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Social Creature

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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, 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.


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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, 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.

30 review for Social Creature

  1. 3 out of 5

    Emily May

    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 sta 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. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melisa

    What in the everloving world did I just read and I mean this in the best possible way. Holy smokes, man, that was a firecracker of a book. This is like nothing I’ve ever, ever read before, but I’m having a similar reaction as to when I read Caroline Kepnes’ YOU. It’s a little something like this: I don’t know if I liked it but I can appreciate it for being something completely unique and compelling, yet dark and disturbing. In fact, I would give it a full 5 stars for sheer originality, creativit What in the everloving world did I just read and I mean this in the best possible way. Holy smokes, man, that was a firecracker of a book. This is like nothing I’ve ever, ever read before, but I’m having a similar reaction as to when I read Caroline Kepnes’ YOU. It’s a little something like this: I don’t know if I liked it but I can appreciate it for being something completely unique and compelling, yet dark and disturbing. In fact, I would give it a full 5 stars for sheer originality, creativity and literary merit, but would I recommend this? Not so sure. The character of Lavinia was hugely fascinating and once again, like nothing I’ve ever seen. I could read a whole book on her life story, and would love to see her portrayed on the silver screen in a film adaptation. I honestly had to put this one down several times because it was giving me anxiety. Which is kind of a compliment to the strength of the writing. I don’t want to get into the plot here - do me a favor, skip the synopsis, don’t read any reviews and just check it out. If you have thick skin. And are in the mood for a little darkness. And now I need to go read something light and fluffy. Thank you to Doubleday books and the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kaceey - Traveling Sister

    Well…now that was about as different as it gets! Bizarre, shocking, dark, and did I mention bizarre?! If your interest is piqued, then this is a must for your summer reading. Lavinia has it all. She’s young, rich and drop-dead gorgeous. She resides in the heart of New York City where the night scene is her own private play-ground. On the other side of town, and calling Brooklyn home, Louise is living a very different lifestyle. Somewhat older, not nearly as glamorous and surviving pay check to pa Well…now that was about as different as it gets! Bizarre, shocking, dark, and did I mention bizarre?! If your interest is piqued, then this is a must for your summer reading. Lavinia has it all. She’s young, rich and drop-dead gorgeous. She resides in the heart of New York City where the night scene is her own private play-ground. On the other side of town, and calling Brooklyn home, Louise is living a very different lifestyle. Somewhat older, not nearly as glamorous and surviving pay check to paycheck between her 3 jobs. When fate intervenes and their paths cross, Lavinia strikes up a friendship with Louise. But what starts out as something fun and casual, quickly becomes far more than a friendship. It turns into a suffocating, inescapable relationship that sucks Louise in, ultimately changing their lives forever. You know what they say about that mangled car wreck on the side of the road? The one people can’t resist slowing down for a closer glance? The one they can’t seem to look away from? That’s exactly how I felt reading this book. Unable to divert my eyes from the mayhem. I think I can file this one away as one of the most unique, bizarre, yet addicting books I have ever read! After finishing, I just sat there with the biggest smile on my face, shaking my head saying “Wow, what did I just read!!??”🤯 A buddy read with Susanne! Thank you to NetGalley Doubleday Books and Tara Isabella Burton for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    Louise is poor. Lavinia is not. Lavinia takes Louise under her wing. Lavinia is young, lacking in common sense, with a very aggrandized sense of herself. Louise sees an opportunity and takes it. How much would you put up with to live the rich lifestyle? And what would you do to maintain it? First warning - The characters here are all unlikable. Lavinia, especially, was just so obnoxious, so pretentious, so needy it was hard to see why she was so popular. The supposedly so desirable lifestyle com Louise is poor. Lavinia is not. Lavinia takes Louise under her wing. Lavinia is young, lacking in common sense, with a very aggrandized sense of herself. Louise sees an opportunity and takes it. How much would you put up with to live the rich lifestyle? And what would you do to maintain it? First warning - The characters here are all unlikable. Lavinia, especially, was just so obnoxious, so pretentious, so needy it was hard to see why she was so popular. The supposedly so desirable lifestyle comes off as empty. I came close to putting this book down several times. I really kept with it just to see how things would play out. Second warning - the blurb says the book is propulsive. But I found parts of it a real slog. And I found the ending extremely unsatisfying. The book does an interesting job in presenting the digital life in all its fake glory. Maybe I’m just too old for this. It’s getting a lot of buzz and a lot of good reviews. I am definitely in the minority. My thanks to netgalley and Doubleday for an advance copy of this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton is a 2018 Doubleday publication. Unorthodox – but very effective! Louise Wilson is one birthday away from thirty, working three jobs to stay afloat, living a dull, uneventful life. Through a tutoring job, she meets Lavinia, a rich young woman taking a break from her ivy league education. Lavinia pulls Louise into her vivid, and lavish world, all of which is expediently documented on social media. Louise caters to Lavinia’s every whim which earns her a chanc Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton is a 2018 Doubleday publication. Unorthodox – but very effective! Louise Wilson is one birthday away from thirty, working three jobs to stay afloat, living a dull, uneventful life. Through a tutoring job, she meets Lavinia, a rich young woman taking a break from her ivy league education. Lavinia pulls Louise into her vivid, and lavish world, all of which is expediently documented on social media. Louise caters to Lavinia’s every whim which earns her a chance to be her roommate and live a far more comfortable and exciting life. But, keeping Lavinia happy is nearly a full- time job, causing Louise to lose her real jobs, one by one. To stay in Lavinia’s world and maintain her new lifestyle, Louise will make some terrible decisions, getting in deeper and deeper, only to discover Lavinia may be looking to replace Louise with someone else. There is only one option left for Louise, but will she really go through with it? Can she pull it off and if so- for how long? I had heard a few wild and crazy stories about this book, which of course meant I had to read it to see what all the fuss was about. While I knew going in the book was ‘off the beaten path’, I never could have imagined just how far off the path it would go. First of all, the book gets high marks because of its originality. We have an unusual, unnamed narrator who tells the story from hindsight, dropping big and small hints along the way about what will happen next. This is a unique approach, very seductive, pulling the reader in, even if they aren’t especially enthralled with the lead characters. Social consciousness, sympathy, empathy, or the slightest regard for other people never even enters their minds. They are all shallow, immature, greedy, and weak in one way or another. But, despite that, I sat there turning pages, totally absorbed in the cat and mouse game that ensues, all the while thinking these people weren’t really worth my time or effort. But, of course, I did enjoy spying on these two women, and the inner circle of people surrounding them, as they posture and preen, backstab, and jockey for position, because it has an atmosphere of reality to it. Our society is so fixated on social media and creating an impossible image of themselves for others to admire. It’s all so phony, and easily manipulated. But, there really are lots of ‘Louise’s’ out there, too. While we can view Lavinia and her friends with a certain detachment, for Louise, who is lonely and insecure, barely scraping by, this lifestyle that Lavinia as invited her into, is more than she could have hoped for and she’s desperate to maintain it- at any cost. It’s a sad commentary, and a very realistic one on many levels. While the story starts off a little slow, the second half of the book is riveting, and the suspense is nearly unbearable at times. However, there is a slight satirical tone to the story at times, with a touch of black humor thrown if for good measure. For those who detest a novel filled with unredeemable characters, this one will test your patience, but the author takes it a step further by throwing in an unsettling conclusion that is sure to frustrate those who like everything all tidied up the old- fashioned way. But, then there are people like me who see the irony in it, the truth in it, and absolutely revel in all that darkness and uncertainty. So, while this book may not be the right fit for everyone, and the writing was a bit uneven in some spots, I thought it was ingenious. I’ll be keeping my eye on this author. 4 stars

