It wasn't so long ago that we didn't create online personas, when we were more concerned with privacy than followers. Why do we do it? For the connection to people outside of our own little bubble, of course—and the visibility and, in some cases, the fame. The trade-off is that most things you do online you can't take back. These two novels offer a compelling look into the repercussions of today's digital-focused lifestyle.
Fifteen years ago, before everyone had a blog, Sarah Lundy took to the Internet to anonymously document her postdivorce dating life. She was authentic and witty, and her online persona, Mitzi Bytes, garnered a loyal following. Today, happily remarried with kids, she's still blogging, except no one "IRL" knows that Mitzi has been spilling not just her own secrets but also the exploits of her friends. When she starts getting emails from the mysterious Jane Q that threaten to out her, she goes into panic mode. Sarah needs to learn Jane Q's identity—before her world comes crashing down.
Young Jane Young
All it takes is one mistake to ruin your reputation. Unfortunately, Aviva Grossman made two. The first was beginning an affair with a congressman twice her age; the second was blogging about it. As she quickly finds out, the Internet's memory and wrath is long and swift. Unable to get a job due to her highly recognizable name, Grossman packs up and heads across the country to shed her old self and become a wedding planner named Jane Young. This does the trick—for a while. And if it wasn't for her precocious daughter's detective skills, nobody would have ever connected Aviva to Jane in this wry tale about reinvention.
Young Jane Young (Viking Canada) by Gabrielle Zevin, $30.