Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

Social Creature

Tara Isabella Burton

Louise and Lavinia spiral into an intimate intense, and possibly toxic friendship after a chance encounter, against the glitz and glitter of New York City.

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One of the Best Books of the Year:
Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Social Creature is a wicked original with echoes of the greats (Patricia Highsmith, Gillian Flynn)." —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

For readers of Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt, a dark, propulsive and addictive debut thriller, splashed with all the glitz and glitter of New York City.

They go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them... They drink and Lavinia tells Louise about all the places they will go together, when they finish their stories, when they are both great writers-to Paris and to Rome and to Trieste...

Lavinia will never go. She is going to die soon.

Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship. A Talented Mr. Ripley for the digital age, this seductive story takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it irresistibly new.

Advance Galley Reviews

I really wanted to like Burton's novel, but the combination of unlikeable characters and the blatant rip-off of Talented Mr. Ripley made it a hard sell. The first half was actually interesting, watching Louise fall under Lavinia's spell, but after the book's defining event, it was all about how the character keeps almost getting caught. Unfortunately, I didn't care enough about her to want her not to get caught!

When Louise met Lavinia, she knew her life would never be the same. The truth is, when anyone meets Lavinia, their lives change forever.  Louise was barely scraping by in New York City. She worked as a barista and a writer for an online resale site and an SAT tutor. It's one of her tutoring flyers that first catches Lavinia's eye. Her younger sister Cordelia is in town, and Lavinia wants to make sure she's ready for her college test because Cordelia wants to go to Yale, and everyone wants Cordelia to be successful. Or maybe Lavinia just wanted someone to stay with Cordelia while she went out. Lavinia had the money to pay Louise for her time with Cordelia, which Louise desperately needs. But Lavinia stayed out all night.  Then Lavinia came back and she had ripped her dress and she promised to pay Louise for all the hours she spent there but somehow that never happened. But Louise fixes Lavinia's dress anyway and becomes Lavinia's friend and enters Lavinia's world, a world that Louise had given up on, like she had given up on her dream of Being a Writer.  Except that Lavinia is a writer too. She encourages Louise to write and introduces her to writers and editors and an entire artistic group of friends, and Louise finds that she wants to stay. She wants to be part of their world. She doesn't want to have to keep struggling for money and working three jobs and feeling all alone in the city. She wants to be part of something, part of this community, and she will do anything to stay there.  She will do anything to stay there.  And she does.  Tara Isabella Burton's debut novel is a dramatic look at class and desire, at how being a have-not can make you crazy for the power, the lifestyle, and the social cache of the upper class. Social Creature is about the relationship between two women, Louise and Lavinia, about the secrets they share and the lies that come between them. The story is a mix of homage to Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley and the fast-paced social media world that we live in now. There are moments when a heavy-handed omniscient narrator interrupts the action, which can be a little off-putting, but other than that, Social Creature is a low-burning psychological thriller filled with unlikable characters you want to see knocked down a peg or two and the ambitious up-and-comers we all are deep down inside. This is a crazy, fascinating, disturbing, can't-bear-to-put-it-down novel, and I highly recommend it.  Galleys for Social Creature were provided by Doubleday through Penguin's First to Read program, with many thanks.

I had an extremely hard time connecting with this book. I do not have a lot in common with either Louise or Lavinia. The writing style was really odd and I never really fell into a groove reading. In theory the plot was interesting but the execution was just not for me unfortunately.

I had a lot of problems with actually reading this one. It didn't seem to want to work with my Kindle app. It took over 5 minutes for a page to turn and there was no way I could read the whole book like that. I'll have to snag it from my library.

Referring to Talented Mr. Ripley gave away a major plotline of this book and made it entirely too predictable. I started off invested in the book and wanted to know more about Louise and Lavinia, however, as the story carried on, I continued to find them both insufferable. And, the readers learn early on that Lavinia dies. The climax builds to the point where she is murdered and the circumstances are horrifying. The book is eerie, chilling, and gives you anxiety from time to time. However knowing how the book would end ruined it for me. I think I would have enjoyed it more had I not known. Thanks to First to Read for my ARC of the book.

