ISBN-13: 9780062379849
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 12 May 2015
Format: Paperback, 400 pgs
Source: Publisher

How many times do you check your smartphone a day? And how many hours do your surf online? What about those social media platforms? Do you have all the accounts to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc etc? Yes to all, some of you may answer. After all, we stay connected through our smartphones and computers in this time; we'd considered to be living under a rock if we don't, isn't it? That said, have you ever wondered what you would do without a smartphone or Internet? 

Evie Rosen, our heroine in this story, is given this ultimatum "off-line" experience after she is being terminated for abusing the company's rule by sending too many personal emails and texts at work. Before this, Evie has dreams of becoming a partner in a well-established law firm and thinking of getting hitched to her famous restaurateur boyfriend of two years. Unfortunately, the latter didn't want to commit into marriage and they broke off. But what makes it worse is stumbling upon his wedding photos on Facebook six months later they broke up and Evie wasn't sure if the problems lied on her or that he just changed his mind on marriage. As if that was not enough, her date scurried off after knowing that she had Googled him before their meeting together. All of these incidents have made her decided to put off smartphones and Internet for good, well at least for some time. 

Initially Evie felt anxious of the withdrawal from the Internet; it was unsettling to be so out of touch with the world, and not to mention it was undoubtedly getting harder to ignore the inconveniences of being computer-less. Then again, there was an undeniable calmness she hadn't felt in ages, and for that she felt a sense of peacefulness. From there, she starts things afresh by going back to the basics: communicating through phones instead of texting and emailing, meeting guys the conventional ways instead of online dating. She began to see things in a new light and learnt that she didn't unplug from life even though she'd unplugged her smartphone. 

Fun, witty and relatable, that's my impression of this novel after reading it. I have to confess Evie didn't warm up to me initially but her character grew on me the more I read about her and how she'd changed her mindset on certain things. I liked reading about her relationship with her grandmother; some of those moments warmed my heart and it was rather inspiring to see how her grandmother coped with news of her breast cancer through optimism. 

Well I don't think I would shut off Internet entirely, for there are certainly pros and cons for everything, including modern technologies. I can think of one very useful application such as FaceTime or video calls which allow us to talk and to see the faces as well. I certainly use this a lot communicating with my husband when he is away for his overseas business trips. Overall, I appreciate the conveniences of Internet, the connections of social platforms etc, and it is only an issue of not going overboard and making good use of it. 

10 Responses
  1. Kay Says:

    I think this book sounds good and I suppose all of us at times consider cutting back on our technological footprint. Like you, I don't think I'd want to back away from the internet entirely, but I do not have much of a social media presence. I keep my Facebook account separate from my blog. It's for family and non-book-ish friends. I don't do Twitter or Instagram. And sometimes, like on vacation, I step back. Thanks for highlighting this!

  2. jenclair Says:

    I am grateful for all of the technology and social platforms, but it is so easy to become too compulsive about it and to neglect other aspects. Children are especially vulnerable, I think. They've never known anything else. For older people or those who are somehow confined, the internet and all it offers is a boon. Sounds like a book that can be entertaining and yet give rise to some things that need thinking about.

  3. This sounds like such an interesting book. I admit I would feel a bit lost without access to the internet as I rely on it so much--probably too much. I always intend to tune out completely on the weekends, but I have never been 100% successful.

    I knew I was in trouble the other day when I asked my husband and daughter if it was short sleeve weather or long sleeve weather and my daughter told me to see what my phone said. :-(

  4. Melody Says:

    Kay - I do have all the accounts to all the social platforms except for Tumblr. That said, I rarely update them except for FB and Instagram. My Twitter is more for my blog updates. I don't post a lot of personal stuff on all these platforms as I prefer to share them via emails. :)

  5. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I agree, Jenclair. I'm very concerned of what my children are watching via the Internet so I make sure I'm always around near the computer and/or be attentive when they're using our smartphones. Internet can be both educational and not at the same time, isn't it?

  6. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I agree it's hard not to have access to the Internet. With the convenience of smartphones, that makes it even harder since it's so easily accessible.

    My daughters like using our old smartphones and watching videos on YouTube. We've to implement the rule for using an hour a day for it but sometimes it's hard. My eldest asked me for a smartphone at one point as she told me a few of her friends have it but I told her she'd only get it when she goes to Secondary School.

  7. The Bookworm Says:

    This sounds like an interesting one.
    I didn't grow up with the internet or with smartphones and social media, so I can definitely remember a time without it. And as awesome as this digital era is, it's sad because when everything is available at the click of a button, I feel like this generation is growing up without having patience and with poor communication skills.

  8. Iliana Says:

    I think maybe a lot of people should read this one and remember what it was like to be "dis-connected"! :)

    I love having internet access and all the convenience it brings with it but I try to limit my time on it. It's so easy to lose hours and before you know it you're like what happened to the day and you still haven't really done anything. Anyway, this sounds like a fun read!

  9. Melody Says:

    Naida - Me too, Naida! I only got my first pager when I was out of school and working. What a great difference now and before, isn't it? Technology has indeed helps to connect people but it has also set us apart as well.

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I think so too. ;)

    Yes, there are so many times I lost myself in the cyber world which I should have done something outside of it. Still, it's such a great convenience and so addictive. ;)

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