Title: On the Rocks
Author: Erin Duffy
Publisher: William Morrow
Pub. Date: April 22, 2014
Rec. Age Level: 18+
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After her fiance Ben very publicly dumps her on Facebook Abby retreats from both her social life and social networking, barely emerging from the comfort of her apartment, ice cream, and television binges. When her best friend Grace insists that she spend the summer with her in a rented cottage in Newport, Abby reluctantly agrees, if for no other reason than to placate Grace. With the help of Grace, an old classmate, and two new guy friends who remind Abby that good guys do exist, she takes steps to reclaim her life. Abby considers herself an old fashioned girl, but she quickly learns that, with social networking and internet stalking, the rules of the dating game have grown complicated... and utterly ridiculous. But Abby refuses to let social media and google searches rule her life. ON THE ROCKS is for every woman who's found herself on the wrong side of social media, in the aftermath of a bad breakup, or elbow deep in Ben & Jerry's when things fall apart.
Though I've never been broken up with via social media of any type (thankfully!) I found it easy to relate to Abby and her disgust with how intertwined technology and relationships & dating have become. Though Abby's engagement ended with her ex's change of relationship status and his sudden move out-of-state, she still has a hard time separating herself from him. First, she finds herself Facebook stalking him, and, after deleting her account, she's still plagued by texts and emails he sporadically sends. Even though she knows she should be strong enough to ignore his attempts at contact, she's unable to simply delete the messages and is repeatedly pulled back in, even as he dates and moves on with his life. Then, when she finally breaks back into the dating scene, she finds she still can't escape the effects of constant communication and social media. Even if she's not using social media, a simple Google search reveals all sorts of personal information (and embarrassing photos of fashion mistakes past) and not having a Facebook page has a negative connotation of its own. It's pretty safe to say that most anyone can relate to Abby's struggles in one way or another.
I really liked Abby's relationship with the two guys she befriends while living in Newport. While both have flaws, they are, at heart, good guys that restore Abby's faith in men. Both are straight shooters and tell it like it, even when the truth doesn't cast them in the best light.
Abby's snark, the beach setting, and the honesty and humor of ON THE ROCKS makes it a perfect beach read.