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Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other social media affect our lives and connections with other people. For some, it leads to filtered versions of life being shared with family and friends.

Others long for the odd fame of internet celebrity. People are drawn together on social media by shared interests or searches for love. This month we look at stories of people whose lives are drawn closer by a keyboard.

“Together We Will Go” by J. Michael Straczynski

“Together We Will Go” author J. Michael Straczynski was an early adopter of using social networks to build community. This experience, as well as his strong character development skills from screenwriting, have created a quirky, poignant novel described as “the Breakfast Club meets the Silver Lining Playbook.”

Mark Antonelli is a failed writer and decides to end it all in one masterwork. Mark decides that he will drive cross country and launch his tour bus off a cliff at sunset. He places an ad to find others looking to end it all. The rules are they must be serious about ending it all, and they have to be willing to write and post online about their experience. Get caught up in their stories as Mark and his twelve companions travel the country and begin to bond with each other.

“Followers” by Megan Angelo

What is the cost of fame? In 2015, Orla Cadden is paying the bills by writing click-bait stories about the lives of celebrities, beauty secrets and more. Her roommate, Floss, may not have any easily recognized talent, but Floss is ready to be an internet A-lister. With Orla’s help they set out to achieve this goal.

In 2051, Marlow lives in a town full of government-appointed celebrities whose lives are livestreamed to the public, who rate and comment on everything about the celebrities’ lives. Marlow may be the ultimate influencer, but she wants out.

What connects these two stories? What was the “spill?” Readers will be pulled into this dark comedy about fabricated fame.

“The Right Swipe” by Alisha Rai

Rhiannon Hunter may have been the founder of an online dating service, but her approach to romance is to not let her guard down. However, a fabulous night with former football player Samson Lima almost changes her mind.

Then he ghosts her. When he shows up again wanting a second chance, he’s working with a rival dating service. Does Rhiannon want to swipe in his direction again?

“Tweet Cute” by Emma Lord

A fun-loving and modern teen romance by Emma Lord, “Tweet Cute” brings two teens who couldn’t be more alike into each other’s social media circle. Their families run competing businesses, but Pepper and Jack have chemistry … or do they? When Jack’s grandmother’s secret recipe is stolen, is Pepper to blame?

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The turmoil plays out on Pepper and Jack’s Twitter pages. Will they be able to put their social media tiff to rest? Is there more to their Twitter banter than animosity?

“One in a Million” by Lindsey Kelk

Bestselling author Lindsey Kelk entertains readers with “One in a Million,” a social media romance. Annie Higgins is a smart and talented businesswoman, who is starting a digital marketing firm with her partner and friend, Miranda.

Annie agrees to run a social media campaign to make one person an Instagram star. How hard could this possibly be, right? That’s what Annie thinks until she meets Dr. Samuel Page, a dedicated social media Luddite.

Despite their vastly different interests, there is an unexpected chemistry between the two. Will Annie’s business campaign succeed and make Sam a star? Will she unexpectedly find the love of her life?

“Friend Request” by Laura Marshall

Debut novelist Laura Marshall gives readers chills in her social media themed thriller, “Friend Request.” Long buried secrets are threatened to be revealed when Louise receives a friend request from her old best friend, Maria Weston. The problem is, Louise thought Maria was dead. Louise is afraid that revelations from her past will jeopardize the life she has built for herself and her son.

Is it really Maria? How will her past come back to haunt Louise?

“We Are Watching Eliza Bright” by A. E. Osworth

Eliza Bright is a rarity in her world, a female game-coder in a male-driven industry. Eliza seeks to bring the work harassment she is facing to light; however, her concerns are not taken seriously, and she is fired. Her firing does not quell the harassment. In fact, it fuels the fire, as it continues on social media.

Author A.E. Osworth delves into the impact social media can have on our lives and how it can permeate every facet of our every day. “We Are Watching Eliza Bright” is not a light-hearted tale, and examines the potential darker side of the social media.

“He Said, She Said” by Kwame Alexander

West Virginia Book Festival author Kwame Alexander writes a modern-day social media teen romance, “He Said, She Said.” Omar and Claudia are polar opposites. Claudia is a goody-two-shoes, driven by a dream of getting into Harvard and concerned with solving the world’s problems. Omar, on the other hand, is a well-known ladies man that does not take life too seriously.

Their two worlds intersect when they both become involved in a protest and start interacting via Twitter and Facebook. Will opposites attract? Or will their differences come between them?

For more information on these books or others, contact the main branch of the Kanawha County Public Library at 304-343-4646 or visit www.kanawhalibrary.org.

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