Published: June 22nd 2010, Hyperion
Pages: 264 pages, paperback
Acquired: Sent as part of a book tour via Good Golly Miss Holly
Summary (from Goodreads): Claire is a #hopelessromantic. Lottie is determined to set up her BFF with Mr. Perfect. Will wants his #secretcrush to finally notice him. Bennett is a man with a plan.
Claire can’t believe it when her dream guy starts following her on Twitter. She never thought he noticed her, and suddenly he seems to understand her better than almost anyone. But the Twitterverse can be a confusing place, especially when friends act differently online than they do in person. Things get even more complicated when Claire realizes she’s falling for someone else, the last person she ever would have expected…
Told in an innovative format combining tweets, emails, and blogs, Tweet Heart is a contemporary romantic comedy that will set your heart atwitter.
What I liked: When I first heard about Tweet Heart and realised that it was made up from Tweets, emails and blogs I was really excited. I thought it sounded like such a fresh idea and hadn’t heard of anybody writing a novel based on Tweets before. A few years ago I read Alexandra Potter’s The Guy Next Door, which is written entirely in emails, and had loved it.
Tweet Heart is certainly one of the most original novels I’ve read this year. Rudnick uses the very latest in social networking sites to bring us the story of four high school students, detailing the everyday dramas that make up their lives. What impressed me is that I didn’t find myself having to keep looking back to see which Tweet had come from who. The characters each have a strong, unique voice that makes it easy to tell who is Tweeting who. The usernames were a nice touch too.
This is such a fun story. I found myself smiling the whole way through and I finished the book in a couple of sittings with a big grin on my face. Rudnick gets the teen voices spot on, especially where Bennett is concerned, and I really feel like she worked hard to give each character their own distinct personality. There was definitely a danger that it could become confusing reading nothing but endless streams of Tweets (broken up with the occasional blog post or email) but I wasn’t bored or confused at any point - I think the relatively low word count helped.
What I didn’t like: Although there wasn’t much I didn’t enjoy about Tweet Heart, there were a few issues that didn’t sit very well with me. Maybe it’s because I’m at the perfect age to be a bit of a social network geek – I was in high school for Myspace, then at university when Facebook made it big and just starting out working when Twitter blew up so I like to think I know a thing or two about these sites.
My main problem is that there were a few points in the novel when I know for sure that if Charlotte and Claire were real living and breathing teenagers then they would have been direct messaging each other, rather than blasting their secrets all over everybody’s Twitter feed – especially when they were discussing Charlotte’s love life and various boys at their high school. Sorry but you just don’t go naming the guy you want to go to the school dance with on Twitter. In public. Especially when it’s more than likely that he has a Twitter account himself.
Also, all they seemed to do all day at school is Tweet each other. Sure, everybody grabs a few sneaky checks on Twitter/Facebook etc at school and work but it just seemed a little convenient that no teachers ever spotted that their students were spending all day glued to the Internet.
And another thing – if JD is the hottest, most popular guy in school then I’m pretty sure he would have a Twitter account, wouldn’t he?
First line: ‘Lots0love is now following ClaireRBear’
Read if you liked...: The Guy Next Door – Alexandra Potter
Total: 16/20 (B+)