In another one of my searches for free Kindle books, I came across Summer Unplugged by Amy Sparling.  This novel is about Bayleigh, a girl who is sent to spend the summer with her grandparents as punishment for spending too much time on her smartphone.  (Hence the “unplugged” in the title.) There, her summer becomes much more interesting after she meets the boy next door named Jace.

The author takes on a modern-day issue – how obsessed and fixated people are with smartphones, social media and technology in general. Bayleigh is constantly motivated to check her Facebook or phone while away, but keeps forgetting that she doesn’t have  access to a computer or her phone with her. I liked that Sparling addressed this topic, because it’s something I think almost anyone can relate to. It’s become almost second nature for almost everybody, myself included, to regularly check our devices as part of a routine.

Although the smartphone aspect does add some substance to the story,  the rest of the plot fell short in many ways. I found the story too predictable and following the formula of many teen romance novels. Girl meets cute boy, they eventually develop feelings for each other, and so on and so forth.  I expected something more, maybe a twist or another occurrence, but there was none. Plus, I found Bayleigh and Jace’s relationship progression way too fast.

In conclusion, this is not a novel I recommend. I’m actually glad it was a free Kindle book, because I don’t think it would be worth actually buying it. Harsh, but true.