  6. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Remember the party girls, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Ritchie? Their nightly exploits posted everywhere. The beginning of the book reminded me of them, Lavinia, extroverted, larger than life, heavy drinker, partying nighlty. Louise, quieter, introverted, attracted to Lavinia with her outrageous personality and lifestyle. Constantly taking selfies, posting everything on social media, one outrageous scenario after another. Under the glitter and glitz, this is actually a dark novel. These character Remember the party girls, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Ritchie? Their nightly exploits posted everywhere. The beginning of the book reminded me of them, Lavinia, extroverted, larger than life, heavy drinker, partying nighlty. Louise, quieter, introverted, attracted to Lavinia with her outrageous personality and lifestyle. Constantly taking selfies, posting everything on social media, one outrageous scenario after another. Under the glitter and glitz, this is actually a dark novel. These characters and the way they act is appalling, dislikable, and yet I couldn't stop reading. Like a fly on the wall I observed these lives that are so very different than my own. Then it takes a rather startling turn, though I realized afterwards,the clues were there, but I missed them. After that I kept reading wondering how this could possibly end. I have to admit I loved the way it ended. This took the use of cell phones and social media to a whole new level. A warning maybe to those who live their lives, documenting it all, always on their phones. Despite the fact that I probably shouldn't have, I found this novel fascinating. ARC from Doubleday.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    4 enthralling trainwreck stars to Social Creature! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Social Creature is a total trainwreck of a read, and I mean this in the best possible way. Yes, it is absolutely addictive, and because of that, I could not stop reading. More on that in a bit. Louise is quiet, introverted, and mousy. When she meets over-the-top socialite and party animal, Lavinia, her life takes an intense and even toxic turn. The two become fast friends, and the story turns dark really, really fast. The less you know a 4 enthralling trainwreck stars to Social Creature! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Social Creature is a total trainwreck of a read, and I mean this in the best possible way. Yes, it is absolutely addictive, and because of that, I could not stop reading. More on that in a bit. Louise is quiet, introverted, and mousy. When she meets over-the-top socialite and party animal, Lavinia, her life takes an intense and even toxic turn. The two become fast friends, and the story turns dark really, really fast. The less you know about the rest of the story before reading, the better, because a big part of this story is its shock value. That’s where the trainwreck comes back into play. You just cannot stop reading. Please be warned: if you need likable characters, you will not find them here. If you need an uplifting read, this is most definitely not it. For this one, you need to have the want to be entertained, and a completely open mind, while also not being afraid of “dark.” Not dark in the scary way, but dark in the gritty, shock value way. For me, I consider this an escape read because I was completely transported to this dark place and totally forgot about what was happening around me. It was that absorbing. Social Creature would make an excellent movie. I would love to see this bizarre tale unfold visually, and if matches how my mind imagined it. Thank you to Tara Isabella Burton, Doubleday, and Netgalley for the ARC. Social Creature publishes on June 5, 2018! My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com

  8. 3 out of 5

    Susanne Strong

    5 Stars. WOAH! What in HECK did I just read? Addictive, crazy and all out weird. “Social Creature” is one of the strangest, most convoluted books I’ve ever read. Characters without a heart or soul, characters whose behavior completely intrigues and disgusts and whose lives you can’t stop reading about. What starts out as just plain weird quickly becomes totally engrossing. I dove in head first and didn’t dare come up for air till the very end. Lavinia and Louise’s friendship - say what?! My thoug 5 Stars. WOAH! What in HECK did I just read? Addictive, crazy and all out weird. “Social Creature” is one of the strangest, most convoluted books I’ve ever read. Characters without a heart or soul, characters whose behavior completely intrigues and disgusts and whose lives you can’t stop reading about. What starts out as just plain weird quickly becomes totally engrossing. I dove in head first and didn’t dare come up for air till the very end. Lavinia and Louise’s friendship - say what?! My thoughts ran along the lines of “Oh no you didn’t!” Entertaining, engrossing and simply wild, this is a read I won’t soon forget. I read this with Kaceey and both of us had the same reaction: amazement, bewilderment, hysterics and well, horror. It was an awesome book to read together and we had the best time ever. Thank you to NetGalley, Doubleday Books and Tara Isabella Burton for providing me with an ARC of this highly entertaining read. Published on NetGalley, Goodreads, Twitter and Amazon on 6.25.18.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    Although I haven’t read enough of the upcoming summer books to be sure, this may well be the beach read of the season. The plot is one that we all know well: young, socialite takes poor small-town girl under her wing and obsession ensues. It reads fast and reminded me of Bight Lights Big City with more than a dash of The Luckiest Girl Alive thrown in for good measure. Burton captures NYC wonderfully including the vast disparities between working class Sunset Park, Brooklyn to the glitzy world of Although I haven’t read enough of the upcoming summer books to be sure, this may well be the beach read of the season. The plot is one that we all know well: young, socialite takes poor small-town girl under her wing and obsession ensues. It reads fast and reminded me of Bight Lights Big City with more than a dash of The Luckiest Girl Alive thrown in for good measure. Burton captures NYC wonderfully including the vast disparities between working class Sunset Park, Brooklyn to the glitzy world of the Upper Eastside. Perfect poolside fodder. Don’t let YA cover fool you, there are scenes that are not for the squeamish.

