Digital dating proves complicated in 'Love at First Like'

“Love at First Like” (Atria Books), by Hannah Orenstein

Dating in the digital age can be tricky business, especially when you project an image on social media that is in no way a truthful depiction of your relationship status. In “Love at First Like” by Hannah Orenstein, Eliza Roth accidentally leads her Instagram followers to believe that she is engaged and quickly learns that maintaining a picture-perfect life is extremely complicated.

Sophie and her sister Eliza co-own a jewelry shop in Brooklyn, New York. While Eliza pours all of her time into the artistic design of their pieces, Sophie manages the marketing and social media side of the business. After discovering her ex-boyfriend is newly engaged, Eliza comforts herself by trying on one of the shop’s most extravagant rings on a very important finger. She snaps a photo, saves it to her Instagram account and wallows the rest of the night in self-pity.

The next morning, Eliza is shocked to learn that the photo is posted to her Instagram feed. The feeling of horror slowly morphs into intrigue. It seems that her 100,000 followers have grown by several thousand more overnight. Eliza makes the executive decision to continue the ruse, especially when the shop begins to welcome more patrons than ever before, thanks to the “engagement” post.

Sales are through the roof. She couldn’t ask for better publicity. When the offers of wedding sponsorships and donated gifts start filling her inbox, Eliza can’t help but to fall completely into the charade. She even posts a wedding date. The only way to move forward is to find a future husband.

Blake seems like the ideal candidate. But there’s a problem: He has no idea Eliza is secretly pushing him toward a posh rooftop wedding. What’s worse is that in the midst of the chaos, Eliza actually falls for someone she likes. Soon the lies begin to catch up with her and Eliza realizes that one post may cost her everything.

“Love at First Like” is fun romance with a digital twist. Hannah Orenstein proves that even though we present our lives through screens, it’s important to live life unfiltered in the real world.