5 stars

Review: Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

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Book: Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton [ goodreads | amazon ]
Genre: Fiction, Psychological Thriller
Format: eBook, ARC from Penguin’s First to Read program
Rating: 5 stars
Cover Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis
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.

Cover
The cover is perfection. It was what made me click on this book. I had yet to hear anything, the author was new to me. The cover was everything. Then that synopsis. Oh that synopsis! This book immediately buried itself into my mind before I was ever given the chance to look at the first page. The cover is perfect. Note: The UK cover is also fabulous; I’ll include it down below!

Review
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.

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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.

 

Huge thanks to Penguin via the First to Read program and the fabulous author for an advanced copy of this beautiful, creepy novel.

This review was originally posted on The Book Cover Judge on June 03, 2018.

Review: The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

Nothing makes me happier than a new book — except when that new book is by an author you just adore.

Robyn Harding came into my life a couple of years back, soon after her release of The Party. I kept seeing it on book blogs and I was fascinated by it. It was high on my list to buy. You won’t be able to guess my excitement, then, when I showed up at McKays (a used bookstore in Nashville) and found The Party on the shelf, less than a month after its release.

I devoured that book in two days. I knew that Harding was an author I would have to look out for.

Last year, I was given the chance to read her next book, Her Pretty Face, thanks to Netgalley. Another great triumph of a thriller read!

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This year, I got my little hands on The Arrangement. I was more excited for this one than my previous two Harding reads. This premise of this book was just so…interesting. I feel like Harding has the ability to take the thriller genre and add a breath of fresh air to it, and I feel like she did just that with The Arrangement.

In this book, we follow Natalie, a twenty-something art student who is having a hard time getting by. She lives with roommates she doesn’t get along with, she has a job she despises, and she’s just feeling lost. While visiting a fellow art student, whose apartment and clothes show that she is definitely living the opposite life of Nat, she learns of this alternative lifestyle choice: Getting a sugar daddy.

After some consideration, Natalie decides to jump in. She meets Gabe, a handsome 50-something attorney and they hit it off. But Natalie isn’t convinced just yet she’s ready for this lifestyle. She tries a date with another fellow — and it doesn’t go so well. Soon, Natalie is talking with Gabe and together they reach an arrangement.

Natalie falls for Gabe, or at least the person show thinks Gabe is. Gabe isn’t as open with his life as she is with hers. And this isn’t his first arrangement. While things go well between the two of them for a while, eventually Gabe does decide to end things, leaving Natalie hurt, confused…and obsessed.

This is a 5 star read for me. This characters are interesting (though aside from some very minor characters, none are that likable — I love unlikeable characters; it makes them seem more real in some regards), the plot is good, the writing is amazing. It has a great flow and sucks you in very quickly. Harding gets better and better with every book I read from her and I cannot wait to see what her next thriller will be!

Big, big thanks Simon and Schuster for the e-ARC via Netgalley and for sending me a final copy of the book. I am so honored.