Monday 4 April 2016

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

ViralViral by Helen Fitzgerald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Publisher - Faber & Faber

Pages - 272

Blurb from Goodreads

So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety six people have seen me online. They include my mother, my father, my little sister, my grandmother, my other grandmother, my grandfather, my boss, my sixth year Biology teacher and my boyfriend James.

When Leah Oliphant-Brotheridge and her adopted sister Su go on holiday together to Magaluf to celebrate their A-levels, only Leah returns home. Her successful, swotty sister remains abroad, humiliated and afraid: there is an online video of her, drunkenly performing a sex act in a nightclub. And everyone has seen it.

Ruth Oliphant-Brotheridge, mother of the girls, successful court judge, is furious. How could this have happened? How can she bring justice to these men who took advantage of her dutiful, virginal daughter? What role has Leah played in all this? And can Ruth find Su and bring her back home when Su doesn't want to be found?

My Review

The opening line of this book packs a punch and leaves the reader in no doubt about what the book is about. Su just wants her sister Leah to like her like she did when they were kids, so going away to Magaluf with her friends seems the way to go. But when Su is filmed perfoming a sex act and the video goes viral, all of their lives change. Su is MIA, their parents are besides themselves and just want her home safe and the perpetrators punished, Leah is keeping quiet and everyone but everyone knows what has happened.

Aw poor Su, swotty, geeky and a top student, her whole life is laid out for her until that fateful holiday with her sister, then with the press of a button it is all gone. Ruth, their mother, is a judge and she is out for blood, someone will pay and she will get Su back.

This story sees the devastating effects one drunken decision can have on a family, how quickly life can unravel and how helpless anyone can be when something like this happens. The ferociousness of one mothers love and strength to right a wrong and how powerless people really are when someone is let loose online. It is about self growth and identity, love, relationships, loss & just how vulnerable anyone can be to the internet! A bit graphic in some of the scene descriptions that some readers may find uncomfortable, remember this is about a sex act going viral. Thanks so much to Netgalley for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review, 4/5 for me.

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1 comment:

  1. Great commentary on this book.

    This sounds so good. The plot seems to tackle some huge issues that now confront our modern world. The digital age as created all sorts of new problems and issues such as this book illustrates. Based upon your description, this could have been a true story.


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