  10. 3 out of 5

    Tucker

    Filled with all the glitz and glamour of New York City, “Social Creature” follows wealthy party girl Lavinia Williams and her newest bestie Louise Wilson, an aspiring writer living on the margins. As they travel from one decadent, outrageous, and extravagant party to the next Louise becomes infatuated with Lavinia and her lifestyle. Lavinia and her friends are obsessed with social media and the decisions they make about their lives seem to be driven solely by how exotic, exciting, and enviable t Filled with all the glitz and glamour of New York City, “Social Creature” follows wealthy party girl Lavinia Williams and her newest bestie Louise Wilson, an aspiring writer living on the margins. As they travel from one decadent, outrageous, and extravagant party to the next Louise becomes infatuated with Lavinia and her lifestyle. Lavinia and her friends are obsessed with social media and the decisions they make about their lives seem to be driven solely by how exotic, exciting, and enviable their Facebook posts will be and how many “ Likes” they will get. The book is advertised as a thriller and there were some surprising twists to the plot. To my mind, “Social Creature” was really an indictment of social media and a character study of the relationship between sophisticated Lavinia and insecure Louise, the fraying of their relationship, and the lengths Louise will go to in order to preserve it. While portions of the book were interesting, there were other sections that failed to engage me or made me want to keep reading. None of the characters were even remotely likable and their shallow, hedonistic, self-absorbed behavior became tedious to read about. As for whether I would recommend this book, I think it would depend on the reader. It wasn’t the book for me but that could have been because I’m not in the targeted audience or maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind. So I encourage potential readers to look at a lot of reviews before deciding if it’s a book they want to read. Thank you to Doubleday Books and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  11. 3 out of 5

    Marialyce

    4 heading for disaster stars My reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres... Throw together an introvert, a wealthy party girl, New York City, and a whirling social scene and you have the makings of the frenetic book. Louise Wilson meets the whirlwind Lavinia Williams and the two hit it off and embark on adventures, parties and hook ups that are reminiscent of the roaring twenties where anything, and I do mean anything goes. Their relationship is a catastrophe, one where they 4 heading for disaster stars My reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres... Throw together an introvert, a wealthy party girl, New York City, and a whirling social scene and you have the makings of the frenetic book. Louise Wilson meets the whirlwind Lavinia Williams and the two hit it off and embark on adventures, parties and hook ups that are reminiscent of the roaring twenties where anything, and I do mean anything goes. Their relationship is a catastrophe, one where they, particularly Lavinia, seem to be on a never ending path for self gratification. Louise "loves" Lavinia, well really not her as much as her lifestyle, and as Louise is drawn further and further into the mayhem, she develops the uncontrollable desire to be just like Lavinia. The parties, the booze, the drugs, the sex all combine to provide a life of pandemonium where she will discover havoc and disorder in everything. Their world is reminiscent of the world once inhabited by Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald where what you wanted you did, when you drank you did so to excess, and the rules were never followed. It was a story that blasted full steam ahead to what might eventually become a fracas. Their lifestyle predicted disaster for there is never anyone that can fill the hole you create in your life when your life becomes one big party and that party seems like it will soon end. This was certainly a not for everyone book as it takes you on a journey that is maniacal, obsessive, and frenzied. Each page is filled with wired characters who booze it up, drug it up, and sex it up trying to fill a gaping hole that existed in their persona. No one will probably come out a winner here but they believe that the fun, frolic, and high life will guarantee them their lives will never be humdrum. They are the thrill seekers who will never reach their thrill quotient even if they die trying. Thank you to my book friend, Diane S of The Traveling Sisters group who kindly sent this ARC to me knowing my great desire to read this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carol (Bookaria)

    This novel has mesmerizing, over-the-top, unlikable characters and I loved it! First, just look at the cover! The dramatic makeup, the tear-streaked face, the downward-looking eye. They're all glimpses into the story.  As the description states, Lavinia has everything, Louise is barely surviving but once they meet they become inseparable. Their friendship is as complex as their personalities.  I listened to the audiobook and the narration was perfect. The narrator did a great job with the transatla This novel has mesmerizing, over-the-top, unlikable characters and I loved it! First, just look at the cover! The dramatic makeup, the tear-streaked face, the downward-looking eye. They're all glimpses into the story.  As the description states, Lavinia has everything, Louise is barely surviving but once they meet they become inseparable. Their friendship is as complex as their personalities.  I listened to the audiobook and the narration was perfect. The narrator did a great job with the transatlantic accent on one of the characters, it added a layer of depth that I don't think could have been achieved by reading the book.  Overall, I loved it and recommend it to those who enjoy darker stories.  Review posted on Blog

  13. 3 out of 5

    Michelle

    I don't know what this will say about me but I freaking loved this book. Oh, man, it is so deliciously fucked up. This story follows Louise, an almost 30 yr old New Yorker, and her budding friendship with the 23 yr old Lavinia. Lavinia comes from money and Louise doesn't come from anything. Louise becomes obsessed with Lavinia and in keeping her friendship with her alive. Lavinia is everything she isn't. She's a free spirit who lives off her parents money while taking a break from school. There I don't know what this will say about me but I freaking loved this book. Oh, man, it is so deliciously fucked up. This story follows Louise, an almost 30 yr old New Yorker, and her budding friendship with the 23 yr old Lavinia. Lavinia comes from money and Louise doesn't come from anything. Louise becomes obsessed with Lavinia and in keeping her friendship with her alive. Lavinia is everything she isn't. She's a free spirit who lives off her parents money while taking a break from school. There is no lack of drugs, alcohol, or swanky parties. It's easy for Louise to adapt to Lavinia's lifestyle and Lavinia is more than happy to pay her way even giving her a place to live. You see Louise is Lavinia's project. The friendship doesn't come without tension though and finally cracks in the surface begin to appear. This is when the book gets really dark and disturbing. Who is using who is never quite clear. I know we're not suppose to use quotes in reviews of ARCS but I love this one so much that I'm just going to spoiler tag it and let you decide if you want to read it. (view spoiler)[ "There are things it is better for a person not to know. The day and the manner of your own death, that's one, or whether or not you're going to fuck your mother and kill your father. What people say behind your back. The names somebody you love has called somebody else. There's a reason people are able to function, in this world, as social creatures, and a good part of that reason is that there are a lot of questions you're better off not knowing the answer to, and if your smart you won't even ask." (hide spoiler)] Bravo to Tara Isabella Burton. She has such a distinct writing voice and I was hooked on every word. Even the words I didn't know...haha! Louise and Lavinia are two of the most fascinating characters that I have read about in quite a while. I know it's only the end of April but I can already see this being one of my favorite books of 2018. Thank you to Sarah @ Penguin Random House and Doubleday Publishing for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elyse

