In choosing a book for Books, Babes and Bordeaux for February, we had two goals: a discussable topic, and short in length. We have several members with babies, and they are finding it challenging to get through anything longer than a couple hundred pages. One of our members came up with this: the negative consequences of sexting, and 240 pages (6 discs). Bingo.
Synopsis: The Bergamots are living the good life. Richard is the golden guy, a superstar executive at a large university, and his wife is an attractive, hip stay-at-home mom. They recently moved their family, 15 year- old Jake and 5 year-old Coco (who they adopted from China) from rural Ithica NY to New York City for Richard's job. Their days are spent rubbing elbows with the affluent, the botoxed, and the martinied.
But when Jake attends an unsupervised party one night at a (rich) 13 year-old girl's house, Jake becomes the object of this misguided girl's attention. She makes an explicit video showing him that she isn't too young for him, sends it to him, and with the click of the forward button, the video becomes viral. And the Bergamots' life implodes, with far-reaching implications.
My thoughts: The story starts out engaging and in some ways familiar. The busy dad, the chauffeur mom, the private school, the over-indulgent birthday parties of the prosperous. The oldest son who can do no wrong, and the slightly spoiled younger daughter.
Even the graphic sex video. If you have teenagers, I don't need to tell you that this stuff happens. The description of said video turned a few of my hairs white, but I've a number of friends whose sons have received things like this, or at least the picture version. Cell phones are the perfect tool for the ill-behaved passive-aggressive.
I began to have issues, however, with the implications of the video on the Bergamots' life. Don't get me wrong. I think that there were many victims in this story, and it was all stomach-turning. I won't go into the details, but this family completely falls apart. I didn't like these people, I thought they were all completely detached from reality and spoiled rotten, all of them. Some, who shall remain nameless here, had serious problems that were uncovered, if you will, because of the difficulties brought on by the video. I finished the last half hour of the story disgusted by it all, and not really caring much about any of the characters.
It WILL offer some good discussion for our book club though. And, in its own misguided way, is a cautionary tale. I did have a discussion with my kids about the dangers of forwarding inappropriate pictures and videos (they were both giving me their best gross-out faces). So there is that.
A word about the audio production: Our narrator Hillary Huber did an excellent job of channeling the self-absorbed. I've never heard her before, probably because she seems to have done quite a bit of work on a vampire romance series, which is not something I would read. But I would listen to her again. She was easy on the ears, and probably the main reason why I was able to get through this book.
2 out of 5 stars