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Influence is a book about 4 influencers, who are living picture-perfect lives, at least on social media. In reality, however, nothing is as flawless as it seems online. After saving a puppy from a burning shed and recently moving to LA, Delilah starts to become a popular figure, and wants to dive headfirst into the world of influencers. But without knowing how to properly navigate this unknown environment, the tides might just sweep her away. Jasmine, who became famous as a young actress, is known for her classic Lulu C. rainbow skirt, and is a popular figure in the public eye. But on the inside, she doesn’t want to be all rainbows and sunshine, and is dying to be her true self. Fiona is a cheerful, lively person who is adored by her fans, and is someone everyone wants to be with. But with her OCD and guilt for an event that happened a long time ago, Fiona’s world feels like it is crumbling. Scarlet is the definition of perfection, from her outfits to her boyfriend. But Scarlet has numerous different layers, and truly understanding her is next to impossible. Each of these girls come from different backgrounds, but are entwined in an engaging story that will have readers begging for more. Everything seems to be going well for these 4 influencers, but with one tragic event, they might have to kiss their perfect lives goodbye.
I really liked the overall plot and style of Influence. The character development was really nice, and made the lives of Delilah, Jasmine, Fiona, and Scarlet very realistic. This book started off on a pleasant note, but took a sinister, dark turn in between, completely changing the mood of the book. It was also really interesting to see the different aspects of each of the characters, and getting to know who they really were. As the book went on, the reader could see the characters grow into mature people, while not losing their spirit. One thing I didn’t like about this book was the inconsistency. While the book was written well for the most part, there were certain parts of the book where details on varying levels of importance weren’t completely clear. Additionally, there were some areas where the topic abruptly changed, leaving the reader somewhat confused and unsure.
One memorable thing about this book was the different topics and questions it discussed. Throughout the book, Shepard addressed things such as OCD, anxiety, sexuality, eating disorders, and how one sees themselves. This really made it a well-rounded book, and gave important lessons to the reader while they read an engaging, well-thought-out story.
Reviewed by Heena, Twin Hickory Library