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Review: Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton (June 5, 2018 / Doubleday)

(Disclaimer: I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review).

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.

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. 

My Review:
This book had so many covers, but the most popular one (the one with the fabulous eye makeup) isn't shown. However, it wasn't the cover that drew me in. I was initially drawn to this book because of the first line of the publisher's summary, "They go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them." I have recently fallen in love with New York City and its High Line so this line alone sold me on the fact that I needed to read this book. I had some problems with the story when I first started reading and very seriously considered giving up on it because I was too overwhelmed by the character of Lavinia. She exhausted me. I had to set aside the book for a while and decide if I wanted to come back to it. That usually means...I don't come back to it. But I did pick it back up a couple weeks later and read it straight through. I found it edgy but problematic. Some scenes needed more detail while others were too detailed. The fragmented storyline kept me guessing and I can see how the author did that to mirror the whirlwind of action around Louise and Lavinia. This book didn't shock or "wow" me, but it is memorable. 


Carmen said...

This is the second review I read today about this novel. It seems there are some (big) caveats, yet it is compulsively readable towards the end. Now I'm intrigued. :-)

Judy Krueger said...

Possibly a good idea but in the hands of a debut author it has some problems? Anyway, thanks for introducing me to the high line of NYC. I had not known about it before.

Catherine said...

Oh my gosh, thank you!! I have two blogging friends whose opinions I trust who thought this was great, so I was doubting myself, but had the exact same reaction I did. Whew.

I also put it down, but for over two weeks. I only finished it because I thought it must be me and yet I still ended up feeling it was ridiculous. Without putting a spoiler in a comment there is simply NO way it could have played out that way. That, on top of how dreadful Lavinia was (and I love an unlikable character), meant this was not a book I was happy to have read. Thank you for validating my opinion!