Social Creature

Read: Yes
Length: 320
Quick Review: A psychological thriller delving into friendship, social media, and the power of perception.


I’m not a huge fan of thrillers, they’re just not my thing. The ones I took a chance on recently were beyond horrendous. (Looking at you Sinner.) DoubleDay Books reached out to me, and I have always enjoyed their books. So I said, “sure.” Fingers crossed this would not be painful.

Social Creature, well… it’s cringe worthy in the best way possible. Like I said, I don’t have tons of experience with thrillers, but this has everything you could possibly want. It’s a thriller for the social media generation.

It’s a thriller meets Gossip Girl meets Great Gatsby. Louise is almost thirty and barely getting by in New York City. Working several jobs and exhausted, she is as far away from the dream as she can get. Lavinia is in her early twenties with the world begging for her attentions. Louise and Lavinia meet and start up a whirlwind friendship. Lavinia introduces Louise to all the right people because “things just happen” for her. The two friends waffle between mania and codependency.

That’s all I’m giving you of the plot because any more and you’ll know too much! Social Creature has you reading and asking so many questions! Will they be answered? Or will you end up in a book hangover?

Not only a thriller, it reads as a social critique of wealth, friendship, mental health, singledom, high society, education, and more. There is an exploration of how integral social media has become in our daily lives, in interacting with people, in receiving validation, and in our identities. There are so many references from classical literature, to opera, to music, and a bit in between; I loved it.

Narrated from an omniscient third party, but there is definitely a leaning towards Louise’s side of the story. The narrator breaks the fourth wall speaking directly to the reader. The reader is let in on the secret learning things that are yet to come long before the characters are aware. The style Burton uses is abrupt and disjointed. It is excellently crafted and fits the story perfectly.

Sometimes, I have a difficulty reading dialogue by contemporary authors because it can feel forced. Burton has some of the best contemporary dialogue I have read in a long while. It is perfectly executed for the audience, characters, age, and location of the novel. It is really well done.

With an impressive resume already, this is Burton’s debut novel, and she writes superbly. It is set to be released on June 5 of this year. I have a feeling it will be one of the summer’s must read novels. Perfect for the beach or wherever your vacation will take you.

Title: Social Creature
Author: Tara Isabella Burton
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Copyright: 2018
ISBN: 9780385543521


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