It's tough being a millennial in New York City. Just ask Elinor, the aspiring journalism grad of Rebecca Harrington's second novel, Sociable (after Penelope). Elinor works as a nanny to pay the bills and lives with her boyfriend, Mike, on a rollup foam bed in a kitchenless basement apartment. She obsesses about her appearance, her relationship, her poverty, her feminism and her lack of a writing career.

Elinor gets her chance at writing, though, with the trendy, where she is a "viral trends editor." Her new boss, a downsized, middle-aged, Jersey newspaper guy, hires her with a shrug because "she could probably tweet and Snapchat and Instagram and make listicles." Welcome to the new journalism.

When the self-centered Mike leaves her to concentrate on his writing, she tanks. He predictably ghosts her pleading texts.

Harrington's got media-based youth culture down cold, with dialogue peppered with conversation-pausing likes and barhopping friends who are "nice girls. They're just very into their phones." Finally, Elinor finds some baby-step redemption when she posts a personal essay about her breakup and it goes viral. She even gets a brief cameo on a TV talk show about the perils of dating in the digital age. Maybe Elinor really can make it in the new journalism. Maybe she looks just fine. Who knows? Harrington's diverting Sociable ends ambiguously with that ubiquitous social media scream: "OMG." --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

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