Here at The Young Folks, we love a good story that is influenced by technology and social media. There is something about characters who face their challenges that makes us feel seen. Social media and technology can be great ways to connect and meet people. However, living through the Internet too much can become a problem. As these characters wrestle and learn how to live their lives beyond these modern day challenges, we can learn a thing or two from them.
All’s fair in love and Twitter war. As a spat breaks out between Pepper’s and Jack’s families via social media – and the pair falls in love with each other via an anonymous app – both will slowly realize that there is more to life than living via the Internet.
Perfectionist Pepper juggles her family’s booming fast food chain’s Twitter account. Jack is the constant thorn in her side who works at his family’s deli. When Pepper’s family’s business steals Jack’s grandmother’s grilled cheese recipe, Jack is determined to take the fast food chain down via social media. As the pair fight on Twitter, they also happen to be falling for each other in real life through an anonymous app Jack built.
Don’t Read The Comments by Eric Smith
When the lines between gaming and real life blurs, it can establish some major challenges. But as Divya and Aaron become friends, they will realize that they will have each other’s back – no matter if it’s online or in real life.
Divya is a queen on the online game, Reclaim the Sun, that helps to pay the bills in real life. Aaron loves to play and write games for a local developer. However, everytime he logs in to Reclaim the Sun, he ends up on the same planet as Divya’s character. While in real life they may handle problems on their own, Divya and Aaron begin to rely on one another in the game. But when a group of trolls begin to threaten all that Divya and Aaron hold dear in the game and in real life, Divya is determined to not go down without a fight.
Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson
Social media and reality TV may be fun, but what if it were taken too far? This idea is explored as Ariadne makes the decisions to assist Theseus and overthrow her family’s entertainment empire or not.
Ariadne’s family entertainment empire is everywhere. It’s most popular show, The Labyrinth Contest, follows Ariadne as she follows fourteen teens into a maze to kill a monster. After ten seasons, no one has survived. When she meets Theseus, they instantly connect and he asks her for her help to win. But if he wins, that would end the show – and kill the monster she would rather keep alive.
What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter
Love triangles can get messy, but what if you and your online persona are two of the three points? This book releasing in April explores this idea and how important it is to be your true self – both of them.
Halle’s online persona is Kels, the cool creator of One True Pastry that pairs YA books with cupcakes. Her online best friend is the amazing graphic novelist Nash, and she doesn’t have to worry about the awkwardness of seeing him in real life. But when she moves to a new town, she runs into Nash in real life. As Halle begins to fall for Nash in person, she faces the ultimate decision of telling him that she is Kels online – especially as he is falling for Kels.
Lucky Caller by Emma Mills
Technology can bring people together, and there is nothing more true than working on a large-scale tech project with people you barely know.
When Nina decides to take on a broadcasting show class her senior year, she expects it to be a walk in the park. Unfortunately, it’s the total opposite. Between family drama and classmates who have nothing in common, Nina feels like she has no control. But maybe control might be overrated.
The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
It may be easy to connect via technology, but it’s a dangerous challenge to grow into a relationship. This romance explores what it means to give your heart a chance.
Rhiannon Hunter is a dating app creator, and where she has luck digitally, she lacks it with love in real life. But when she swipes right and connects with former pro-football player, Samson Lima, they have one great night – before he disappears. When he shows up months later working with a business rival, she’s cautious that a second chance with him just might be too much of a chance.
How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway
It’s common to hear how tired people are of dating apps and rude people who take advantage of them. It’s refreshing to see Mel create an app for the total opposite and for her to determine what her own nexts steps in love are.
By Day, Mel works for an entitled group of guys at a startup company who can barely fix their own laptops, while at night she goes on bad dates through a dating app. But when Mel receives another unsolicited dick pic, she’s had enough and puts her coding knowledge to use to create JerkAlert which lets people know who not to date. Soon the app goes viral, and Mel’s interest with the only non-douchey guy at her job soars. But if she tells him she is behind the app, Mel isn’t sure what might happen next.
Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstein
Social media can truly be a mess – and this hilarious story starts with a mess thanks to accidentally posting a photo featuring an engagement ring. Eliza will have to choose between explaining her mistake or continuing the falsehood.
Eliza and Sophie are sisters who co-own a jewelry shop, but after learning about an ex’s new engagement, Eliza accidentally posts a photo of her wearing an engagement ring. As sales skyrocket in response, Eliza realizes showing her personal life on social media is good for the business, but she either has to explain the mistake or continue the ruse.
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Creating a name for yourself isn’t a bad thing, but preferring to live the small sliver of life online in comparison to real life can be. Eliza must learn how to live beyond her webcomic in this great standalone.
Eliza is the anonymous creator behind the popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Wallace is the webcomic’s biggest fanfic writer and when he transfers to Eliza’s school, he assumes she is a fan like him. But when Eliza begins to open up to Wallace, her world – both online and in real life – begin to fall apart.
Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee
Creating the perfect story and the perfect webseries may seem like everything else has to be perfect too. Tash faces this challenge when her webseries blows up, and she is thrust into the spotlight.
Tash’s webseries is a modern adaption of Anna Karenina, and when it gets a shoutout by a popular vlog, it goes viral. When the webseries is nominated for an award, her flirtation with a fellow nominee could become real – but she has to first learn how to let her crush know she’s romantically asexual.