After reading, loving, and reviewing Hannah Orenstein’s debut novel Playing With Matches, her publishers very kindly sent me book number two ahead of its release date in August.
Love At First Like features the same modern illustration style on the cover, opting for a holiday-esque blue hue. I love how the theme has been carried on to the second book.
One thing I loved about Playing With Matches was how modern and relatable it was. Love At First Like certainly continues that, as Hannah Orenstein plays around with the difference between social media and real life, and how we can create a life we want on platforms like Instagram.
This is something that bloggers are all too familiar with. I try to be as real as possible on the grid, but that’s not necessarily true for everyone, since Instagram is mostly used as a highlight reel.
Love at First Like sees jewellery store owner Eliza Roth drunkenly post a photo of one of her engagement rings on that finger after seeing her ex-boyfriend Holden had proposed to his new girl.
She awakes to her 100,000 followers congratulating her, alongside some rather healthy overnight sales. Eliza realises she could use the fake, accidental announcement to her advantage to benefit the store. Brooklyn Jewels needs a boost in finance, and so Eliza has to find someone willing to pose as her fake fiancé.
With complimentary venue and gown offers, and six months to plan a fake wedding, the pressure builds for Eliza to meet her match. Blake seems perfect ‘on paper’, but Eliza doesn’t reveal the publicity-stunt wedding scheme. With financial struggles, a fake wedding to plan, a business to run, and a potential love blossoming, Eliza can either choose a fake, scheming, Instagram-perfect relationship online, or fall in love for real and potentially destroy her career.
Love At First Like explores the modern digital age of social media. As a blogger, it’s so relatable. People on Goodreads have described it as ‘wild’ and ‘batshit crazy’, but actually, if you work with social media as a journalist (like Hannah, and myself) then actually, you will know it definitely feels realistic. You would be surprised at the things people will do for followers and success, and Eliza Roth is just one of those many people using these platforms to their advantage.
As you can probably tell from the state of the cover, this book came everywhere with me for two days. I was waiting for any opportunity to flick a few pages. It’s certainly a page-turner and I loved it just as much, if not more, than Playing With Matches.