The Bright Side of Going Dark by Kelly Harms
Updated: Apr 12
A story about social media and experiencing one's life
Mia is a popular social media influencer who shares her entire life online. But when her fiance calls off their wedding, Mia finds herself doing something she never could have imagined. She throws her phone off a cliff, and works on living her life offline.
Paige works behind the scenes for a popular social media site. When her sister attempts suicide, Paige takes time off work to go be with her sister.
The Bright Side of Going Dark is told in alternating perspectives of Mia and Paige, with a connection between the two women that is wild.
I think most people will be able to relate to this book on some level. The way social media consumes our lives can be both a blessing and a curse. I know I've wanted to throw my phone off a cliff and be more present - but then I think what would be the purpose? The people around me would still be glued to their phones. I've thought about getting rid of all the phones in our house, and moving to the mountains or to a beach somewhere away from this crazy social media, app driven life. But, here I am, instead - writing on a blog, hoping to get more likes and more followers and sponsors so that I can make this a "real job." Oh, the irony.
I loved the Colorado setting of this book. I've lived in Colorado, at the base of the mountains. It is beautiful and I could imagine the settings of the characters vividly. While I don't really miss the cold, dry climate of the Colorado mountains, I will admit that it is full of peace and beauty.
I found myself being able to relate to both of the main characters. Like Paige, I have panic attacks that require medication. It makes life really difficult - especially any social interactions. And like Mia, I have found a niche online that I love, although mine is in the book reviewing community, not the yoga and lifestyle community.
I enjoyed this book and found that it has some excellent points to think over. I'm not really triggered by any topics, and I'm not sensitive by any means. So content warnings and judging what people may be upset by is not my forte! But, with the heavy focus on suicide, I think it will be difficult for some readers to enjoy this book.
"Whoosh goes reality. And in its place, something else. Something perfect. And perfectly false."
"My dreams go beyond your wildest imagination."
"Write things down, with a nice pen, on a scrap paper, and stuff the bits of ideas in your pockets so you'll meet them again at the end of the day."
"No one is immune. No one can follow these so-called influencers and come out with their head on straight."
"This is Colorado, honey. You'll sleep on the ground, and you'll like it."
"Open yourself up to Mother Nature, my darling. Let in the lessons she has to offer. Let the stars by your backlight and her winds be your recharger."
"We're all just good people accidentally on purpose hurting ourselves. "
"There are things you know you want in your life, that you know are good and right and true the moment you realize they exist. Things that you can only miss if you're not paying attention. Usually, as far as I can tell, these things are dogs."
Thank you to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Kelly Harms for the advanced copy of The Bright Side of Going Dark in exchange for my honest review.