Author: Sam Tschida
When Mia wakes up in a Long Beach hospital with a head wound, she knows everything there is to know about the Kardashian-Jenner family but almost nothing about herself. The only items in her possession are her torn party dress–which immediately begs the question, what kind of girl parties on a Tuesday night?–a tube of Chanel lipstick, and an iPhone with a shattered screen. She might not remember where she lives but she can use her Instagram account to work backward to piece together the basic facts of her identity. Easy enough, right?
Instagram tells her that she lives in a Millennial-pink duplex that would make Kylie Jenner jealous. But when she arrives, she discovers a cute housesitter named Max who tells her the house actually belongs to JP, a French billionaire–and he has no idea how she’s connected to him. After some sleuthing, she discovers she’s the owner of a high-end matchmaking service. Could JP be one of her investors?
As Mia works backward through her Instagram to figure out who she really is–and find anyone who knows anything about her–she discovers an ugly truth buried within her perfect social media image. Is it too late to undo her lies online and become an IRL good person?
A fantasy world driven tale of a woman’s journey to find out who she is as a reader should not expect our main character to make logical and realistic choices throughout the novel or for the events to be super plausible. True, it could happen as nothing is impossible, but it’s just not likely. An easy read for those who ever wanted to imagine how to use your online self to find out who you are in real-life. You go through the mysteries of finding out how our main character lost her memory and also who she is as a person and will she continue being the same person she once was.
Mia Wallace wakes up in the hospital with no idea who she is or how she got there. Her only clue is her phone which luckily is unlocked with facial recognition. (I will admit that I switched my phone lock screen to facial recognition instead of my numeric passwords in case I ever need access to my phone’s contents, but I can’t remember the password.) She attempts to call her mom with no luck and then her next try is a woman named Crystal who refuses to talk to Mia. She gives up and instead comes up with the idea to use Instagram and other social media outlets to retrace her steps and find out who she is and where she should go after being released from the hospital. (I got lost at this part as who only tries two contacts in their phone before giving up as a simple “Send to All” text, even with a cracked screen, saying “hey, can you tell me who I am?” would at least generate some responses even if the recipients don’t take it seriously.)
Once discharged from the hospital, she takes a ride share to a house found on her Instagram page listed as #homesweethome. It turns out to be owned by a French billionaire who happens to be out of town in Switzerland and the house is currently being housesat by a handsome neuroscientist named Max. The two of them form an alliance to help Mia discover how she ended up in the hospital and who she actually is. The journey takes them through Mia’s Instagram feed to an art museum and the beach while also exploring Max’s work with neuroscience and the concept of lying. The neuro aspect was super interesting as it would be really amazing to have a more accurate lie detector compared to the traditional version that can be tricked into thinking someone is telling the truth when they are in fact telling a lie. Throughout Mia’s journey to discovering more about herself, the less she seems to like and the more she’s trying to understand how she turned out the way she did. It’s an interesting concept that there’s parts of ourselves that never change no matter how many do-overs we get (i.e. Mia’s addition to Instagram and taking selfies) and how many parts of ourselves we have the ability to change (i.e. certain decisions – there are a lot in this story). Mia is an entertaining main character if you take her with a grain of salt. She’s extremely naïve and honestly I have no idea how she created an app and has survived this long based on a lot of pieces that we learn about her throughout the book. I used to live in Southern CA for many years and can fully get behind a lot of references in the story as I’ve seen them play out in real life more times than I can count. However, it was still playing out in a fictional world where everything works for the sake of the story and not necessarily how it would have gone in reality.
Our main male character, Max, is a great balance to Mia as he takes the more logical side while she takes the more creative. Together they make a great pair, but I feel like the story never fully gave JP a chance as they just kind of threw him to the side for the purpose of keeping Max as a main character for most of the story as JP doesn’t appear until later where Mia then has to choose between the two guys interested in her. I wish instead JP was brought back a little earlier to then create more tension and suspense for which guy Mia will end up with.
Overall, the novel takes you on a fantasy-driven journey to aid Mia regain her memories and identity. Although there are aspects that I felt could have been done a little better, it was still an enjoyable novel and one that I would recommend to others. It’s a nice escapist novel for those who live in an era of social media. You never know when those Instagram posts might come in handy so it’s better to be safe than sorry when you tag your pictures. Those posts might one day help you to regain your lost memories if you ever get amnesia.
**Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my ARC to read. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**