An Internet-addicted New York City woman quits cold turkey and relearns how to exist in the world sans smartphone.
Evie Rosen’s dependence on technology is starting to take a toll on her life. First, she humiliates herself at a friend’s wedding when her hidden BlackBerry tumbles out of her underwear. Then she loses her position as a corporate attorney seconds away from being made partner when her firm uncovers the staggering volume of personal emails that she's sent on company time. By the time she discovers on Facebook that her unattainable and anti-marriage ex-boyfriend, the famous chef Jack Kipling, has just tied the knot, she's certain that she needs to change the course of her life. After destroying her laptop by vomiting directly on it when she learns of Jack’s marriage, she dumps its remains in the Central Park Reservoir and decides to take a hiatus from the Internet. Leaving Facebook, Twitter, and her slew of dating profiles behind isn’t easy, but eventually Evie discovers a world beyond the computer, and she is determined to make connections, find a job, and hopefully snag a husband the old-fashioned way. Evie follows a thoroughly predictable course, yet she still manages to flail spectacularly along the way. The novel relies heavily on stock characters who stubbornly refuse to stray from their assigned roles: Grandma Bette, the meddling grandmother who reminds Evie of her pending mortality while questioning her about marriage prospects; Dr. Edward Gold, the handsome and brilliant doctor chosen by Bette to perform her lumpectomy and hopefully fall in love with her granddaughter; Aunt Susan, a sloppily dressed aging hippie with body odor and Birkenstock sandals; a plethora of friends who inhabit the various niche roles of Manhattan’s elite.
A timely premise feels tired in Friedland’s debut.