Social Creature - Tara Isabella Burton

March 25, 2019

5 / 5 Stars


Bright, lyrical and urgent - an excellent update on the thriller genre.

Full confession here - when I first got approved for this book, I thought I'd be opening the pages of yet another suspense / thriller book. There's nothing wrong with those types of novels, but to be honest, the same slightly tired tropes keep being wheeled out, which does get a bit wearing.

However, right from the first few pages, I realised this was not one of those books. What I got instead was something that felt far more elusive, tricksy and occasionally poetic. As this novel so succinctly says - 'more poetry please!'


Louise, in her own words, f*cks things up. In her late twenties, she's working several dead-end jobs and has nothing going for her, until she meets Lavinia. Lavinia is a sparkling socialite, wild, free and slightly unhinged, and the two become close. Dangerously close, in fact.

Louise, it turns out, does indeed f*ck things up. In fact, she does so very badly. The big question is - just how long can she keep this hidden from everyone else?

There were so many things to love about this book. The rich depictions of the characters lifted them right out of the book, and it was easy to live their pampered, hedonistic world. Interestingly, neither of the two protagonists were likeable, but that added to it, rather than taking away. It was a pleasure to not get emotionally attached, and to watch the action with a more dispassionate eye.

As for the plot-twists? The major one (in the middle) I sort of suspected might happen; but the end I definitely didn't see coming, and it was satisfying. But for me, the best aspect of this novel was the writing itself; I LOVE it when an author dares to step out of the realm of the conventional and deliver something fresh and exciting. This felt very immediate, almost dream-like in places, and I really enjoyed that. 

Overall, a marvellous read. Well impressed.


I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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