“Like, Comment, Share: Life in the age of Social Media” is the debut novel from Paulo Ramos and follows the trials and tribulations of Luis Ventura as he navigates life, friendships and love in the 21 century. Luis is Portuguese and works as a translator for magazines and companies in Lisbon.
The story opens with the revelation Luis’s long term girlfriend Teresa has broken up with him and he’s distraught. He seeks solace in his friend Afonso, who introduces him to the world of Facebook. What starts out as just a way to kill time and forget about Teresa, turns into a tool for meeting new friends, starting new relationships, and traveling the globe for Luis.
Overall I found the book to be a fun read. It was well paced and at times I found myself turning the pages to see what happens next. Usually I detest first person point of view, but it worked well for this book. Ramos’s voice was welcoming, smart, and at times funny and yet philosophical.
The device of Facebook posts and blog posts were well handled and didn’t break the forth wall at all. The pace as quick without being too fast and mirrored the ever present changes in Luis as he engaged social media.
I also liked how Ramos showed the downside to social media such as how addictive it can be and how it can simultaneously separate us while also bringing people from across the world together.
My one major complaint is that the dialogue was a bit unrealistic, so much so that it almost put me off the book from the start, but once I got into the story it became less off putting. All in all aside from a few minor grammatical mistakes and typos the book was great.
Story wise my only complaint is the whole section on Richtown when Luis wins 500,000 euros in the lottery and proceeds to go on a spending spree and lose contact with his real friends in favor of hangers on, who are only around him because of his fat wallet.
As someone who has dealt with a similar situation in life it struck me as odd Luis would abandon his friends for these bums. Overall the resolution of this period in the book was satisfying to see him realize the error of his ways.
All in all “Like, Comment, Share: Life in the age of Social Media” was a fun and engrossing read, and I recommend it to anyone looking for postmodern take of life, relationships and the pursuit of happiness in the modern age.