The Best Books to Buy This Valentine’s Day

Fake Lauren Oyler accounts

After the narrator of Oyler’s debut novel found out that her boyfriend is a popular internet conspiracy theorist and another Bad Thing incident happened, she received a little stroke of luck, quit her job and moved to Berlin, where she met this friend for the first time. There she tries not to interact too much with actual Germans, checks her social media accounts and at some point conducts a 21st century social experiment by making various first dates, each time embodying the characteristics of a different zodiac sign . It goes bad because their dates are less interested in hearing from their (made up) inner selves than they are in sharing their own. With scenes at the 2017 Women’s March and pitch-perfect descriptions of online interactions (“I saw a writer, A, say derogatory things about another writer in generalized, passive aggressive terms; I was able to find out her identity, B, through messaging … ”Etc.) the effect of reading the book is comparable to an hour-long social media binge: crazy, insightful, addicting. A word to the wise: this book is likely to become a bat signal that is used by a certain type of guy to get a certain type of woman to date him, probably exactly on the apps that the book says well dismantled (likes to read: Trick Mirror), Sally Rooney, fake accounts). This narrator could call his bluff by asking him why he likes the book and to provide quotes and a fact-based argument – or she could say she doesn’t read any more books herself, books are old news, anything what she needs is now on the internet.

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