. She has flaws, we all do, she makes mistakes, again who doesn't? but she learns. It's not an easy road she travels on her journey and there's a lot to her self-discovery but she gets there. And we all know life is about the journey, not the destination. And her journey is a fabulous one. Kate represents SO many women and I know my younger self can definitely relate to her. She continues to fight for Max, believing that marrying him and manipulating the past/present will make her life right. I mean, clearly we all know that if you have to fight for a man to stay with you, he's not good enough for you. Kate has not grasped that yet and the trials she faces on the way are what makes the book. She learns so much not only about herself, but her friends as well. The cast of characters, how did I not mention them before, include Kate's two BFFs, Liam and Jules. They are fantastic! Their dynamic is wonderful, full of love and banter and honesty. I so totally appreciate friendships where honesty, however brutal it may be, is a major component. Kate begins to look outside herself and see her friend's relationships and lives in a different way. It is just great.

Fate and Destiny


I am a big believer in fate and destiny as well as free will but I also think that no matter our decisions, we all end up where we are supposed to be. Kate struggles with this concept as she tries to change situations for her benefit when really she ends up being more of a catalyst to the things she was trying to prevent. Love this. She contemplates fate and if no matter what she does, the end result will still be the same. And I believe in this. I believe in fate. And destiny. And a greater plan than ourselves. I love that this idea was explored in such a beautiful way and that while some life lessons are painful and situations we go through hurt, they help us become stronger and lead us to the path we need to be on. I like to believe no matter our mistakes, or misfortunes, or lack of judgment, we all end up exactly where we need to be even if it's nowhere we ever thought we would go. 

Reserved Seating
If you love honest friendships, frank assessment of pop culture, and a journey to self-discovery...this book's for you.

5 comments:

  1. What a brilliant idea for a book - we all have those things we wish we could change so life might be different and what better way for people in an over technological age to do it than with a status?! Fab! A little butterfly effect in the sense that regardless of the changes you make things don't always turn out for the better!
    A great review of this book too this is definitely one for the TBR pile :)
    x

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  2. I can't wait to read this one! I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it. The premise is really intriguing, but to hear that you think it's written well makes me anticipate reading it even more! Gonna get to this one soon, I hope :)

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  3. This sounds like a great one and very pertinent. I'll have to pick it up. Thanks for the rec!

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  4. This sounds really good, thanks for a great review!

    Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings

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  5. I've had my eye on this one. I'm so glad you liked it. I love books that speak on fate and destiny and this one sounds interesting with it's commentary on social media. I believe we all put a lot of weight on the importance of our online persona. Great review!!

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