    Audiobook- read by Saskia Maarleveld The title fits....even that ‘eye’ - book cover - is ‘creepy’ fitting. For those who thought ‘The Circle’, by Dave Eggers was scary...creepy...( I thought it was much more fun than this book).... This novel is - in part - another branch on the social media tree- the powerful influence technology is over our lives. For me.... this Audiobook was background chatter-noise - engaging ‘enough’...not great. I finished it while going about my chores-sauna resting and pool Audiobook- read by Saskia Maarleveld The title fits....even that ‘eye’ - book cover - is ‘creepy’ fitting. For those who thought ‘The Circle’, by Dave Eggers was scary...creepy...( I thought it was much more fun than this book).... This novel is - in part - another branch on the social media tree- the powerful influence technology is over our lives. For me.... this Audiobook was background chatter-noise - engaging ‘enough’...not great. I finished it while going about my chores-sauna resting and pool soaking over almost 3 weeks. Notice I wasn’t gut-wrenching dying-to-finish-it. The novel took itself too serious. Had this same story been written more as a clear satire... I might have enjoyed it more. I didn’t hate it. Though -I almost threw in the towel a couple of times- but another day would go by and I’d listen again....finding myself tuned-in to this nutty story with these wacky characters - who were not wacky enough as in funny ‘enough’.....( rather they were obnoxious - self absorbed -and dangerous)....with their neurotic problems. I’d give it a C+ report card... Good effort ... clever idea...but needs more jazzy-fizzle-funnies!

  15. 4 out of 5

    JanB

    Wow, do I ever have conflicting feelings about this book! I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars but since I'm undecided I'll give it 3.5 stars and round up. The first half was barely a 2 star and the last half a solid 4. I almost DNF’d it multiple times in the first half but kept reading. I can’t say I’m proud of myself for continuing to do so because these are two of the most obnoxious, hedonistic, pretentious, self-absorbed humans on the planet. Neither is likable, and each is unlikable in different Wow, do I ever have conflicting feelings about this book! I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars but since I'm undecided I'll give it 3.5 stars and round up. The first half was barely a 2 star and the last half a solid 4. I almost DNF’d it multiple times in the first half but kept reading. I can’t say I’m proud of myself for continuing to do so because these are two of the most obnoxious, hedonistic, pretentious, self-absorbed humans on the planet. Neither is likable, and each is unlikable in different ways. Continuing to read was like not being able to tear your eyes away from a train wreck you know is coming. The author tells us fairly quickly someone will die and the foreshadowing kept me reading. And then the second half – wow, the story takes a dramatic turn and I blew through it very quickly. I had to suspend disbelief a few times but then this is fiction. While there are clever lessons to be learned about self-absorption, empty lifestyles, and social media, the story isn’t meant to be totally believable. Although it has elements of a thriller, I see it as more of a character study and indictment of social media and empty, purposeless lives. I do think some humor, even just a little bit, would have made this work better for me. When I finished reading I felt like I needed a long, hot shower, ha! Perhaps readers in the 20-30ish age range would like it better than I did? • Many thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and author for a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ This is one of those times where the blurb name dropping might be a curse. If readers go into this expecting something warped like Gillian Flynn, there will be a lot of disappointed faces on the intertubes (except for one scene that had Mitchell like awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww yeah!!!!). I also get the idea of the comparison to Donna Tartt because Tara Isabella Burton has a distinct writing style, but once again it’s not very accurate. Why a Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ This is one of those times where the blurb name dropping might be a curse. If readers go into this expecting something warped like Gillian Flynn, there will be a lot of disappointed faces on the intertubes (except for one scene that had Mitchell like awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww yeah!!!!). I also get the idea of the comparison to Donna Tartt because Tara Isabella Burton has a distinct writing style, but once again it’s not very accurate. Why all the bells and whistles? Why not only say exactly what this is and leave it at that? In case you don’t know what the “that” is let me scream it out for you: Social Creature is a A MODERNIZATION OF THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY - (but with 100% more vaginas). Louise meets Lavinia and gets swept up into a lifestyle of champagne and endless parties. She becomes Lavinia’s “pet” of sorts – someone to groom, dress up, show how the other half lives. But Louise can’t afford Lavinia’s lavish lifestyle and even though Lavinia always means well and plans on picking up the tab, cab fare, etc., it doesn’t always work out that way. When Louise’s real life world starts falling apart and the shine wears off their new friendship revealing some truths, desperate measures are taken. Social Creature is what would happen if this . . . . And this . . . . And this . . . . Had a baby. Now you can decide if you want to read it. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    I read Social Creature using the literary equivalent of watching a horror movie with a cushion over your face, peering out over the top of it. I was compelled ever onwards but almost didn't want to look... It starts off quietly enough - Louise has nothing and she meets Lavinia who has everything. Louise wants what Lavinia has and Lavinia is more than happy to give it to her. At first. Of course surface sparkle hides inner darkness and you can never really know the truth of someone else's existenc I read Social Creature using the literary equivalent of watching a horror movie with a cushion over your face, peering out over the top of it. I was compelled ever onwards but almost didn't want to look... It starts off quietly enough - Louise has nothing and she meets Lavinia who has everything. Louise wants what Lavinia has and Lavinia is more than happy to give it to her. At first. Of course surface sparkle hides inner darkness and you can never really know the truth of someone else's existence. As both girls spiral, the story goes down a sinister, utterly compelling, shiver inducing road that leaves you, when it is done, feeling disconcerted and off kilter. This is a clever novel because it tells you everything and nothing. Louise is a stunningly nuanced character, through whose eyes most everything is filtered- when teamed up with the seemingly rich, spoiled, entitled Lavinia sparks fly and a whirlwind of social interaction, parties, drinking, drugs, all the things begins - this lifestyle is seemingly glamorous and expensively cheap, but Louise wants it and wants it for good. So when the cracks begin to show, there's no telling what she will do to maintain it. This novel is smart and manipulative in both character and plot, it explores many things and is written with an edgy, modern narrative style that really appealed to me. The occasional birds eye view, away from the fast paced lifestyle and slowly disintegrating state of this friendship,gives you a feeling of really seeing it play out, like a car crash you can't take your eyes away from. Tara Isabella Burton paints an authentically scary portrait of how we can treat each other, both male and female, whilst the focus is on these two women, Social Creature is also a multiple character drama, with an incredibly realistic sense of the true invasion of social media and drawing the lines between the rich and the poor in a cleverly insightful way. Overall I loved this one because of how incredibly uneasy it made me, how it didn't pull any punches, how it built from a whisper to a crescendo then left you with that ending - it is quirky, cool and utterly terrifying really, I hated everyone in it but I loved them too. Ignore the Ripley comparison and the Gone Girl comparison, Social Creature is a Social Creature - it will creep into your reading life and take it over, at least for a day. It certainly took over mine and I doubt that Louise or Lavinia will leave my head any time soon. This is one of those stories that will nag at me and nag at me, these are the ones I love. Absolutely Highly Recommended.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nazanin