I had a hard time connecting with this book and didn’t finish it.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The two main characters, Louise and Lavinia are complete opposites. Louise is struggling to earn enough money to survive while working three jobs. Lavinia is spoiled and rich and pulls Louise into her life of partying. The writing style was a bit odd and took awhile to get used to. But, the interactions between the Lavinia and Louise kept me reading. And the twists and turns in the plot made it interesting.

I so wanted to read this novel , but for some reason my readers kept crashing on me. I've had this happen several times lately, it will work on e-galleys that I've downloaded at the same time. I'm using the same app that I've used for years, frustrating! I'm using an Adobe app to read the e-pubs it's hit or miss lately with the new Fires.

Tara Isabella Burton defintely wrote this novel with a fresh, unique writing style, all her own original flavor. Throughout Social Creature we follow Louise and Lavinia as they hit the clubs and parties of New York City, always crashing every social scene, and somehow making themselves brilliantly relevant at them. I found myself craving the excitement they sought out and envying the idea that for Lavinia, money is never an object. This novel is not your everyday thriller. The twisty-turny non-stop surprises everyone is looking for as of late, will not be found, atleast not in the usual sense. There is something much deeper here that carries an eerie tone, as well as a vast feeling of anxiety, throughout the whole novel. Lavinia is playing a game of power and control... Louise will tell any lie she has to to remain a part of it. Social creature is Terrifying in the realization that life can quickly spiral out of control, and focuses deftly on the inner workings of relationships, the insurmountable desire to be socially relevant/accepted, the destruction caused by lies and jealousy, the weight of loneliness, and the heartbreaking realization that it can be easier to be someone else and be accepted - rather than be yourself. This story is one realistically tragic account of "friendship" between females.The novel coveys the truth that today people strive to be a part of things they don't even have an interest in, just to fit in. It isn't shy on showing that many times, people won't even notice the most important things, if it's easier and less intrudent on their lives to believe alternatives. Full of heartbreaking depth, cruelty, and tragic outcomes; Social Creature is something all its own. Thank you Penguin First to Read!

I have been putting off writing this review. Not because this book was bad, no — because this book is that good. This is a debut piece from Burton and it has cemented her name into my list of Must Buys when new releases come out. Incredibly well written, thought-provoking, spooky, creepy, captivating. I have spent the past couple of weeks trying to think of the right descriptions for this book. I need to do this book justice. Our main characters, Louise and Lavinia, are both millennials but from opposite ends: Lavinia is in her early 20s, a rich socialite who parties like there is no tomorrow, keeps up with the “right” crowd, and is off from school to write her book; Louise is pushing 30, working three part-time jobs just to kind of make it; she has no real friends, no real life — until her chance meeting with Lavinia, who takes Louise into her life. This is a story that will give the reader anxiety in parts (and I mean that as a huge compliment to the writing). This is a story that will stay with you. If you are anything like me, you’ll start to believe Lavinia is living in your closet and be worried to open the door. This book won’t be for everyone, though I think everyone should give it a chance. The writing is beautiful. The characters are fascinating. The plot is twisty, turny goodness. You’ll be so caught up you won’t know what day it is in your world; you’re too busy in their world to remember what is actually going on in reality. I’m wanting to tell more and wanting to not share. I want to keep this to myself, while also making sure everyone picks up a copy and dives right in. I have only bought the physical copy of one book so far that I received for free as an ARC; I will be buying this one when it comes out June 5, 2018. Burton shows an amazing commentary on the lives we live in this modern world – the ones we choose to share and the parts we keep to ourselves. This book hands over the ability to have amazing discussions on the toxicity found in certain relationships, social media. A cool, modern take on the psychological thriller genre that I cannot wait to read again.

