It’s perfect, but is it real? Influence follows the lives of four teen influencers who live what seem like perfect lives: Delilah Rollins, a newbie who shot to fame after posting a viral video, Jasmine Walters-Diaz, a former child star who’s tired of hiding her real self, Fiona Jacobs, an aspiring actress who harbors a dark secret from her past, and Scarlet Leigh, the quintessential mean girl of the group. In the whirlwind of events and auditions and shoots, the tension escalates and one of the girls ends up dead. As the other girls try to root out the killer, they are reminded again and again of how dark the dark side of social media really is — and of how far others are willing to go to get ahead.
This book was extremely entertaining, and took me for quite a ride. There were so many twists and turns, and the story definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. The characters were all intriguing, and I loved how authentic and fast-paced the storytelling was. The book also explored some important issues, which included diet culture, mental health, and sexuality. However, I do think that the character development felt a bit forced — it seemed like the author tried to cram in all of the development at the very end instead of having the characters consistently grow throughout the story. In addition, the romance fell flat for me, since there was a larger focus on the characters themselves and there wasn’t much time dedicated to building up the romantic relationships. Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it anyone who enjoys a fast-paced, drama-filled murder mystery.