    DNF @ 20% Why this one didn’t work out for me: I didn’t like the writing, it was a bit strange for me and a bit confusing at some point! It contains very looong chapters! It’s 270 pages with only 10 chapters and even I read 20%, still the second chapter hadn’t been finished! I got bored! Nothing happened, just two seemingly friends were happy and having good times at parties! But I should say it was me and not the book because most of my friends loved this! So don’t listen to me and read it, hope you DNF @ 20% Why this one didn’t work out for me: I didn’t like the writing, it was a bit strange for me and a bit confusing at some point! It contains very looong chapters! It’s 270 pages with only 10 chapters and even I read 20%, still the second chapter hadn’t been finished! I got bored! Nothing happened, just two seemingly friends were happy and having good times at parties! But I should say it was me and not the book because most of my friends loved this! So don’t listen to me and read it, hope you like it!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    This book kind of exhausted me, TBH. I couldn't stand any of the characters, which I don't typically mind, but for some reason these all grated on my nerves, not to mention they all had obnoxious names. Lavinia: High maintenance, spoiled little rich girl who lives life to the fullest, often at others expense. (And I'm not just referring to money) Louise: This one confused the heck out of me....often appearing as a dull, mousy, wallflower; and others she is shown as beautiful, vibrant and witty. But This book kind of exhausted me, TBH. I couldn't stand any of the characters, which I don't typically mind, but for some reason these all grated on my nerves, not to mention they all had obnoxious names. Lavinia: High maintenance, spoiled little rich girl who lives life to the fullest, often at others expense. (And I'm not just referring to money) Louise: This one confused the heck out of me....often appearing as a dull, mousy, wallflower; and others she is shown as beautiful, vibrant and witty. But one thing is for sure-she's an opportunist! Rex: Lavinia's ex and first true love, who doesn't appear to have a backbone whatsoever. Cordelia: Lavinia's book smart sister, who was the most palatable character of all of them. Mimi: Lavinia's discarded friend who reeks of desperation and doesn't care. Then there is Beowulf, Hal, Gavin, and a few more oddballs thrown in for good measure. The plot is so bizarre, but even more bizarre is that it did hold my interest to the end. I can't say it was great, but there is something about the strangeness of this story that kept me going. In a nutshell, it's Lavinia's world, and the other characters just live it in. Party all night, eat and sleep all day. Then a murder takes place, but the character is kept alive through the use of social media, and no one is the wiser. Sound silly? It kind of is... But it's also quirky and definitely outside the box, so I can see why there are a lot of people who responded much better to this than I did. The 3 stars is for the creative premise. Haven't ever read anything like this before, and probably won't ever again. Give it a go, let me know which side of the fence you fall on! ARC provided by NetGalley

