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Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite
Reading Me and My Social Media by Claire Carey is like riding a roller coaster of emotions, seeing a happy family possibly destroyed by a group of high school girls up to no good. Ms. Carey’s prose is so straightforward that it puts the reader in the center of first a happy, thriving British family and then into the turmoil of the possible loss of one of the children. The narrator is in the first person by Bonnie, a high school student who joins an internet group of her classmates who cause her and her family a lot of dire strife. Ms. Carey starts off painting an excellent portrait of a family on the top of their game, as perfect a picture as any you might find anywhere in literature.
Of course, in Tolstoy’s famous opening line of Anna Karenina, “happy families are all the same,” so that in a work of fiction, we know trouble must soon rear its ugly head. Fiction exists in tension, not peace. And Ms. Carey makes us love Bonnie’s family—Mum, Dad, three siblings, auntie, and uncle—so much that when the disruption inevitably crashes the party via an internet group whose several members turn out to be juvenile delinquents, we become engrossed in our concern for the victims. We crave that happiness will be restored, but Ms. Carey turns the screws of tension little by little, like the fine writer she is. She ratchets, ratchets, then ratchets some more.
During the suspense, Ms. Carey gives us the model of properly handling a family and community crisis, all elements working together to turn over every stone to locate a missing child. As a reader, I was right in the middle of it all, heart racing, foot jiggling, which is what great writers do, of course to their readers’ ultimate delight. Me and My Social Media by Claire Carey will have you turning the pages, worrying what the outcome of the life and death crisis will be.