Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Review: The Status of All Things

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. -- Washington Square Press

At this year's BEA, I had the pleasure of meeting Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke at an Atria party. They were both delightful, and it was such a great story to hear how they've been friends for like ever and are now writing partners. THE STATUS OF ALL THINGS is their second novel, and I think they are definitely on to something. Despite living in separate cities halfway across the country, they manage to write successfully as one.

THE STATUS OF ALL THINGS is a very cute story about Kate, a 35 year old woman who, like many of us, loves her some social media. She's supposed to get married and is tracking every minute on Facebook; however, she ends up getting dumped at the rehearsal dinner. Naturally, she goes straight to Facebook to explain, but Facebook is acting a little strange. Kate's life starts to mirror her Facebook statuses. So what would any "normal" jilted bride do? Kate attempts to go back in time and rewrite the history of their relationship.

Kate shares her secret with her two best friends Liam and Jules. In addition to trying to help her own life, she uses her new found skill to improve Liam and Jules' lives too. However, things don't exactly work as she had planned in her life or her two friends' lives. Kate begins to wonder if she can (or even should) try to change the past.

I thought THE STATUS OF ALL THINGS was so much fun. It was a perfect summer escape read and entertaining too. I loved Kate and her antics, and her friends were great characters too. But most of all, I loved that this "fun" little book managed to make me reflect on life, social media, and how we present ourselves to other.

Most of the time I think that I have to worry about today's kids and social media; however, THE STATUS OF ALL THINGS really resonated with me. I'm not one who posts a lot of personal stuff on Facebook or Twitter, but I have many friends that do. Often times, I wonder if there are any filters when it comes to social media; and I question if these same people would say out loud to others what they are willing to post. It's definitely an interesting topic to think about and discuss.

I actually enjoyed the story quite a bit and I was interested in what Kate would try to change about her past and the extent she'd go to keep her man. What I really appreciated, though, was the overall messages in this book -- not only about social media, but also friendship, love, and second chances. After I finished this novel, I was happy for Kate and how much she evolved as a person; and I was especially excited about her happy ending.

THE STATUS OF ALL THINGS would make a cute book club selection if you are looking for something a little lighter than literary fiction. There actually is a great deal to discuss about social media, fate, control, friendship, love, loyalty, and more. In addition, the characters are interesting and their actions definitely warrant some analysis.

Overall, I really liked THE STATUS OF ALL THINGS and I can't wait to go back and read YOUR PERFECT LIFE, Liz and Lisa's first novel. Highly recommended to fans of Allison Winn Scotch and Sarah Pekkanen!


bermudaonion said...

I thought this book was a lot of fun, too. I liked the way the authors got a great message across with humor.

ChaosIsAFriendOfMine said...

This sounds like a really fun book! I don't think there's been a whole novel about Facebook before.

Beth F said...

Sounds like a fun book and I love that it was co-written by true BFFs.