Social Creature

Social Creature

by Tara Isabella Burton


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Social Creature: A Novel 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Great Gatsby meets The Talented Mr. Ripley. A well written, compulsive read. I could not put it down. It would be a great choice for book clubs as it's quite thought provoking.
Anonymous 21 days ago
JEarlM More than 1 year ago
Social Creature from Tara Isabella Burton is one of the few books I have read that I have a very difficult time deciding how much I like or dislike it. Oddly enough, that alone makes me like it a bit more, I like things that are, in themselves, problematic. First, the characters are largely not very likable, which is fine. The scene we're thrust into is one of money, entitlement, and drugs/alcohol, so there aren't going to be many likable people in this world. If you must have a person to like in a novel, you probably won't like this one (or you're an unlikable person and relate to them too well). Of course, being unlikable doesn't mean there aren't things about them we can relate to. We all want to be loved, respected, appreciated, and all those other types of things. While most of us don't and wouldn't go to the extremes of these characters we can, if we make the effort, relate to there basic needs and/or what in their past made them particularly susceptible to a particular aspect of this toxic scene. The part that is scary, in a "this might be something that could happen" way, is the role social media plays in the plot. Is what happened in the novel likely to be something one could get away with? Probably not to the extent the plot allows it to go to. However, that does not mean social media can't be used in these ways to a lesser extreme but with equally dark results. I have seen that some readers didn't like the ending. While I understand their complaint, I found it to be an excellent illustration of Louise's true character. You would think with all that happens to that point we would already know her, but the end really drives the point home. Those relatively positive points are countered by some things I found less enjoyable. I could put aside the fact I thought what Louise was getting away with was far-fetched, that is part of this genre. But it just seemed that some things were on a continuous loop which made the story drag a bit for me. Similar scenes illustrating characteristics we have already been shown. After several of these types of scenes I was a little bored. While the writing was good it just seemed like the premise, as Burton had developed it, didn't make a full length novel so some repetition helped fill in the middle and later portions. This may have worked much better as a novella than a novel, or perhaps had more background prior to Louise and Lavinia meeting. What background we did get was through a sort of reminiscing, which I did like, so any other background would have needed to still allow for those moments. For it was in those moments that we glimpsed what might help create a person like either Louise or Lavinia. I would recommend this to readers who can still enjoy a well-written novel that has some flaws. I do think the basic premise is a large part of what made me give the rating a slight boost. Reviewed from a copy made available through Goodreads First Reads.
Rhonda-Runner1 More than 1 year ago
I really tried to get into this book and like it but it was impossible. Maybe if I was a really young person I would have liked it better. I guess all the nonstop partying and doing drugs did not interest me. I could not even finish it. I won this book and I am so glad it did not cost me anything. I was so disappointed.
UpAllNightBB More than 1 year ago
Tara Isabella Burton’s Social Creature is one dark twisted read that will turn your world upside down and flip you back over again, just to mess with you one more time. Lavinia is an impulsive free spirit whose family has provided her with a lavish lifestyle. When her path crosses with Louise who is studious and responsible, they build a unique friendship that creates waves through both of their lives. What seems like a mutually beneficial friendship turns into a dark, toxic relationship that includes posh parties, alcohol, drugs and flamboyant social media posts. Things quickly spiral out of control and that’s when the wild ride begins. What extremes will someone go to in order to sustain their lifestyle or simply survive? There is not much I can say about this one without giving away too much. A blind approach is the best bet on this one. The short blurb provided is all you need because any more than that and you will not get the full affect. This story felt to me like the writing style of Mary Kubica with the darkness of Gillian Flynn. It was unique, quirky, unexpected and ominous. I consumed it in one sitting on a beautiful sunny afternoon, but the irony was not lost on me. I felt like I was under a gloomy veil of sinister secrets and chilling deceit despite my surroundings. Don’t drop your guard because this one will knock the wind out of you when you aren’t looking. 4 shocking stars *Review by Amy, Late Night Reviewer for Up All Night with Books Blog*
JCNash More than 1 year ago
Social Creature is the story of Louise, a 29-year old woman whose first years in New York City have not quite panned out the way she hoped. Between her three jobs she is barely able to pay her rent, never mind afford the exciting NYC lifestyle she had envisioned. All this changes when, through an ad for an SAT tutor, Louise meets Lavinia, a wealthy socialite in her mid-20's who is taking time off from college. In no time, Louise is swept in to Lavinia's world and doesn't realize until it's too late the cost. Overall, this was a very similar read to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. It's a dark, gritty tale about obsession and the things some people are willing to do to get what they want, and the things some people are willing to lose. I was fascinated by just how far Louise would go to stay in Lavinia's good graces so she could continue to have the life Lavinia promised, and also by how Lavinia took advantage of this, maneuvering so that she held the puppet strings of Louise's good favor. I appreciated the author's focus on the relationship between Louise and Lavinia - there are plenty of novels that characterize manipulative romantic relationships, but not so many that talk about how platonic friendships can also become this way. I also loved the NYC setting for this novel - Burton's descriptions of the city throughout brought life to the story. I found the plot line in this book fairly believable, up until closer to the end - I just didn't buy the Louise we follow at the end of the book. Overall, this book gets 3.5 stars for interest and plot, rounded up to a solid 4 stars for excellent writing. Also, this is not a book for sensitive readers (sex, drugs, alcohol, physical violence) or readers who require either a likable character or a character with a redemption arc (you won't find much of that here.)