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net

    See this review and more like it on www.bookbastion.net! ______ Mesmerizing, twisted and intense, Social Creature examines the destructive power of narcissism in the digital age - and the lengths one will go to obtain the glamorous lifestyle portrayed in their social media accounts. Evocative of the glitz and glamour of The Great Gatsby, New York City high society life has never seemed so nihilistic as it does in this novel. Told through the perspective of 29 year old Louise - an outsider looking See this review and more like it on www.bookbastion.net! ______ Mesmerizing, twisted and intense, Social Creature examines the destructive power of narcissism in the digital age - and the lengths one will go to obtain the glamorous lifestyle portrayed in their social media accounts. Evocative of the glitz and glamour of The Great Gatsby, New York City high society life has never seemed so nihilistic as it does in this novel. Told through the perspective of 29 year old Louise - an outsider looking in on a world she's always aspired to join - Tara Isabelle Burton highlights the dangers of living one's life for the sake of what other people think, when Louise is paired against Lavinia, a 23 year old socialite obsessed with the carefully calculated image she portrays to those around her. Lavinia and Louise's relationship is one of the most toxic and parasitic relationships I can recall reading in recent memory, which made the first half of this book so readable as their behavior pushes them both towards disaster. Lavinia is every horrible, narcissistic personality I've ever met - turned up to an 11. Desperate to belong, and to finally make something of herself, Louise is both strung along, but also a willing participant in their perpetual quest to portray themselves as perfect everyone else around them. Until Lavinia ends up dead, and Louise finds herself working overtime to protect her new lifestyle and escape her past. The narrative voice employed here took a little while for me to get used to and might not be for everybody. Told in a sort of stream of consciousness style, the narration allows the reader a glimpse into Louise's almost manic state of mind. She's constantly examining the motivations of everyone around her, and yet never acknowledging how calculating and manipulative her own actions often are. She's drawn into Lavinia's world like a fly to a spider, though she quickly undergoes a metamorphosis into her own type of predator in order to survive. There is not one likable character out of the entire lot here, which is often a source of frustration for me with suspense thrillers. I understand the point that Tara Isabella Burton was attempting to make - exposing the devastating effects that comes from attempting to live up to an idealized glamorous lifestyle, but because every character is engaging in this sort of behavior, they are all equally pretentious - quoting Tennyson and other classic works to one another in casual conversation. It's psuedo-intellectualism at its finest, although as the name-dropping increased I wondered if this wasn't also the author's attempt to display her own intelligence to the reader, which I found more than a little ironic. Still, I couldn't drag myself away from Louise's transformation and character journey. Sort of like a car crash unfolding over the course of 320 pages. You know that it's headed towards disaster, and you can't help but watch through your fingers to see how the character is going to get herself out of this ever unfolding mess she finds herself in. I was shocked by the lengths she goes to, both to protect her secrets and to appear unto others as as someone she is not. By assimilating into Lavinia's world, she becomes as ruthless and cold as her predecessor by the end of the novel. It's a fascinating transformation to witness, and that alone made this such a compelling read. Tara Isabella Burton is one to watch out for in the years to come. I can't wait to see what stories she thinks up next. 4 out of 5 stars Thank you Netgalley, and Doubleday books for an eARC of this book!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    "There are two kinds of people in the world: the people you can fool into liking you, and the ones clever enough not to fall for it." Social Creature is the most peculiarly told original story that I've ever read! I mean this in the most loving way because I obviously loved it (finished the story within 24 hours #allIdoIsRead). Louise Wilson is an aspiring writer living in Brooklyn, while maintaining odd jobs and coordinating tutoring sessions so she can pay rent while she writes. She ends up c "There are two kinds of people in the world: the people you can fool into liking you, and the ones clever enough not to fall for it." Social Creature is the most peculiarly told original story that I've ever read! I mean this in the most loving way because I obviously loved it (finished the story within 24 hours #allIdoIsRead). Louise Wilson is an aspiring writer living in Brooklyn, while maintaining odd jobs and coordinating tutoring sessions so she can pay rent while she writes. She ends up crossing paths with Lavinia Williams and the two forge a fast friendship. Lavinia Williams comes from a family so wealthy that she never has to worry about finances a day in her life. She lives on the Upper East Side with her sister Cordelia, while their parents are stationed in Paris. Lavinia has the looks and the money to do anything she wants. The duo's friendship is fast-paced and wildly intoxicating. The two drink champagne and cocktails every night; party with the fabulous crowd of wealthy millennials of the Upper East Side and the NYC elite. Louise and Lavinia mix drinks and drugs, attend operas and exclusive parties, and have a relationship that could be deemed as toxic and obsessive. Louise's lifestyle has drastically changed from her humble New Hampshire upbringing because of Lavinia's generosity, but is her generosity coming from the goodness of her heart, or something more manipulative? I really don't want to give too much of this story away because the Goodreads blurb is very short and if I divulge anymore into the plot, you won't enjoy the story as much as I did. I went in blind and I'm thankful for it. This story will take you through the ringer of emotions. Social Creature will frustrate you, engage you, hook you, and throw you away when it's over. I literally just finished the story and I can't even put to words how I'm feeling. #Emotional Social Creature is an odd read for sure! The writing style is avant-garde, if you will, but as the story progresses, it's done to transport you into the psyche of Louise and Lavinia. The story, at times, breaks the fourth wall, which can be difficult to grasp at first. After the first three chapters, I almost wanted to give up because the writing style threw me for a loop. I think that this won't be the type of read for everyone, but everyone should come into this story with a clear mind. Once I get settled on the writing style, I realized how important it was to embrace it so the story could be perfected—I was captivated, I was hooked, and I was enamored by everything! As a resident of New York City, I understand how people can get caught up in the glitz and allure that the city can do to pull you in over your head. Let's be clear, none of the characters in Social Creature are likeable. But, at the end of the story, none of the characters are truly hate-able (is that a word?) either. Each character is so expertly characterized and portrayed, that it's too complicated to just write any of them off as lovable or detestable—they are much more multifaceted than that. With an original story and multidimensional characterization, Social Creature is a spectacularly unique story and I know it will be a success. Social Creature will be released on June 5, 2018. Thank you to Doubleday books for providing me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    ☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆

    I really enjoyed this novel and thought the storyline was unique. I qucikly became invested in the story and this book surely grabs your attention! The only thing that bugged me is the characters got on my nerves at times but hey it happens. Overall I think it was a good read and not your everyday thrill either. I recommend this novel!😀

  23. 5 out of 5

    Fareya

    You know how there are those books that give you all the chills and make you really uneasy, where you don't like a single thing that is happening with the plot and the characters bother you to bits, where the storyline is so disturbing that you almost pull out your hair, and yet it is nearly impossible to put the book down and you keep turning pages! Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton belongs in that category. Louise is an ordinary girl trying to make ends meet, struggling with multiple job You know how there are those books that give you all the chills and make you really uneasy, where you don't like a single thing that is happening with the plot and the characters bother you to bits, where the storyline is so disturbing that you almost pull out your hair, and yet it is nearly impossible to put the book down and you keep turning pages! Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton belongs in that category. Louise is an ordinary girl trying to make ends meet, struggling with multiple jobs when she meets rich and spoiled Lavinia. Soon they develop a deep bond and Louise is pulled into the dazzling glamorous lifestyle of parties, drinking and drugs. She is awestruck by it all and loves every moment of her new life. But nothing lasts forever, and when cracks start showing in their friendship, things turn ugly. This is a story about toxic friendships, unhealthy obsessions, morally questionable actions and detestable characters all based in the glitzy glamorous world of New York City. Beneath it all, Social Creature is also quietly clever. The characters are multidimensional and the manipulations subtle. Even though it gives away a lot towards the beginning, the build up is still sinister. There is no big twist and it is mostly about the hows rather than the whats, and yet, the transformations the characters go through is appalling and slightly scary. Burton has also made some excellent points on how much of our lives get portrayed on social media and how very misleading the screen life of check-ins and photos can be. Social Creature is a compulsively readable and bizarre story that is menacing and tragic at the same time. I liked it and yet didn't like it, hence the three stars. **Thank you Doubleday Books and Goodreads for my copy. I won this in the Goodreads giveaway**

