Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley was a book that I kept seeing pop up all over my social media so I was pretty excited that it was the book picked. Sometimes it seems so rare that I read a book while it's still current, you know? Anyway, just a few reminders here before we get into the book...if this is your first time here, this is your warning that this post will have spoilers (what would a book club discussion be otherwise?!) At the end of the post, I will have a few questions to get the discussion going which you can answer in the comments section if you like. And lastly, if you have a blog post about the book, you can link up at the end of this post!
Also - if you aren't here to discuss Keep Me Posted, but would like to participate in the next book club, then be sure to jump to the end of this post to vote on the book you'd like to read for September! (Because of scheduling for this month, we're just going to skip having an actual August book). If you're new to A Slice of Brie Book club, in a nutshell, it's an online book club for fellow book lovers. A place to talk about a chosen book from the comfort of your own home/computer! Everyone is welcome (so tell your friends!), and you definitely do not have to have a blog to participate. Every month, we vote on which book to read for the following month. The poll will stay open until Sunday night and I will announce the book next Tuesday. No commitment to join, but if you've ever wanted to join a book club, this is a great place to start!
Ok! So on to Keep Me Posted! This was the perfect middle of summer read, in my opinion. Life has been super busy this past month and out of the entire year, this is the least amount of reading I've done. But I really did enjoy this book. Quickly, this book is about two sisters - Cassie and Sid - who live across the world from each other. Cassie is in NYC with her husband and twin toddlers, and Sid is in Singapore with her husband, her teenage son, and her toddler. Cassie lives for social media, and Sid doesn't even exist on it, so one Christmas, they decide to go old school and start a correspondence via letter writing in hopes to get to know one another again. This all seems like a fabulous idea until Cassie decides she wants to preserve every single letter sent and received and uploads them all to a private blog she creates. Except said private blog somehow becomes public one day and all of their private and intimate letters are out there for anyone to read. And before Cassie even has time to do damage control, the blog is getting some serious attention.
Keep Me Posted was a fun read and I loved the concept of going back to hand writing real letters and sending them by snail mail. It brought back the days of my childhood when I had a handful of pen-pals I loved writing to. It really made me wonder if penning letters and mailing them is truly a dying art? I know I no longer write letters to anyone and it's a miracle if I can get a card in the mail on time. This kind of makes me sad and I'm tempted to convince my own sister to embark on a similar journey as the sisters in the book.
Anyway...I really liked both Sid and Cassie, and I felt I could relate to a lot of what Cassie was going through as a stay at home mom of toddlers. I liked her relationship she had with her husband and I was rooting for them the whole time. I was so mad when Cassie got sloppy and kissed her ex-boyfriend, but I was so glad that it didn't progress to more than that. I also thought it was incredibly dumb that Cassie choose a private blog as the means to preserve her and Sid's correspondence. Couldn't she have just scanned them and saved them in a folder on her desktop?! Or printed out her scanned copies of her letters and made a scrapbook? I know there would be no book without this part, and I guess people do do dumb things all the time.
My biggest beef with this book was the blowing up of the blog once it went public. There are a billion blogs out there and if no one knows about your blog, the odds of someone finding out about it are pretty slim, no? I mean, most bloggers I know work their butts off to get their writing out there and to gain readership. It doesn't happen overnight and certainly doesn't happen to a blog that is just out there sitting there. How did people even stumble across it, let alone tens of thousands of people? I dunno, am I the naive one here, or am I reading too much into this?
I also felt that Cassie's husband's response towards the blog going viral was a bit of an overreaction. Not that he didn't have a right to be upset, but he really punished her for an honest mistake. And not even for the fact that she kissed another guy, but just for the reason that she was stupid enough to post the letters on the blog. I'm glad they were able to work through it, but I didn't think he needed to make Cassie suffer for as long as he did.
The ending, while I liked it, wrapped up a little too perfectly. A perfect solution to everyone's problems! How nice! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a happy ending, and this one definitely was one. And I like when everything is tied up at the end without leaving the reader with too many "but what happened next?!" thoughts. But this ending was just a little too neat.
QUESTIONS FOR YOU! (Feel free to discuss in the comments!)
1. Could you relate to what either of the sister's was going through in their personal lives? Did you relate to one more than the other, or neither of them? I could definitely relate to some of what Cassie was going through - the struggles with being a stay at home mom, the old wardrobe, the frequent use of Facebook - but I can't say that I understood her need or mistake to make out with an old flame or the lack of communication in her marriage.
2. Do you think it was dumb that Cassie chose to save the letters in the way she did, by uploading them to the internet? Or in theory, was it a good way? Would you have done the same to keep a record of the correspondence? So dumb. BUT, as someone who puts a lot of her life out there on the internet, I get it, although I would never do something like she did with the intent of making it private. Does that make sense? If I truly wanted to keep something private, I would not be uploading it to the internet. In the spirit of handwriting letters, I like to think I would save them all in a scrapbook/journal thing.
3. Do you feel Cassie's husband Leo's reaction to the letters going public was justified, or do you think he overreacted? I totally think he overreacted. Or at least, I think he shouldn't have shut Cassie out as much as he did, or for as long. Even when they "resolved" all their problems, there wasn't much of a conversation, and that kind of bugged me.
4. Did you like how relevant this book was to today? So many books, while taking place in present day, don't make mention to things like Facebook, social media, blogs, etc, in efforts to not date a book. Do you think this book will still be relevant or relatable to people reading it in 5 years, 10, longer? I like both: I like when a book doesn't date itself by including too much pop culture or things (like Facebook or Instagram) that could potentially not be relevant to future readers. But a book like this is also really enjoyable because it's relatable to real life. Texting and Facebook and social media aren't going anywhere.
NEXT MONTH'S BOOK PICK
Here are the choices for September's book club. Since it's already the middle of August, we're just going to skip having an August book, and get right to September's. Even if you aren't sure you can participate, vote anyway! You never know if you might get a chance to read it and participation can be anonymous if you like :) So vote for a book, and then next Tuesday I will announce the winner!
And now to vote!