Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton @NotoriousTIB @BloomsburyBooks #SocialCreature #review

Social Creature

Today I’m reviewing Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton which is out on 14 June 2018 in e-book and hardback.

Many thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc and Netgalley for my copy of Social Creature.

The Blurb

A friendship to die for.

A Ripley story for the Instagram age set in contemporary New York; a world at once sophisticated and sordid, irresistible and irresponsible, unforgettable yet unattainable

Louise is struggling to survive in New York; juggling a series of poorly paid jobs, renting a shabby flat, being cat-called by her creepy neighbour, she dreams of being a writer. And then one day she meets Lavinia. Lavinia who has everything – looks, money, clothes, friends, an amazing apartment…

Lavinia invites Louise into her charmed circle, takes her to underground speakeasies, the opera, shares her clothes, her drugs, her Uber account. Louise knows that this can’t last for ever, but just how far is she prepared to go to have this life? Or rather, to have Lavinia’s life?

What Did I Think?

It’s not often you get a psychological thriller with sparkle on the cover and I do love a bit of sparkle.  It’s rare to see any sparkle within the crime fiction realm at all but the sparkle on this cover is very befitting for this dark novel of obsession set in a socialite world.

I’ve got to say meeting Louise and Lavina was an experience.  Louise seemed the normal one to start with, living on the breadline working three jobs to make ends meet. But as the book goes on, her normal begins to unravel as she becomes addicted to Lavina’s lifestyle.  The more I read, the more I questioned Louise and wondered what tall tale she would tell next to keep herself in the life she had very quickly become accustomed to.   Lavina does come across as someone who is fickle not just with possessions but with people to. She’s happy to drop cash at the drop of a hat, a girl with a “can’t be seen in the same outfit more than once” mentality. And then there is Mimi, Lavina’s former bestie.  It’s very easy to see that her nose is out of joint at being replaced so easily.

“…you can’t fool all the people all of the time…”

Tara Isabella Burton has written a very dark and twisted novel about friendship, envy and deception.  I was swept up into the socialite world of partying so much so I felt I was there in NYC even though I have never been myself.  It’s a dark but glamorous world that Ms Burton has created. Having seen The Talented Mr Ripley (ashamed I haven’t read the book), I can see the similarities and understand why Social Creature has been cited as the “Ripley for the Instagram age”.  I have to say Ms Burton has pulled off a brilliant debut novel and I for one will be looking out for her next offering.

Who Is Tara Isabella Burton?

Tara Isabella Burton is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. The winner of the Shiva Naipaul Award for Travel Writing, she has completed a Doctorate in Theology at the University of Oxford and is a prodigious travel writer, short story and scriptwriter and essayist. She works for Vox as their Faith and Religion Correspondent. Tara Isabella Burton lives in New York and divides her time between the Upper East Side and Oxford.

You can follow Tara through her website or on Twitter  @NotoriousTIB

1 thought on “Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton @NotoriousTIB @BloomsburyBooks #SocialCreature #review

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