New Fiction Friday: Read Bottom Up

9780062262134_p0_v3_s192x300This is the story of a modern romance.  And speaking of modern romance, Aziz Ansari has a new book out called Modern Romance, that I can’t wait to read.  Read Bottom Up is told through a series of texts, e-mails, and short conversations, it is the story of Madeline and Elliot and their attempt to have a relationship.  Madeline works in publishing  (typical of so many female characters), and Elliot is a beginning restauranteur.  They meet a restaurant opening, and things go from there.  After a few “dates”, Madeline wants to believe that she and Elliot are exclusive, and he doesn’t seem to be taking the “relationship” seriously.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a date.  This month my husband and I will celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary, and when we first met, we didn’t even have cell phones.  In 2015, the way dating as depicted in this book, seems so confusing.  Madeline and Elliot never seem to actually talk on the phone, and their text “conversations” make me crazy.  It does make for a really funny story, though.  It reminds me of how lucky I am that I don’t have to experience the uncertainty of dating in the 21st century.

In these texts and e-mails are also the conversations Madeline and Elliot have with their best friends, Emily and David.  They give advice, though them seem to be just as clueless as Madeline and Elliot in relationships.  They get all the details – good and bad – about their dates, and meet-ups.  Elliot’s friend wants to know the intimate details of their dates, and Madeline’s friend helps to dissect their conversations.

“I appreciate the detailed play-by-play, but did you and Madeline make out?  That’s really the only thing I ever want to know.”

They all seem to be messing it up as they go, and for the comedy and entertainment of the reader, it’s great.  It’s the romantic comedy that’s not so romantic.  In the digital age, is this what relationships have come to?  I guess I wouldn’t know – and I’m so thankful for that!  I recently overheard a student telling a friend about a girl he had met on Tinder.  Wow!  Whether or not you can relate to these characters, and their hilarious adventures in dating, you can still enjoy the story of their “romance” in the digital age.


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