The Bright Side of Going Dark

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The Bright SIde of Going Dark book coverA Novel
by Kelly Harms


On Sale: May 12, 2020
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Paperback: 341 Pages

From the bestselling author of The Overdue Life of Amy Byler comes The Bright Side of Going Dark, a fresh, funny, and thoughtful story about going off the grid in order to truly live.

As one of the most popular influencers on social media, Mia Bell has lived her life online for years. With her celebrity dog and gorgeous fiancé, she is planning the ultimate virtual wedding—expensive, elaborate, and entirely paid for by sponsors. But off-camera, her world is far from picture perfect. After being jilted by her fiancé and faking her nuptials to please her sponsors, Mia finally has had enough. She heaves her phone off a cliff, ready to live—and maybe find love—offline for a change.

Mia’s sudden absence doesn’t go unnoticed, especially by techie loner Paige Miller, who hacks Mia’s account and begins impersonating the internet celebrity. Paige has her reasons. Her half sister, Jessica, idolizes Mia and desperately needs something to believe in. If taking over Mia’s online persona is Paige’s only means of connecting to her sister, so be it.

Creating a like-worthy life is more fun than Paige expected. But when she grows too bold and is caught in the act, a fiasco ensues that could forever change Mia, Paige, and the people who love them. Because somewhere amid the chaos is an invaluable lesson—one that only real life can teach.


Mia has an on line business as an influencer. She is constantly posting and recommending people, places and things. She has a wedding coming up and she must give all the sponsors their due. Well, when her wedding falls apart she heads back home…then she throws her phone off a mountain. She has sudden relief and then the panic ensues.

Kelly Harms has quickly become one of my favorite authors. She always has a character I can relate to. This one is Paige! Paige is an smart introvert, well until she does something stupid. This is why Kelly Harms has wonderful books…her characters are so real and do real things…like hack someone’s account. Oops..did Paige really do something that stupid?? Yep, yep she did.

The Bright Side of Going Dark is a heart warming read about, well, life. Family and friends and the daily struggle to survive have a huge impact on this story. Plus, unplugging from your phone. What a challenge! Oh…and I cried during one section of this book. That is what rolled it over to a 5 star read for me. I very seldom cry during a book…this one did it! Do not miss this one! It is wonderful!

I received this novel from the publisher for my honest review.


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About the author

Kelly Harms is an author, a mother, and a big dreamer. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her sparkling son, Griffin; her fluffy dog, Scout; and her beloved Irishman, Chris. Before this midwestern life, she lived in New York, New York, and worked with many of her author-heroes as an editor at HarperCollins and then as a literary agent at the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

When she’s not lost in a book that she’s either writing or reading, you can find her on the water, in the water, or near the water.

For more about Kelly, check her website HERE!


“Refreshingly, each character is a true-to-life individual with complicated emotions and unique voices. A surprisingly easy read containing a little romance, a lot of personal growth, and an honest look at weighty topics.” Kirkus Reviews 
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“Witty, lively, and au courant, The Bright Side of Going Dark will make readers think twice about refreshing Instagram for the tenth time today. Tackling thornier questions of mental health and the toll of constant comparison, this will appeal to fans of Meg Wolitzer and Elin Hilderbrand, who’ll adore the intertwining lives of Mia, her followers, and those they encounter IRL.” Booklist (starred review) “Even casual users knows how absurd and unrealistic social media can be—yet keep logging on day after day. Kelly Harms takes this dichotomy to new heights in a clever and unputdownable story of two women whose so-called online lives collide IRL. I laughed, I cried, I came away from the experience with a newfound appreciation for life—which is to say The Bright Side of Going Dark is everything I’d hope for in a Kelly Harms novel, and more. I loved every page.” —Camille Pagán, bestselling author of I’m Fine and Neither Are You “Kelly Harms has once again knocked it out of the park with this charming, funny, topical novel about an online influencer who undergoes an unexpected transformation. I honestly had to put my whole life on hold while I read it—laughing and sighing through the clever twists and turns of this plot. Who among us hasn’t wondered what it takes to be a person who posts photographs fifty times a day? You’ll fall in love with @Mia&Mike as well as the whole cast of wonderful characters. A novel that shines with surprise—and will make you want to turn off your phone and go play with your dog.” —Maddie Dawson, Washington Post bestselling author of Matchmaking for Beginners





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