The Bright Side of Going Dark

Kelly Harms brings us another refreshingly honest novel! The Bright Side of Going Dark shines in its unflinching look at how we can get stuck in a life we don’t recognize when we refuse to process our emotions.

Synopsis:

“From the bestselling author of The Overdue Life of Amy Byler comes a fresh, funny, and thoughtful story about going off the grid in order to truly live.”

Mia Bell is one of the most popular influencer on social media, but after some disappointments, she has had enough and chucks her phone off a cliff. She’s ready to explore life off the grid for a while.

Paige Miller, a techie loner, hacks Mia’s account and begins to impersonate Mia, as a way to connect to her own sister Jessica. When she gets too bold and is caught in the act, the fallout could forever change Paige, Mia, and the people who love them.

 

Review:

Kelly Harms, you’ve done it again! What a moving and refreshing story about grief, mental health, and self-image. All told through the lens of an influencer as well as someone more behind the scenes. (What is it truly like to be the person who posts 30 times a day, or to be the one to scroll endlessly?) The dichotomy between the two women is striking and complicated, but there are overlaps of what kind of life they want to lead, and how they each feel stuck in the routine they’ve created for themselves as an escape from facing and processing their emotions.

Harms crafts such an authentic story around these heavy issues, while also sprinkling in some hope, joy, love, and finding your unique place in the world. There’s such a beautiful balance of hope and grief, real and fake. It will make you want to unplug from the online world and hug your people and animals tighter…and more often.

(As a comparison against Big Summer, which also deals with the life of an influencer, I found The Bright Side of Going Dark so much more relatable and relevant.)

The only criticism I have would be that the first third of the book is a bit of a slower read. But I can’t even let that bring the rating lower, because I don’t see how taking anything out would improve it. It’s just the slow build of who these people really are, before the main action starts.

This story is unflinchingly honest, and balances the weighty topics with silver linings and hints of redemption. There’s a bit of romance, a heap of pets, and a whole lot of heart! This novel shines!

 
Thank you to Lake Union Publishing for a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

 

Book Details

The Bright Side of Going Dark
by Kelly Harms
Hardcover, 348 pages
Expected publication: May 12th 2020 by Lake Union Publishing

Summary

READ THIS BOOK! The Bright Side of Going Dark shines in its refreshing look at how we can get stuck in a life we don't recognize when we refuse to process our emotions. This story is unflinchingly honest, and balances the weighty topics with silver linings and hints of redemption. There's a bit of romance, a heap of pets, and a whole lot of heart!

— Cassie
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