Author: Kevin Klehr
Title: Social Media Central
Publisher: NineStar Press
In an age where everyone lives their lives
through a screen, no one has more celebrity status than fashion blogger,
Madeline Q. In a chance meeting, Tayler, loner and geek, is introduced to her
world of parties, fan worship, and seduction.
But as his own star rises, Madeline Q is arrested for murder. There’s just one problem—there is no corpse. Tayler soon learns that fiction blurs reality on Social Media Central.
I can’t deny I have used social media a lot more this year. I thought Social Media Central would be an entertaining read that focuses on the changes that have occurred in society due to the rise of these social media platforms.
In a way, it was. It could have been a modern version of 1984, where the truth is whatever the ‘government’ – the figure behind the platforms –wants it to be: a full murder trial through an online poll or making the masses believe there is a radioactive uranium mine just outside of town are just two examples.
Unfortunately, it didn’t deliver. The characters were shallow and had no development. The plot was allover the place – there were several occasions where I was unsure what was going on. There were also several clichés thrown in and, while not entirely predictable,nothing came as a surprise.
“The internet took away the need to buy our identity and replaced it with a way to share our identity.”
The main character, Tayler, was flat and undeveloped. He starts off as being opposed to social media. But as soon as he gains a little attention, he suddenly lives for being in the spotlight, for being recognised and have his own fan-base despite not having his own channel, all because he is friends with some famous people. He inserts himself in their lives and acts like this is who he has been all along.
Then there’s the twist where – shock horror – social media is bad. A message that is driven home forcibly throughout the entire book to the point it feels grating. Naturally, Tayler is the first leading the resistance because the masses adore him and want him to spearhead the change. He became famous by association and does nothing to make you feel like there is any depth to him.
Tayler declares early on he is not homosexual. Until he randomly decides he wants to ‘go down’ on a male guard just to escape. He wants to sleep with Mike, at the same time as falling for Connor, and has kinky thoughts about a random stranger in the park. While at the same time wanting Madeline back. It felt like it was designed to shock, but just made him shallow and inconsistent.
At the beginning of the book is a warning for explicit sex. There’s not. There’s really not. There is sex, but it’s written in such a flat and unrealistic way that it means nothing. Blink, and you’d overlook it. The warning implies the book is something it’s not.
The plot was completely all over the place. The premise is ultimately they are trying to get people to talk to one another rather than using a screen. But it twists and turns – and not in an unexpected and exciting way – the whole way through to the point where it jumps from one idea to another so fast you’re not actually certain who is trying to do what.
This was not the book for me, unfortunately. I was in a sense of disbelief throughout because I didn’t know what was going on!