I really wanted to like this book, however, I couldn't identify with any of the characters. I just felt like a lot of the plot was unrealistic and just bleh. However thank you first to read for the advance reading copy.

4.5 stars... Whew this story was intoxicating! I got sucked in to Louise and Lavinia's lives and couldn't come up for air. The next thing I know it's 4:30 a.m. and I'm on the last chapter. The first 97% of the book was fantastic! The author nailed the characters personalities and their actions to a tee. Then we come to the last 3% of the book... I didn't care for the direction the story went at the end with Rex at all and I also thought Louise's story could have been wrapped up a lot better. I felt like the author completely copped out on the end. It seriously felt like one of those 'got a meet a deadline endings,' so lets just throw a few words on the page and call it a wrap. I still recommend reading it though. Just don't start it late at night or you'll be up all night long.

Enter the nonstop social world of two twenty-something women in New York City. Theirs is a life of parties, social networking, drugs, and underground clubs where young people with too much time and money on their hands are searching for their identity and a place in the larger world. The reader is absorbed into their world where there is more than one surprising turn of events. The title of the book has a whole new meaning after reading this book.

3.5 stars Thank you to Penguin's First to Read and Doubleday for allowing me to read this ARC. Publishes June 5, 2018. This story is a story of nonsense, but it is a story that wraps you in it's arms and swallows you up. There is the constant push to find out how it all ends up. Tara Isabella Burton is a new author to me, albeit one I will read more of. She writes strong characters, with unbelievable plots to follow, however you fall under her spell and float on her wave all the way to the end of the story. You become the invisible flotsam, just like Louise. Louise Wilson is hard working - hard working that is until she falls in with Livinia Williams, spoiled little rich party girl, who is only out for herself. Lavinia introduces Louise to the glam and glitter of life. Then Lavinia dies. Now what happens? What does Louise do? Just how invisible can a person become?

The synopsis for this book sounded really interesting, but I could not get into the story.

An updated The Talented Mr. Ripley (with echoes of The Great Gatsby and The Secret History), Burton has written an engrossing story of the need to belong and the costs of not belonging. While the plot drives the book, Burton’s characters are what keep you reading — complex and finely drawn but also mysterious. They are complex, both good and bad. Even in the case of Louise — the main character — you want to hate her but you can’t as the author makes her motivations understandable but incomprehensible at the same time. This is no easy beach read. Highly recommended.

This was book was definitely a quick read for me. Lavinia is a friend user who charms Louise into being her next prey. When things go south, Louise loses control and Lavinia "disappears." I did not identify with the characters, however did identify with the issue of control that is present throughout the book. This book definitely kept me guessing and I loved the voice that this author presented throughout. I will be recommending this to others for a beach read.

Loved the book cover and the book description was interesting. I really wanted to like this book, but I just could not feel anything for it. The writing felt like one big run-on sentence and I disliked the the main characters. The review by Emily Mitchell (Los Angeles) is exactly how I felt. In the end, this book landed on my DNF shelf at about 35%. Thank you for the chance to read this book. I sincerely hope others will enjoy this tale.

It was hard to believe some things about Louise's life - I was also a highly-educated girl in the NYC club scene & it was not that goddamn difficult to earn money doing legit jobs, even while partying all night - but I loved the mentions of actual places & the way her life organically spiraled out of control. I met girls like Lavinia pretty often & I could imagine myself getting sucked into their orbits. I liked the subtle use of different fonts to show social media without taking me out of the story. Some books get really precious with typography & outline & it's annoying. This felt like the way social media is integrated into life now. It was smart to have Louise not fall apart at the end & use social media to establish her alibi. Her hunger to belong also jumped off the page & I could really empathize with it. Ultimately, I liked the book & while it didn't have as surprising a twist as some of the books it's being billed with, I didn't really see it coming. It pulled me into the vapid literary & upper-end club scene in a somewhat sympathetic way & made me nostalgic for NYC. I'd give it 7 / 10.

