Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Twitter Diaries

The Twitter Diaries
Georgie Thompson and Imogen Lloyd Webber
Publisher: Bloomsbury 
ISBN-10: 1448209862
288 pages
Available August 16th on
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview.

Can you write a book from the perspectives of two people, keeping each person's lines to 140 characters or less?

Yes, you can.

But is it any good?

Well ...

Stella Cavill and Tuesday Fields meet cute: they both rush in late to a swanky Manhattan party, Stella decked out in haute couture and Tuesday in a Virgin Atlantic sleeper suit, luggage lost en route from London. Stella happens to have a couple of shopping bags with her, and gladly spiffs Tuesday up. The two blondes, who look so much alike that they could be twins, strike up a friendship. When Tuesday returns to London, they keep up their correspondence through Twitter direct messages.

Over the course of a year, we read their DMs. Tuesday is getting over a broken heart and attempting to prove to her boss that she needs more challenging assignments in her job as a TV sports reporter. Stella is struggling with her boyfriend, Will, who travels all the time, and whom she needs closer to her as she attempts to start a shoe design business. The two travel, experience romantic and professional ups and downs, and deal with mothers who are less than thrilled that their thirty-something daughters are unmarried.

This is a cute conceit, although it is difficult to sustain over the course of 288 pages. Sometimes you just want more. For instance, when romance arises, we don't get a lot of detail. Now, that could be due to these two women having a fairly new friendship, but I don't think so. They share a lot about their professional lives and their mothers.

The other challenge is all of the Twitter names. You need to decipher who @No1Sportsman, @Supermodel1971, @MerchBanker and @PM_TV are, to name a few. Some are identified with their real names by Stella and Tuesday, but others are left to descriptions. Sometimes it just seems like there are a lot of @ signs.

The story is cute, but you aren't really pulled into it. I felt like I knew Stella and Tuesday, but I wasn't emotionally invested in them the way I get with characters I really care about. Perhaps that is the real drawback to 140 characters. How well can you really know someone when they are limited to so few words?

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