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nicole (Read Eat Sleep Repeat)

    Several days after having finished Social Creature, I still have a lot of mixed feelings about it that I’m having trouble putting into words. But I’m going to try. The blurb for this book captured my attention immediately. But! If you haven’t read the blurb for this somewhere other than above – don’t! The one I read has a fairly large spoiler in it. Upon starting Social Creature, the writing style continued to captivate me. Told in the third person limited, it almost read like a piece of journalis Several days after having finished Social Creature, I still have a lot of mixed feelings about it that I’m having trouble putting into words. But I’m going to try. The blurb for this book captured my attention immediately. But! If you haven’t read the blurb for this somewhere other than above – don’t! The one I read has a fairly large spoiler in it. Upon starting Social Creature, the writing style continued to captivate me. Told in the third person limited, it almost read like a piece of journalism. Not only did I find this to be intriguing, but it also served the purpose to set some distance between myself and the characters while still being able to see the main character, Louise’s, thoughts. Which was a major factor as to how I could be so enthralled by a story that involved a plethora of drinking, drugs, sex, and otherwise deplorable behavior. And that’s the thing. A lot of dark and twisted things happen within these pages. The characters act terribly but most have redeeming moments (as people do). Social Creature is not what I would call a “nice” book. But it fascinated me. Given all that, I find it difficult to recommend Social Creature. If you like dark and twisted, by all means give this a shot. Otherwise, this may make you quite uncomfortable. Then again, it made me uncomfortable but I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy via Goodreads Giveaway!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bernadette

    Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton is one of those books that, when it ended, I didn’t know what to think. I’m still not sure. The book is extremely readable, I couldn’t stop. The story centers on the relationship of Lavinia and Louise, two twenty-somethings living in New York City. Lavinia is a beautiful young woman who lives off her parent’s money while on a “break” from grad school. Lavinia spends all of her time partying with other troubled and moneyed friends, she meets Louise, a meek Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton is one of those books that, when it ended, I didn’t know what to think. I’m still not sure. The book is extremely readable, I couldn’t stop. The story centers on the relationship of Lavinia and Louise, two twenty-somethings living in New York City. Lavinia is a beautiful young woman who lives off her parent’s money while on a “break” from grad school. Lavinia spends all of her time partying with other troubled and moneyed friends, she meets Louise, a meek mousy woman who has three part-time jobs. Lavinia takes an interest in her when Louise is hired to tutor Lavinia’s sister Cordelia, and the glamorous Lavinia effectively adopts Louise. Plain Jane becomes a project for Lavinia, she gives Louise makeovers and fancy dresses, and takes her to the opera and parties all over New York City. Oh the places Lavinia goes. The parties are often bizarre and creepy. I couldn’t help thinking of Stephon (Bill Hader) on SNL’s Weekend Update when Lavinia described the parties throughout the story. Reading about one of them made me feel like I needed a shower. The thing about this book: there are NO likeable characters, except maybe Rex, and he’s not anyone I’d want to know either. Yet, I still had trouble putting the book down. I think this will be a very popular summer read, especially among 20 and 30-somethings. So, I’m giving the book a 3.5, rounded up, for readability and suspense. Many thanks to NetGalley, Doubleday and Tara Isabella Burton for the ARC.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)

    3.5 stars, rounding to 4 First, let me say what a deliciously creepy book this is. Obsession, lying, conniving, compulsive... makes me question everyone around me! Second, I've seen TONS of comparisons of this to The Talented Mr. Ripley... which I saw the movie ages ago and never read the book so while I can see how it is, that kind of got lost on me in making any type of comparison myself (which I'm grateful for). The writing style was a bit different than what I'm used to. Honestly, if I had to 3.5 stars, rounding to 4 First, let me say what a deliciously creepy book this is. Obsession, lying, conniving, compulsive... makes me question everyone around me! Second, I've seen TONS of comparisons of this to The Talented Mr. Ripley... which I saw the movie ages ago and never read the book so while I can see how it is, that kind of got lost on me in making any type of comparison myself (which I'm grateful for). The writing style was a bit different than what I'm used to. Honestly, if I had to read Lavinia's name one more time, I was going to scream. In one paragraph alone, it was used ten times. I realize this was probably used to show just how crazy the obsession was and it definitely served its purpose. This crazy story shows the spectrum of lifestyles in NYC - the posh, rich, spoiled girl who spends money like it is nothing - ultimately buying her friends who somehow end up falling under her spell; the poor, living paycheck to paycheck girl with low self esteem that just wants to be noticed. A chance encounter and the unstable relationship that ensues. I absolutely loved the glitz and glamour and being able to know and vividly picture the various scenes around NYC. 😍 I recognized several places from the descriptions alone. A different take on the obsession thriller that will have you cringing in the best way. Thank you to Doubleday for this copy!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest I heard no preliminary hype about this book - it just kind of appeared out of the ether, but I really liked the Black Swan vibe I got from the cover and the blurb on Goodreads compared this book to Donna Tartt and Gillian Flynn, two authors whose works I regularly five star because they're amazing. Here's the thing, though: Burton is in no way on the same level as those two authors and to compare them is unfair to both parties. It's like sa Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest I heard no preliminary hype about this book - it just kind of appeared out of the ether, but I really liked the Black Swan vibe I got from the cover and the blurb on Goodreads compared this book to Donna Tartt and Gillian Flynn, two authors whose works I regularly five star because they're amazing. Here's the thing, though: Burton is in no way on the same level as those two authors and to compare them is unfair to both parties. It's like saying that people who like Brandon Sanderson should read Piers Anthony because they're both fantasy novels. While this is true, their target audiences are totally different, and you're only going to set up the comparison to fail due to unrealistic expectations. SOCIAL CREATURE definitely aspires to be a 21st century work of F. Scott Fitzgeraldian or Edith Whartian proportions. Set in the upscale parts of New York, it features two layabouts with social aspirations named Louise and Lavinia. Louise is one of those drab, pale people who just sort of exist while wandering through life like a ghost. She gloms on to Lavinia, a flamboyantly lazy intellectual, who quotes poetry and writes Instagram captions in French, but doesn't have a job and still lives off her parents. Louise, struggling to survive, ends up becoming closer and closer to Lavinia, and there's a homerotic vibe of fascination as their relationship deepens that's reminiscent of works like Dare Me, A Separate Peace, and The Great Gatsby. Louise becomes uncomfortably fascinated with Lavinia as she figures out how to manipulate her friend-and-possibly-more, but Lavinia is not as lazy as she appears and sometimes she knows exactly when she's being manipulated and isn't afraid to wreak her revenge. Both girls are absolutely garbage human beings and so are all their friends. In some ways, this book reminded me of another book I read, SOCIABLE, which was also set in New York, only it targets the social media and tech-using set instead of the lazy armchair intellectual. I actually liked SOCIABLE more because it was more relatable and had some cuttingly astute observations. By contrast, SOCIAL CREATURE tried much too hard and had far too little payoff, and was written in an overly precious way, particularly in the beginning where it had a distinctly "This is Jane. See Jane run" narrative style. I might have liked this book if it had more depth, because Tarryn Fisher, Gillian Flynn, and yes, Donna Tartt, all excel at writing antiheroines. But this was just dull and derivative. I can't recommend this book and I honestly question whether the person who wrote that blurb had read either Donna Tartt or Gillian Flynn, because the really are nothing alike. 2 to 2.5 stars