This is the second book I've read in the last couple of years that should just be called "The Talented Mr. Rip-Off". Genuine Fraud was the other one. The moment you tell us that a book is like The Talented Mr. Ripley - which the blurb does - you basically spoil everything that happens for anyone who knows the plot of that book. But, to be honest, I don't think not knowing the plot of Social Creature could have saved it. I just don't get the hype. This was an unpleasant reading experience from start to finish. We are introduced to two blandly obnoxious characters called Louise and Lavinia. Louise is juggling several different jobs while struggling to pay the rent, until one day she meets a pampered socialite called Lavinia and gets dragged into a world of parties and drugs. Lavinia invites Louise to move in with her and the two become inseparable, with Louise becoming ever more obsessed with Lavinia and her life. Seeing as we are told in the beginning that Lavinia is dead, there's no points for guessing what happens to her. I’m all for intoxicating books that capture a whirlwind of events and emotions, but the world of this book felt like a fantasy version of New York City. These characters seem to exist in a bizarre vacuum where they drink and do drugs without reason or motivation for anything. Sleep all day; party all night. Rinse & repeat. I think the author was shooting for Gatsby but landed among Gossip Girl instead. The writing itself is exhausting to read. Louise’s inner narrative is a series of run-on sentences and comma splices, making it confusing and painful. It's a weird combination of frenetic writing style and slow pacing and I could not like it no matter how hard I tried. In the end, I just didn’t care what would happen to anybody. It was so dragged out and slow, taking us through party after party with these vapid and unbelievable characters (honestly, Lavinia is like a cartoon character), until the inevitable happens and then there's still another 100+ pages to get through. I really need to go read something fun now.

I couldn't get into this book. Too many twists and turns.

I just could not enjoy the way this story was written.

Tara Isabella Burton has written THE ultimate beach read for 2018. Part thriller-crime drama, part creepy-relationship drama, SOCIAL CREATURE is one of those books you alternatively want to chuck across the room and compulsively read into the wee hours. At times it is crude and nefarious, with lurid debauchery and lasciviousness, so much so you may feel like you need to shower after reading. Burton keeps it interesting with her wit and insight; she nails the millennial dialogue and social angst surrounding our society’s obsession with social media. Comparisons to Patricia Highsmith’s THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY are accurate, almost mirroring the tale in places, as the protagonist Louise Wilson behaves in Tom Ripley fashion and commits unspeakable crimes, desperate to stay relevant in the slippery Manhattan eco-climate. Overall this is a provocative look into the female psyche and a testament to how treacherous life for young women in their twenties can be - Its a dangerous world out there and this compelling story is sure to raise the hair on the back of your neck. I both loved and hated it and I sincerely hope there’s a sequel. Thanks to Penguin Random House for the digital ARC in exchange for a candid review.

It is very twisted but I loved it. It kept me engaged throughout and I both longed and dreaded finding out what would happen next with Lavinia and Louise. Burton's writing really takes the reader into the mind of the protagonist Louise even though you can't always decide if you're rooting for her to win or lose. The pacing of the novel fit the story really well and at no point did I feel that anything was rushed or dragged out. The plot of the novel and Louise's character development definitely screwed with my head but that's part of what I loved about it. It also makes me happy that I a) have never been surrounded by people from Lavinia's social class (that life just ain't for me) and b) that NYC didn't steal my soul. I will definitely look out for any future work of Burton's.

Thanks to First to Read for ARC of “Social Creature “. If you want “likable” characters this probably won’t be a favorite of yours. The book is full of characters with rich people problems , social climbers and stark empty lives no surprise that you end up rooting for a killer. Not that the killer displays remorse but reveals some genuine human feelings. This cast of characters is so wrapped up in themselves that if they spared a thought for a supposed friend , they might figure out that something is not right. Social media particularly FB and texting craft the subterfuge. The most interesting aspect of the book was the exploration of unequal power in relationships ,how it can help and how it can destroy. I was glad to finish the book but it does provide “food for thought”.

