Friday, 22 January 2021

Review: Influence by Sara Shepard and Lilia Buckingham

After a video she makes goes viral, everyone knows Delilah Rollins. And now that she's in LA, Delilah's standing on the edge of something incredible. Everything is going to change. She has no idea how much.

Jasmine Walters-Diaz grew up in the spotlight. A child star turned media darling, the posts of her in her classic Lulu C. rainbow skirt practically break the Internet. But if the world knew who Jasmine really was, her perfect life? Canceled.

Fiona Jacobs is so funny--the kind of girl for whom a crowd parts--no wonder she's always smiling! But on the inside? The girl's a hot mess. And when someone comes out of the shadows with a secret from her past, it's one that won't just embarrass Fiona: it will ruin her.

Who wouldn't want to be Scarlet Leigh? Just look at her Instagram. Scarlet isn't just styled to perfection: she is perfection. Scarlet has a gorgeous, famous boyfriend named Jack and there's a whole fanbase about their ship. To everyone watching online, their lives seem perfect . . . but are they really? The sun is hot in California . . . and someone's going to get burned.



Review: Well this book was quite different from what I had expected in a number of ways. This was my first Sara Shepard novel and I think I would definitely like to pick up more from her in the future. 

I really loved the way this book was structured. Each character had their own voice and we got to hear from each of them. The characters felt fully formed and I could really imagine watching Scarlet's live videos or Delilah taking photos and getting products just for the 'gram. I also loved the setting because I feel like all of these improbable things could all go on in LA.

What I struggled with in this book was the thriller/mystery aspect of it. I read this in eBook form and I think the actual ins and outs of the storyline would have been harder to follow on audiobook which is how I normally do most of my reading so I am glad that I didn't choose to read this book on audio. I didn't feel particularly invested in the crime that took place or the other influencers efforts to get to the bottom of it. I also didn't really think it was that thrilling even knowing how everything ended up. 

Aside from the structure and the realistic nature of the characters though, I also really loved the exploration of maintaining a relationship whilst being at the forefront of public attention. I felt like this was dealt with really well in the novel. How can you go from being a child star to admitting you're in a same sex relationship, how can you form a new relationship when every follower is so invested in you current ship. I really liked this side of the storyline and that is what has stuck with me after finishing this book. 

So as a thriller this book fell short of the mark for me, but as a contemporary novel about the life of influencers I thought it did a good job. Go into this book knowing that it is not the world most mysterious of thrillers and you'll be fine!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US




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