Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Influence by Sara Shepard and Lilia Buckingham – ARC Review

My Rating ~ Four and a half stars

RELEASE DATE: 12 January 2021

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Format: Paperback

Pages: 361


After a video she makes goes viral, everyone knows Delilah Rollins. And now that she’s in LA, Delilah’s standing on the edge of something incredible. Everything is going to change. She has no idea how much.

Jasmine Walters-Diaz grew up in the spotlight. A child star turned media darling, the posts of her in her classic Lulu C. rainbow skirt practically break the Internet. But if the world knew who Jasmine really was, her perfect life? Canceled.

Fiona Jacobs is so funny–the kind of girl for whom a crowd parts–no wonder she’s always smiling! But on the inside? The girl’s a hot mess. And when someone comes out of the shadows with a secret from her past, it’s one that won’t just embarrass Fiona: it will ruin her.

Who wouldn’t want to be Scarlet Leigh? Just look at her Instagram. Scarlet isn’t just styled to perfection: she is perfection. Scarlet has a gorgeous, famous boyfriend named Jack and there’s a whole fanbase about their ship. To everyone watching online, their lives seem perfect . . . but are they really? The sun is hot in California . . . and someone’s going to get burned.



Thankyou to Hachette Australia for providing me with a copy of Influence, in exchange for an honest review.

Delilah and her family have just moved to LA.  After gaining some notoriety on social media for saving a puppy from a burning building, Delilah, ‘Lila D’, is keen to rub shoulders with high end influencers and be a part of their world.  When she meets insta-famous Jasmine and Fiona, she can’t believe they know who she is and want to be her friend.  She quickly learns not everything is as perfect as it seems in the world of social media fame, especially when she finds herself the subject of anonymous internet hate, for chatting to the boyfriend of an influencer known for her callous streak.  It turns out everyone has something to hide, but how far would they go to protect their secrets?

Influence is one of those books that made me feel like I probably shouldn’t be as invested as I was, but I just could not stop reading, in the same way that I could not stop watching Pretty Little Liars. 😄 The first chapter sucked me right in and I ended up reading it all in one day.  I’ve read a few books about the world of high influencers now and I don’t know how embellished they are or whether it’s an accurate example of how these people actually live, although I understand one of the co-writers, Lilia Buckingham was a teenage actor and Instagram sensation, so I assume there is some truth breathed into the Influencer world.  I don’t really have an interest in fashion or lifestyle bloggers, I stick to books and plants where it’s slightly saner and our followers don’t usually creep into the millions 😅  I really loved Jasmine’s character and poor sweet, naive Delilah.  I imagine much of what the characters experience in Influence is similar to child stars – especially with fame hungry parents and a life that is not their own.  I felt like we didn’t get much of a back story on how or why any of the girls actually became famous, other than Jasmine, and to a lesser extent, Delilah.  I would have liked more information on Fiona, Scarlet and Jack’s journey on their rise to fame.

If you enjoy books (or TV shows) that make for compulsive reading, with multiple twists, where you’re never really sure if you can trust anyone, definitely give Influence a go!


Photo via my Instagram account – Bookbookowl

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