This didn't quite live up to my expectations. It's an ok book, but the characters are impossible to connect to and the plot is repetitive and very nearly tedious. It falls short of every comparison I've seen to date. It's very simply 'ok'.

At the beginning of the book, Lavinia is 23 and Louise is 29. They met 10 days ago and Lavinia is taking Louise to a party. Louise is from New Hampshire and leads a boring life, supporting herself with three part time jobs, and has lived in the same crappy sublet in Queens for 8 years. Lavinia is rich, writing a novel, lives in a brownstone apartment on the upper east side and is the most exciting thing that has happened to Louise. These two insufferable women go from one unbearable party after another. I can't remember when I have detested two characters more and that includes serial killers. These vapid, narcissistic creatures literally made me gag. I read 88 pages and couldn't care less what happens to them in the rest of the book. I received a free copy of the book from the publisher.

Definitely a 5 star book!! A rush of glitter and glam, with a touch of Kardashian side-eye, this novel grabs you from the start with Lavinia's manic energy and never lets go. Burton captures the self-absorbed, emoji-laden world of excess in fine detail. Photos, filters, check-ins, likes – nothing happens unless it happened on social media. It is a peculiarity of the American culture that so many females are people pleasers paired with the diametrically opposed anger to destroy others. But just like social media, we only show our good side to the world. So it goes for Louise. Anyone who's ever felt like they aren't worthwhile, doubted their abilities, or held the pessimistic view that no matter what they do it's all going to go wrong anyway will find a piece of themselves in the pathetically identifiable portrayal of Louise – at least until the book takes a darker turn. I loved that this book did not follow the current trend in thrillers of following multiple characters through multiple timelines to hide a grand surprise twist. In fact, just following Louise was enough "Oh, no, she didn't!" For me. The thrill was in what comes next? Will she get away with it? Won't someone notice?! A great updated version of Patricia Highsmith that makes me want to go back and re-read The Talented Mr. Ripley (or at least watch Matt Damon and Jude Law again).

A great read! Had me turning the pages, totally engrossed. I also loved I had no idea how it was going to end until it did. I've seen it compared to the Talented Mr. Ripley. I'm going to have to check that out next just to see for myself. Added The Destroyer to my TBR list (short story with Tor) and want to read more by this author. A 5-star read.

The lives that others lead may seem enticing when compared to your own, but the secrets you don't see might change your mind. In Social Creatures by Tara Isabella Burton two young women's lives will be forever altered by the bond that forms between their very different lives.  Louise hasn't had an easy life, working endlessly to make ends meet. Lavinia has had led a privileged life, but she's battled her own demons despite the outward appearance of an easy life. After a fortuitous meeting brings Louise and Lavinia together, the two become inseparable and entangled in a toxic relationship. While Lavinia offers Louise an opportunity to experience some of the finer aspects of life, the pair become increasingly and dangerously dependent upon one another - Louise for the financial benefits a friendship with Lavinia offers and Lavinia for the caretaking skills that Louise invariably provides to maintain her access to the life of excess. When things go too far and their relationship is threatened Louise fights to maintain the life she's now become accustomed to. A slow build toward a quick spiral down into dark, depraved depths, the narrative is equal parts disturbing and fascinating. Providing a glimpse into the lives of the affluent others through the vehicle of an "ordinary" person, this story demonstrates the tangled webs woven throughout the social structure of the so-called elite with an intimate and entertaining tale of intrigue. Through the narration style, the reader becomes complicit in Louise's acts, unable to stop them as Louise is unable to stop herself, which is an interesting tactic to engage readers. While characters don't necessarily need to be likable and a certain amount of frustration can be good, the characters in this novel were often simply too frustrating for me to really connect with them to fully enjoy the narrative.  Overall, I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Holy crap. This book is nuts

I just couldn’t bring myself to like this one, & I wanted to. I found the characters shallow, vapid, & uninteresting & the story unbelievable. Just mot for me in any way.

