Academically situated in recent history, the story was inspired by non-fiction: Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together (2011, about tech’s influence upon relationships), Michelle Borba’s Unselfie (2016, a plea for empathy in a social-media influenced world), Dr. Jean Twenge's research (author of iGen, 2017), and Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman (The 20th Anniversary Edition, 2005). These books comment on language, media, and our use of it over time. In particular, Postman's paperback details how showy and entertaining television can be: brief and efficient but lacking meaning; instant stimulation compared to slower-paced thinking and discourse.
This novel takes a close look at communication, much like Textbook by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (2016). Nostalgic for a bygone era, it is memoir like in parts. Both books blend genre and explore personal connections through a school-like vehicle. Both are reflective, observational, and enhanced with images, thus giving their pages a multi-dimensional feel and resonance with a variety of readers.
Though we enjoy different levels of access, we all live within an ongoing digital experiment.
This book is about accepting and rejecting electronic norms. With serenity comes courage and the wisdom to say no, this habit isn’t working--not for me, not in school, and maybe not for society.
Other recent reads I find incredible include:
Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey
On Writing - A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
American Girls - Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales
Girl - Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro
Educated by Tara Westover
This Will Only Hurt A Little by Busy Phillips
A Book of American Martyrs by Joyce Carol Oats
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Split by Randy Harvey
Islands Apart by Ken McAlpine
Leaving Home by Garrison Keillor
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee