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by Sara Shepard; Lilia Buckingham
Pub Date: 05 Jan 2021

Glad I stuck with it! Went from an almost DNF to 3 stars to 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐. Might have been my disinterest, disdain, or dread of the effect social media has on this generation of teens that initially had me turned off, but as the plot developed, there was a real story behind all of the 'influencing' going on. [Get your cringe ready for an "in my day" story... when I was a teen, we were only worried if our business got out there if the teacher intercepted a note we passed in class or a parent picked up the extension of the phone while we were on the line.]

I read the beginning trying to deny or dismiss the reality that so many teens hope they'll be the next Internet sensation and monetize their notoriety. I didn't just want to be reading about the wannabes and cliques. By persisting, I was gifted with a well-crafted story that highlighted the not-so-glamorous side of teen Internet fame as well as the public perks. I'm sure Sara Shepard's fandom will be hooked on Influence as much as they are on Pretty Little Liars. Even readers unfamiliar with the Pretty Little Liars series (insert blush and finger-pointing here) will become engrossed as the author deftly crafted false leads as to whom the murderer could have been. I liked flip-flopping my choice of criminal as the story progressed.

There's something for everyone in the book: physical and mental illnesses, friendships and back-stabbing, romances and break-ups, straight and gay, good home lives and dysfunctional families, and race-fluid characters. parties and murder. This will be a great addition to my HS library.
Posted by Pseudandry at 7/29/2020 08:37:00 AM

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