For some reason this book keeps freezing on the first page. I've tried deleting it and downloading it again but I keep having the same problem. This is the only book that I've encountered problems with in the First to Read program. I guess I will just have to grab a copy of this book when it actually comes out!

Social Creature is like The Secret History‘s beach-read cousin. It follows the story of Louise, a down on her luck aspiring writer in New York City who meets the rich and glamorous Lavinia, and the two form a sort of dysfunctional, obsessive friendship which is barreling toward tragedy, as we’re told from the onset that Lavinia is going to end up dead. I don’t think I’ve ever described a book as ‘intoxicating’ before (and in fact I tend to roll my eyes at that descriptor), but that’s the word I keep coming back to with Social Creature. This book is intoxicating. Just like Louise, the reader is pulled into the glitz and glamour of Lavinia’s carefree socialite lifestyle, ignoring the glaring warning signs about the unhealthy and obsessive road she’s going down. With all the inevitability of a Greek tragedy, this is a story that ends terribly for absolutely everyone involved. But it’s addicting and utterly impossible to look away. Social Creature doesn’t have the same flawless prose or pervasive intellectualism as The Secret History, so maybe its vaguely pretentious tone is unearned, but it does have all the unlikable characters, and the same cautionary tale against indulging too heavily in the fairytale of living an impossibly elite lifestyle. On the surface Social Creature is a fun thriller and a rather addictive beachy read, but underneath it’s rather bleak and sad and tragic. I think what haunts me the most about this book is how much I related to Louise at the beginning of it, and how harrowing it was to watch everything spiral out of control for her. This book is like a train wreck that you can’t look away from, but for whatever reason, that’s my favorite kind of story.

Louise has lived in a roach infested, rent controlled, sublet in Brooklyn for the last 8 years. She thought she was going to be a great writer but instead she is working three jobs and barely making rent. Each morning she looks in the mirror and tells herself "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." A chance encounter with Lavinia, a wealthy and zealous socialite from Manhattan, quickly turns into an intense and toxic friendship. Louise, seduced by Lavinia's vivaciousness and privileged lifestyle, finds herself spiraling out of control...but she knows what she needs to do. This is one of those novels that have been generating a lot of publicity so I was very excited to read it. That being said I also had really high expectations and giving a 3 star rating is probably being generous for me. The plot was interesting, the cover was beautiful, but the plot just didn't appeal to me. I really wanted to love this one, and I'm sure many readers will, but it just didn't work for me personally. The main reason I didn't love this novel is because I found most of the characters to be obnoxious and unlikeable. The characters felt so chaotic and exhausting that I found myself wanting to take a nap instead of continuing to the next chapter. I'm not sure if the explicit material was meant to be erotic or shocking, as the plot hints at obsessive and seductive, but it felt forced and honestly a bit offensive at times...I'm not a prude by any means. I will say that about half way through, the plot became more engaging and I was finally able to finish it. Overall I felt the hype surrounding this one left me feeling pretty disappointed. I think it will be interested to see how it is received by other readers once published.

When you start this book make sure you have lots of free time.. You will not be able to put this down! This book was fun, but took a creepy turn. You found yourself cheering for the villain then feeling bad for her, then being so repulsed by her, it was a wild ride. I found the third person narrative odd but it kept me on my toes. The ending left me speechless. I found it to be a quick read. Makes you really think about who you let into your inner circle,

What a read! Thank you First to Read for allowing me to read and review Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton. This is the kind of books I love as disturbing as that sounds. I have to say the first 40 pages slowed me down but once I got pass that I really got into this dark read. I liked all but 2 characters. Louise is your favorite on and off and boy did she have to keep up with her character. Lavinia is just a spoiled selfish unlikable character and she steps on people to get her way. This is about 2 friends friendship that turns into an obsession and you'll have to read this to figure out who, but you'll go back n forth in your mind how both are just like the other. Who is really the bad friend? Who is really obsessed with who? This is oh so good, plus add social media and some weird friends, I was on the edge of my seat reading this wondering where things would end. This book will stay with me a long time and so will the ending. This will be published in June of 2018. And I thank First To Read for the ARC. Cherie'