  28. 3 out of 5

    Nikki (Saturday Nite Reader)

    You know how most thrillers keep you on edge a bit throughout the book and typically towards the end there is that “hold your breath” moment. Well, for me this happened at the halfway point of this book and my heart and chest hurt right until the very end. It wasn’t an overwhelming, constant pulse – but more a slow and growing build up of “how the heck is this going to play out?!” I was on the edge of my seat most of this book, not waiting for a twist: waiting for the ball to drop. Louise is twent You know how most thrillers keep you on edge a bit throughout the book and typically towards the end there is that “hold your breath” moment. Well, for me this happened at the halfway point of this book and my heart and chest hurt right until the very end. It wasn’t an overwhelming, constant pulse – but more a slow and growing build up of “how the heck is this going to play out?!” I was on the edge of my seat most of this book, not waiting for a twist: waiting for the ball to drop. Louise is twenty-nine and has no friends, three jobs, and is still broke in NYC. She befriends twenty-three year old Lavinia, a free spirit gypsy type who is living off her rich parents. It’s a dark and twisty friendship, really twisty. You know what you are getting with Lavinia, but Louise is another story. They are opposites – with this frenemy vibe – and you don’t know which one is really in the driver’s seat at any given time. Well obviously something happens at the 50% mark, and the rest of the story is spent waiting to see what fate will have in store. A deeper message that I pulled from this story was: we only see what we want to see. We can be easily duped if we are not really looking and listening to those around us; if we are only consumed with ourselves. My goodness, I think I may still be recovering. You see, I stayed up well past my bedtime to finish the last quarter of the book. I had too. I could not go to bed and let this story linger into another day. It is a quick read. The chapters are long, but the scenes within them are short and move quickly. It’s rather trippy at times and just enough is given, but without giving enough (kind of like Louise’s personality) and you become addicted to finding out what the heck is going on. Author Tara Isabella Burton’s writing style is my jam. To read my reviews visit: www.saturdaynitereader.com

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    Thank you to Doubleday Books #partner for sending me Social Creature. I buddy read this one with my fave! I started this yesterday and was finished by this morning. Social Creature was strange and weird but in a good way. Different, I’d say. Louise Wilson is living in NYC working three jobs in hopes to becoming a writer. One of her jobs is tutoring students for SATs. Lavinia Williams contacts Louise to help her younger sister get ready. Well, a night of tutoring leads to actual babysitting. Lavi Thank you to Doubleday Books #partner for sending me Social Creature. I buddy read this one with my fave! I started this yesterday and was finished by this morning. Social Creature was strange and weird but in a good way. Different, I’d say. Louise Wilson is living in NYC working three jobs in hopes to becoming a writer. One of her jobs is tutoring students for SATs. Lavinia Williams contacts Louise to help her younger sister get ready. Well, a night of tutoring leads to actual babysitting. Lavinia comes home very late and apologizes to Louise. She tells Louise she will take her out and make it up to her. This is how the two become fast friends. Louise learns that Lavinia lives that rich life. She has gorgeous clothes, she goes out every single night and never worries about money. Louise is the total opposite but Lavinia is generous enough to let her borrow some things. The two attend clubs, operas, parties etc. They drink and do drugs. Their friendship is turning into something else. They both need each other for different things but sometimes too close turns toxic. Ooo lies, secrets, sex, drama juicy juicy! When I first started reading this I was sure one of the characters was a crack addict. Not even kidding. The way she talks and then stops or repeating herself. She wasn’t a crack addict though just very strange. But, I liked this one and would recommend. 4 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Sagan

    **I was sent this book in return for an honest review. This did not affect my review.** * Woow, this was siiick! Sick and toxic and sad and scary and RELATABLE and I loved it! If this book doesn’t ring your alarm bells, I don’t know what will. Maybe only Black Mirror. * I loved the style. It was weird at the beginning but you get used to it. The characters? You will hate them. Almost all of them are terrible human beings. But you will also love them. Because you know at some point you did some of th **I was sent this book in return for an honest review. This did not affect my review.** * Woow, this was siiick! Sick and toxic and sad and scary and RELATABLE and I loved it! If this book doesn’t ring your alarm bells, I don’t know what will. Maybe only Black Mirror. * I loved the style. It was weird at the beginning but you get used to it. The characters? You will hate them. Almost all of them are terrible human beings. But you will also love them. Because you know at some point you did some of those things too. You can understand them. You know how it feels like to want someone else’s lifestyle. Someone else’s friends. Someone else’s everything. You know how it feels like to fake it and try being someone else. It was so honest and relatable it made me feel... guilty. * All in all this is a 4.5. I wouldn’t put it on the same shelves as my other 5 stars books, but it’s very close. Would I recommend it? YES! Go read it! * Here’s the thing: there’s only so much you can lie to yourself. You can blunt instinct, if you want to – you can drink too much, you can laugh and smile and reapply your lipstick and say let us get drunk, on poetry and virtue, you can pretend to be a human being, a little while – but in the end, you are what you are.

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