Monday, June 15, 2015

Julie's Review: The Status of All Things

Author: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
Series: None
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Pages: 304
Obtained: purchased
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction, Magical Realism
Rating: 4.25/5
Bottom Line: Are we as happy as we post on Facebook? Probably not.
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: 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.  

Review: The Status of All Things is something that many of us can relate to in some way. You might not be solely focused on making sure that selfie you just took is perfect enough to post to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc but we do make our lives all shiny on social media. If we don't, we always mask in in cryptic messages. What if we were all honest? What would it look like then? Would you lose friends? Probably. This is the quandary for Kate who just got dumped by her fiance at their rehearsal dinner. What do you think her first question or thought should be? Probably, why right? Nope for Kate it's how am I going to update my status. It literally comes out of her mouth to her now ex-fiance, Max.

This gives us a glimmer into Kate and what she's focused on. What Kate gets is the ability to re-write her statuses for the last 30 days before the rehearsal dinner dump by Max. As we all know if you change one thing about the past, it sets into motion changes that you can't even think of, with consequences. Where Kate things she's going to save her relationship with Max and is so focused on that, she doesn't for one second think that maybe they aren't supposed to be together. Kate is a bit self-centered and going back 30 days shows her that maybe things aren't so perfect in Jules' marriage and maybe Liam being in a relationship isn't good for their friendship.

As Kate starts to realize that things aren't always great when you go back to fix them, she figures out that maybe the place she needs to be is right where she was in the beginning. It's a long road for Kate and her friends but I do think that she learned something from her journey. Sometimes what we need most is staring us right in the face and learning to let go is the hardest thing we need to do. Liz and Lisa have a great social commentary on the use of social media and what it does to our relationships, our egos and our self-worth.

We all have that one friend or maybe friends whose lives look so perfect but are they really or are they self-editing? No one's life is perfect, we all have our own struggles and I think this book is a reflection of that. There are very humorous moments and very poignant ones. You identify with Kate and want to shake her sometimes with in sentences of the novel. She's got a great heart but she's slightly misguided.

If you ever find yourself getting caught up in the perfect lives of your friends on Facebook, et. all, then I highly recommend The Status of All Things . Even if you aren't caught up in social media, you will still take something away from this novel.



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