If you’ve watched the movies You’ve Got Mail or The Shop Around the Corner, you’ll be familiar with the secret penpal trope: boy meets girl online and they start to fall in love. Neither one realizes that their online alter-ego is the real life person they can’t stand.
Tara Grace Ericson takes this story in a fresh direction in Lavender and Lace, her excellent new book that deals with the theme of authenticity in our social media-obsessed world.
The internet is, sadly, a great place to be dishonest. Which makes it ironic that Lavender and Emmett are more authentic with each other when they’re online. As Internet penpals, they have a deep connection based on a shared love of writing, books, and faith. In person, their prejudices act like shields that lead them to make snap judgments about each other.
I wanted to yell at both of them: be yourselves! It’s so simple, and yet so hard. This book goes even further, though, as Lavender struggles with her fear of sharing her Christian faith with the multitude of young women who follow her fashion blog and social media videos.
Tara is a very talented writer, and she has proved this by sharing such an in important message via the vehicle of a tender love story. Plus, it has the sweetest first kiss I’ve read all year. 🙂