The narration (which was like first and third person mixed together) was very interesting to read, although, I felt very disconnected from the main character. All we got were bits and pieces of her old life. I would have liked to see that a little more. All the characters were unlikeable, which I'm sure was the point. The story was very intense up until the part where Lavinia dies. After that, the plot has no direction and so the story drags on. I was expecting something a little darker (especially saying that this book is for fans of Gillian Flynn.) Personally, this book wasn't my cup of tea, but I was still able to finish it so my rating would be 3 stars.

I'm torn between three and fours stars on this one. On the one hand there is a really compelling story line, on the other hand it's full of very unlikable characters. But I do believe it was the author's intent for them to be unlikable, so job well done, just not really my cup of tea. I did fly through this as, I mentioned the story is really very compelling, and the writing also made it really easy. In the end I just wasn't sure of the main character's motivation. She was a bit blank throughout the story, with very small tidbits of foreboding thrown in, which I loved because I thought she would come together in a very big way in the end. Just didn't feel like that happened and I am left really, really needing some kind of backstory for her.

This book twisted my head around. We meet the subject of the book (she’s not narrating) but it feels like we are meant to identify with her and her feelings of not fitting in, being left outside the great times happening around her in NYC. We see glimpses of her past and a relationship that didn’t work out, but we never get beyond the glimpses to the full picture. The focal point is her relationship with Laviania who mesmerizes her and respulses her at the same time. Are they friends? Is Louise being manipulated or is she manipulating? Much of the book is trying to unravel truth from perception. About half way through the book, it turns into a different genre as the plot heads in an unexpected direction. I enjoyed the book and rooted for the main subject, Louise at the beginning then spent the rest of the book trying to figure her out. It’s a microcosm of friends and frenemies, social status, early adult drama and trying to set lives on the right course. It doesn’t. That’s the hook. Great book.

Unfortunately I was not able to really enjoy the story after a certain point. *Spoiler Alert* I kept thinking up reasons why the main character would have been caught, or how things were beyond the scope of reasonable thinking. I really dislike writing a negative review on a first time book writer, but I really think this story could have really benefited from some really creative story telling, instead of the main character covering her tracks with Facebook posts, texts, and a fake road trip. The suspense at the end builds, and then the book just ends with no satisfaction. It just feels unfinished to me.

A fantastic debut for Tara Isabella Burton! A timeless story of obsession and social climbing updated for the modern age. You don't have to be a 20-something New Yorker to enjoy this twisted tale of friendship gone horribly wrong. Louise is a Machiavellian character. How far will she go to get everything she's always desperately wanted? The book definitely reminded me of The Talented Mr. Ripley. Highly recommended.

I enjoyed this book. I really loved how the story flowed. It was very smooth from beginning to end and kept me wondering how long Louise was going to be able to get away with murdering her roommate. It's a book that leaves you wanting more. I would have loved to read on and learned what happened to the characters after Louise fled. Maybe a book two?

Watermark across every page made the copy I received unreadable. Disappointing

The book jacket promises “For readers of Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt, a dark, propulsive and addictive debut thriller”, unfortunately I did not find this and I was so looking forward to that, being a Gillian Flynn fan, having read all of her books. I really enjoy a great thriller but just didn’t find it in this particular book. For me, the characters were too annoying, self absorbed, and narcissistic. I don’t like to leave a review like this, so I am glad to see that my view is in the minority here. Thank you to First To Read for my ARC.

This book is awesome. I loved the style of the writing and the characters. They were all so intriguing, even through all of the messiness of their lives. I will definitely recommend this book to everyone!


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