Structured in small episodes like Homer’s Odyssey, which serves as an epigraph for the book, Smyles’ adventuress calls to mind a Jane Bowles heroine who's read Ulysses while scrolling in despair through 10 open apps on her i Phone.Smyles’ portrayal of Iris in all her weirdness offers much to recognize, fear, and embrace.As with most precocious would-be intellectuals, she’s able to list plenty of reasons why friendship is just too much of a hassle, even wishing for a Facebook- and Kickstarter-esque service that would allow “friends” to support one another monetarily in lieu of actually—God forbid—spending time together.In one of the book’s many hapless episodes, Iris even attempts to scare off a particularly boring boyfriend by popping in multiple documentaries about historic explorations gone haywire—the Donner Party, Shackleton & Co.—right before the doomed couple has sex.Depending on how you look at it, Iris is a writer who spends not a moment of this novel writing—except that she has somehow managed to finish every page the reader holds.
Introverts also tend to be more at ease around people they already know, so inviting someone new into their orbit can be a little scary.With Instagram and Facebook, we present a version of ourselves that is not exactly true. The first trip my husband and I ever took together was to California. We saw all shades of Sas and Adam in that one night.I thought, if he liked me with all that, it’s only going to go up from there.He strives to inspire conscious living and conscious dialogue- not only for others but for himself. In some ways, introverts are perfectly-suited to the dating world because they tend to prefer meaningful one-on-one conversations to small talk, which drains their energy.“I press on,” Iris confides to her reader, “viewing my debasement not as a failure of will but the final straw in a heroic tale of survival.” Characteristically, debasement is easier for Iris than actually cutting ties and facing the world alone, a reality she attempts to avoid at all costs.