Book Review: Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

ViralWhat’s it about?

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 thoughts

“Like everyone else in this place, she left her senses at home with her raincoat”

And therein, I feel, sets the moral of this story….

Well..the opening line kind of sets the tone for the rest of the book – I’ll let you discover that for one for yourselves. Suffice to say, I can’t see this book being found on any low supermarket shelf. It’s hard to read in places with very sexually explicit scenes and is probably not a book to leave around for young people to find.

It’s very easy to see and understand how Su would find herself in this situation, the whole Magaluf holiday lifestyle is certainly an eye-opener and totally believable especially if you’ve watched those warts and all TV shows.

I found some of Ruth’s actions extreme and wasn’t entirely convinced that her and some of the characters actions were believeable. I think she was looking for someone else to blame and whilst this book highlights the differences between legally and morally wrong and making people sorry for their actions she was looking in the wrong place.

Gone are the days when “today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip paper”. Here is a book which is very of our time; where one click online can last a lifetime! You have been warned!

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Connect with the author Helen Fitzgerald

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Talk of the Town

WWW Wednesday (February 17th)

WWW WednesdayThis weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what’s on your reading list this week…

To join in, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

I’m currently reading…

The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

I’d picked this from my TBR jar last month but had to put it aside to dedicate time to my book club reads. I’ve since read 3 other books (naughty me) and now have been guilt-tripped into reading it my daughter. It’s a strange read but rather sweet, I just haven’t quite worked out yet what it’s really about!

The Rabbit Back Literature SocietyThe blurb

Ella Milana is a literature teacher, and the possessor of beautifully curving lips.

But when she starts trying to unearth the truth behind the Society, Ella finds a lot more than she bargained for. What is ‘The Game’? Why are the words inside books rearranging themselves? And what explains the strange disappearance of an author, in a whirlwind of snow?

 


I recently finished

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

An interesting take on social media and its darker side. Very sexually explicit, and quite hard to read if you have a teenage daughter. Not really ideal for leaving on the coffee table.

ViralThe blurb

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?

I’ve also read….

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

This book seems to have been on every blogger’s radar over the past weeks and for good reason. A fast-paced police procedural thriller from an author who either has insider knowledge of how a police investigation is carried out or carries out impeccable research; believed every bit.

The Girl in the IceThe blurb

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding? …


What’s up next?

A Husband’s Confession by Zoë Miller

This has been on my book shelf for well over a year and is my next pick from my TBR jar.

ahusbandsconfessionThe blurb

When Ali met Max in the summer of 1990, he turned her empty life around and filled it with love. Now, years on, Ali’s greatest fear is that her happiness and contentment might be taken away from her. But just as Max’s star is rising, unsettling incidents at their artisan bakery in Dublin’s creative quarter threaten to damage the reputation of the bakery.

Finn and Jo were running away from heartache when they met in Australia over 20 years ago. But now Finn is in shock after the demise of his gritty role in a popular television crime drama, and Jo fears for him and their marriage. Then an accident on a Saturday night has devastating consequences for both families, tearing their lives apart in ways they never imagined.


Have you read any of this week’s choices or share what books you’re reading?

WWW Wednesday (February 10th)

WWW WednesdayThis weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what’s on your reading list this week…

To join in, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

I’m currently reading…

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

This looks to be a book very of our time; where one click online can last a lifetime!

ViralThe blurb

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?


I recently finished

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

I had high hopes for this one but it fell a little flat for me. The scenes with the initial meeting on the train and the subsequent murders were really good; very tense in fact but the rest of it I just felt was padding. Think this was more about my own expectations though.

Strangers on a trainThe blurb

Here we encounter Guy Haines and Charles Anthony Bruno, passengers on the same train. But while Guy is a successful architect in the midst of a divorce, Bruno turns out to be a sadistic psychopath who manipulates Guy into swapping murders with him. “Some people are better off dead,” Bruno remarks, “like your wife and my father, for instance.” As Bruno carries out his twisted plan, Guy is trapped in Highsmith’s perilous world, where, under the right circumstances, anybody is capable of murder.

 

I’ve also read….

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

This was our latest book club which we’ll actually be discussing this evening. In all honesty, I found most of it a bit of a chore to get through. It’s a shame really because I really felt for the main character, Teddy, and his experiences but overall I found it over-wordy and over-long.

A God In RuinsThe blurb

A God in Ruins relates the life of Teddy Todd – would-be poet, heroic World War II bomber pilot, husband, father, and grandfather – as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.

This gripping, often deliriously funny yet emotionally devastating book looks at war – that great fall of Man from grace – and the effect it has, not only on those who live through it, but on the lives of the subsequent generations. It is also about the infinite magic of fiction.


What’s up next?

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

I’d seen this book doing the rounds on other blogs and receiving high praise. I was lucky enough to be approved for a copy via Netgalley.

The Girl in the IceThe blurb

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding? …


Have you read any of this week’s choices or share what books you’re reading?