Author: Tara Isabella Burton
Title: Social Creatures
Genre(s): Women's fiction; Thriller and suspense; Contemporary women
Chilling, provocative, whimsical
If you choose to start this novel, be prepared to leave everything behind and become incredibly distracted from your daily activities. Social Creatures will become your addiction, with its sing-songy descriptions, fanciful characters, and gripping plot. Similar to Behind Her Eyes: A Novel and Behind Closed Doors, this novel is enticing and quite deceptive to the very end.
Louise is a very plain twenty-something who wishes very much for her life to be different. As the tale begins, we see exactly how mundane her daily existence is. She goes to work, wallows in her own misery, wishes her life were different, and goes to sleep. There is nothing exciting about Louise....until she meets Lavinia. Lavinia is a charismatic, passionate, wealthy, socialite who tends to adopt those who are less fortunate than herself. Tara clearly defines both young women through her writing, as Louise's point of view tends to be more dry, methodical, and obsessive. While Lavinia's point of view is poetic, enchanting, and romantic. There was never a moment, as a reader, when I could not tell whose journey I was on. The best way to describe the first 3/4 of this book is that it is a whirlwind friendship that will leave you wanting more of the chaos. Tara slowly unveils the unruly nature of the girls' relationship and once the threads were loosened, it was like witnessing a horrific train accident; I could not turn my eyes away and the pages just kept turning. Despite the second half of Social Creatures being fast-paced and mind-blowing, I found it somewhat difficult to maintain interest during the first half. I understand the buildup was necessary, but I think there were some scenes that I could have done without to speed up the pace. If you enjoy slow burners that take their time unfolding, but once they are open they become completely unhinged, then you will absolutely enjoy this novel. Tara's writing style is unlike any other and it captivated me from the moment I started reading. She definitely has a unique style that is sharp and witty. Overall, it was amazing to witness the deception of Louise's character and the dynamic of a twisted friendship between two disturbed women.
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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