ARCs · Book Reviews

ARC Review: Influence by Sara Shepard and Lilia Buckingham

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.

Release Date: January 5th, 2021

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review! Thanks to Delacorte Press for the opportunity!*

I used to be obsessed with the Pretty Little Liars series, so I have been looking forward to Sara Shepard’s new book with Lilia Buckingham for a while. Influence is a fast-paced, drama-filled, mystery set in the crazy world of influencers in California. The storylines were plotted well and it seemed to follow the Pretty Little Liars formula closely, including an almost “A” like character in Scarlet Leigh. It was an effective choice for this plot and these characters, if not entirely fresh. There were a lot of twists and red herrings that made it exciting and fun to read, and I never knew what was coming next. I really liked the characters, Jasmine and the mysterious Scarlet especially, and what I appreciated was that even though they were dealing with some pretty adult subject matter, they still seemed like teenagers. It has a little bit of everything with a great mix of drama, romance, family, sexuality, and coming of age, all while navigating the chaotic life of social media and fame. The world of influencers is a fascinating and wild subject in itself and though I know it is very real, it almost feels hard to believe. This book is a solid standalone, but there is definitely enough of an open door to write another one, and I know I would like to see more of these characters.

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