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Love in the Digital Age: Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros (Book Review and Book Club pick)

Title: Goodnight, Tweetheart
Author: Teresa Medeiros
Genre: contemporary romance
Published: 2010
Format read: ebook
Rating: B+

Goodnight Tweetheart is a short, sweet, fun romance that definitely takes full advantage of the digital age we live in. The hero and heroine, Abby Donovan and Mark Baynard, “meet” in the Twitterverse. In fact, they don’t meet in person until the very last page of the original story! (Apparently Teresa’s fans asked for an epilogue so much she eventually added one. It’s cute and definitely worth reading, but I kind of like the open-endedness of the old ending. Especially when coupled with the last question in the “Readers Group Guide” at the end—If you were writing the ending of Mark and Abby’s story, what would it be? That could just be the English teacher in me, though, resurfacing again after a not-long-enough summer break.)

Abby Donovan is, by her own admission, a “semi-agoraphobic washed-up writer.” Four years earlier, she wrote a best-selling novel that was an Oprah’s book club pick. Now, she can’t get through chapter five of her newest novel—even though it was due to her publisher ages ago. After a disastrous appearance at a local book store, her agent signs her up for a Twitter account to get her “in front of the public”.

On her first foray into the Twitterverse, Abby meets Mark, an English professor on sabbatical.

“R U a virgin?”

Taken aback, Abby studied the cheery little profile pic of a plump bluebird that appeared to belong to one MarkBaynard for a long moment before cautiously typing, “That depends. Are you auditioning for TO CATCH A PREDATOR?” and hitting the Update button.

MarkBaynard’s response was almost immediate: “Glad to see you have such highbrow taste in entertainment.”

A reluctant grin curved her lips as she typed, “What can I say? ROCK OF LOVE: TOUR BUS reruns can’t be on every night.”

“Yeah & who hasn’t dreamed of marching up to some pedophile & saying ‘My name is Chris Hansen from DATELINE NBC & your sorry a** is toast’?”

“Ha!” Abby typed, hitting the exclamation mark with a triumphant flourish. “So you HAVE watched TO CATCH A PREDATOR!”

“Only when PBS is having a pledge drive. But I digress—R U a Twitter virgin?”

“This is my first time,” Abby confessed. “But you’re not being very gentle with me.”

“What can I say? I like it rough.”

…and their relationship begins.

When I first read this book (just last year!), I had heard of Twitter but that was about it. I tried to follow along with Mark’s tutorage of Abby, but we were in a cabin in the middle of the woods with—insert gasp here—NO INTERNET ACCESS. (I know. I didn’t think places like that still existed. We didn’t even have cell coverage until we drove out of the cabin area. I’m still not sure how either of the Mini Moes survived…or how Grandma survived for that matter, as she was the one with them all week long.) Even not really “getting” what he was talking about logistically, I found their digital courtship entertaining. Re-reading it again as a Twitter novice was even more fun.

I don’t want to say too much more about the story, because there’s a big secret involved that really shouldn’t be spoiled. I’ll just say it’s a fast read that always leaves me vaguely feeling as if I should have watched more Nick at Nite than I apparently did, because there are a lot of older pop culture references in here that sailed right over my head—but they do a nice job of showing how Mark and Abby’s characters both have spent way too many sleepless nights in their lifetime. Plus, they provide a really cute way f0r the two of them to sign off of their Twitter meetings:

Abby_Donovan: Goodnight Principal Snyder

MarkBaynard: Goodnight Darla

Abby_Donovan: Goodnight Oz

MarkBaynard: Goodnight Tara

Abby_Donovan: Goodnight Xander

MarkBaynard: Goodnight Drucilla

Abby_Donovan: Goodnight Spike

MarkBaynard: Goodnight Buffy

Abby_Donovan: Goodnight Angel

MarkBaynard: Goodnight Tweetheart…

That was one I “got” by the way. At least I’ve seen Buffy! J

In keeping with the digital theme of Abby and Mark’s romance, publishers Simon & Shuster have given the novel its own page with lots of fun stuff that you can find here. The home page has an interactive map of NYC (Abby’s home base), the official Goodnight Tweetheart playlist, and a video of Teresa Medeiros touring NYC, among other things. The really good stuff is filed under “Free Fun Stuff“, though. There you can see all the “tweetheart pics” that Mark and Abby send to each other and read a “deleted tweet” between the two. It’s a lot of fun, and nicely coincides with the digital age-dependent aspect of the novel.

I re-read Goodnight Tweetheart in order to prepare for Harlequin Junkie’s HEA Book Club chat tonight. (It’s way more fun than the old book club I was in, by the way. Not a single depressing book in our TBR list!) If you’ve read the novel, or are thinking about reading it, or if you just want to have a good time talking about HEAs with a group of like-minded individuals, come and join us! The live chat starts at 9 PM EST, and the author herself will join us sometime in the first hour. I’ll probably be in and out, depending on the rest of the family—you know, the pesky “family” part of a family vacation—but hope to catch at least some of it. Come and join us!

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Published in4 starsB+book club bookBook reviews
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