Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros
Published by Gallery, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
You can’t ride a single successful debut novel forever. Abigail Donovan should know, she has tried. Her debut was big, huge, even. She was on Oprah, for goodness’ sake. The second novel, though, it isn’t really coming. She is years behind on her deadline. Her novel that was once so successful has now moved largely out of the realm of public consciousness, and she doesn’t hear from her publicist too often. Even when she is able to do public events, nobody shows up to see her. In fact, at her last event, she was roped into appearing in a bunny costume in lieu of the famous children’s author whose travel troubles kept her from making her appearance in time. Just when Abigail thinks things can’t get any worse, she finds out that her publicist has taken the liberty of of signing her up for Twitter. While bumbling around trying to figure out the site, she meets witty, sarcastic professor @MarkBaynard, with whom she forms a Twitter flirtation in very quick order. @MarkBaynard makes Abigail feel less alone and inspires her work on her second novel, but is he really who he seems to be on Twitter?
I picked up Goodnight Tweetheart the day it arrived in my mailbox, simply to flip through it and see what it was all about, as I had not been expecting it and hadn’t actually heard of it. Abigail’s plight as the formerly-successful author captivated me immediately. The opening scene, wherein she ends up in a bunny costume for hundreds of screaming children after the humiliation of having a completely unattended book signing is hilarious and creates an immediate feeling of connection with and empathy for Abigail.
As this is a novel written largely in tweets, it is a quick and engaging read. However, as a, shall we say, frequent, Twitterer, I actually felt that the Twitter angle could have been handled a little bit better. Apparently the majority of tweets were not actually public tweets but were instead direct messages, messages that could only be seen between Abigail and @MarkBaynard. This explains the extremely flirtatious behavior and the ‘Twitter date’ on an account that is supposed to be Abigail’s face to the world, her last chance to position herself as a novelist of note. It also explains the fact that her tweets to Mark tend not to begin with @MarkBaynard as they should if she were conversing with him on Twitter and wanted to make sure that he actually saw what she wrote. However, the fact that these were direct messages wasn’t made very clear; I actually only realized it when Abigail accidentally missed making a very embarrassing tweet a direct message and broadcast it out for all to see. Still, Twitter was actually handled better than I feared it might be.
Goodnight Tweetheart is a cute and engaging book, chock full of pop culture, both internet and television. Although I wasn’t 100% happy with the handling of Twitter, I commend Medeiros for taking it on and doing it fairly well. I read this in the course of a single evening, and would recommend it as a change of pace book.
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