5 out of 5 stars
The feeling I have after reading this is honestly sick to my stomach. I knew going into it that it was going to be an interesting and unique story but I wasn’t not expecting the ending at all. Now, that being said, it’s not a surprise ending at all, it’s the ending that the story needed to have due to the way everything is right now, but I still had hope.
Refresh is a story about a new social media platform where you can share memories with anyone that wants to subscribe. Think OnlyFans but for day-to-day life. The crazier things you do means you get more clout, more subscribes, and more money. It’s an interesting future that doesn’t feel that far off. Honestly, this might be one of the best instantiations of a near-future social media network that I’ve read yet.
I can’t dive too deep into the story or the ending but man… as I said above. I both should have expected it and had it completely blind-side me. If you have the right subscription to pick this book up you should, it was excellent and easily the best 30 minutes I’ve spent in some time.
Refresh is an explosive, powerful short story about a near-future dystopia in which citizens can commodify every waking moment of their lives with computer-generated augmented reality. But this ubiquitous, game-changing technology can create dangerous consequences, especially for society’s most vulnerable people.
Welcome to Refresh: with nothing but a pair of computerized contact lenses, the app allows you to immortalize and share your experiences in virtual reality, and to step right into the life of anyone you’d like—for the right price. And in the near-distant future, there is no longer a question of who uses the app, only how: to record and share special occasions, like weddings and vacations? Or to push the envelope towards something more controversial, more shocking, more sinister?
This thought-provoking listen follows a young Black man who, in order to profit from his own marginalization and to make a larger statement, hatches a plan for a confrontation with a police officer that’s sure to capture the attention his profile desperately needs. But when the lines between performance and experience are blurred, is he prepared for the reality of what’s at stake?
Refresh is both a compelling, futuristic tale and a gut-wrenching commentary on our world and the reality of being Black in America.