Cover Image: Under the Influence

Under the Influence

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Member Reviews

I wish this book showed more of the relationships and more of Harper’s character. It’s hard to think of anything that defines her character, and really anybody else in the story. I also think this book could have been shorter, some of the plots seemed to just drag on, especially at the beginning. I kept waiting for a big story behind Charlotte, but nothing major really happened. Overall, this was just more of a surface- level read.

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This was a thinly veiled memoir (i mean novel). It was so incredibly meh.. I kept wanting something to happen and was ultimately disappointed by the story. i hated all the characters, and eye rolled so hard at the epilogue.

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As someone who followed along, read the books and basically drank the koolaid for a certain influencer and her husband (at the time) in Austin this book read like a biography. I was only a couple of chapters in when the story started sounding really familiar.

If you aren't someone who followed the influencer this book seems to be based on you might not enjoy the story quite as much. But, if you also thought she was great until things started to come crashing down around her this book will be a quick read.

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I enjoyed this book as I am fascinated by the wellness influencer culture that can be considered a cult. This book dives into t the idea of hustle culture, toxic positivity which are aspects that I am personally unlearning.

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under the influence was a really fun read! I liked the satire but also a warning to not get too sucked into this influencer culture. a great beach read.

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Noelle Crooks formerly worked for Rachel Hollis, so I was super interested in reading this book and seeing if there were any similarities, and boy were there! I fall victim to the IG scrolling dopamine lift so I am familiar with the influencer culture, so this book was a really interesting satire of the career/look behind the scenes.

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I so tried to get into this story but it just didn't hold my attention. I have to be drawn in immediately to a novel I'm sure it's a wonderful story but just not for me. It felt too dry and uninteresting. I'm sure others will enjoy it.

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Intriguing book about working for an influencer, made more powerful by the author's real life experience.

Let me first admit that I used to follow Rachel Hollis, read her books, drank the kool-aid of her authenticity and advice about being my best self. Then things started to fall apart for me and for many others. When I saw that Noelle Crooks used to work for Hollis, I was very intrigued to read this book. Wow, the peek behind the curtain was quite telling. I know, Crooks will probably be the first to jump in and say that this book is not autobiographical, that it is only inspired by her time working for Hollis, but I can see how her experiences shaped this narrative knowing what I know about her former employer.

This book is about Harper Cruz, an NYU grad hoping to work in the writing/publishing world. Her roommate encourages her to apply for an interesting sounding job, and Harper is quickly interviewed, hired, and moved to Nashville to work for influencer Charlotte Green. Charlotte comes across as a down-to-earth anywoman who prides herself on authenticity and relatability. Although the job is everything that Harper ever dreamed of, the hours are long and there are some things that just don't seem right to her. Is Harper willing to do whatever it takes to get ahead in this business?

This book is incredibly relatable in this influencer world we live in today. It's a cautionary tale--one we've heard before over the years in all of its iterations: from actors to singers to sports stars to internet influencers, as much as we wantto believe they are just like us, they are not like us.

This was a very fast paced read, the author is a strong writer with an intriguing tale to tell. I'll be interested to see what direction she takes next with her writing. There are shades of The Devil Wears Prada here, but Harper's character was more interesting (and relatable) to me than Andrea/Andy was in that book.

If you're interested in reading about the darker side of the mega-influencer world, then I highly recommend picking this one up.

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Under the Influence follows Harper, an aspiring writer who struggled to make it in New York and who moves to Nashville on a whim to work for an influencer she had never heard of.

But beneath the picture-perfect exterior of Charlotte, a mommy blogger turned self-help influencer, you see she isn’t all she’s cracked up to be.

Although fiction, it’s clear these big-name influencers can’t do it all alone and they have an army of unnamed employees helping build their empire for little to no public credit. It’s fun to explore that with Harper and Charlotte, and the author does a great job of showing Charlotte as a real-person, who you can’t help but feel a smidge bad for at times. Even though her flaws outweigh her good qualities, she feels very human, and as a reader, you see the characteristics that propelled her to stardom when she was a no-name blogger.

The book fell a little flat for me because it was fairly predictable. Worth reading if you like books that peel back the shiny exterior of influencers. The cons for me were that Harper didn’t feel fully developed, the romance aspect felt random and shoe-horned in, and the rest of the supporting could also have used fleshing out. I was hoping for a bigger boom of an ending.

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I read almost half of this book, but just felt like it was going nowhere. I wanted the main character to grow up and show some backbone, but at the 50% mark, I had to call it quits. (No other public reviews posted.)

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Under the Influence by Noelle Crooks has been likened to "The Devil Wears Prada" and I too can see the similarities. Harper takes a job working for Charlotte Green who is a self help influencer. The insights of our online world ring through and the culture around fame is interesting too. There have been rumors that this is based on a real life influencer which might add a level of intrigue to the book, but even without the "who is she really", it's a fun read.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of Under the Influence in exchange for an honest opinion. This novel is available now.

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Thank you so much to BookClubFavorites + Gallery Books for my STUNNING gifted copy! Forever obsessed with this cover 😍

After reading the synopsis of Under the Influence, I KNEW I had to read this one. I have always been very fascinated by influencers and that entire world. It’s just insane to me how lavishly some of them live and the money they make 🥴 like holy cow, but ANYWAYSSSS this book was so dang good and everything you could want in a book about a girl working for a self help influencer who has 2 million followers and this cult following.

Harper moves from NYC to Nashville to work for Charlotte Green’s team. Everything starts out great, but she begins to see some cracks in Charlotte’s armor. And Charlotte will do whatever necessary to keep those under wraps.

This book was so interesting to me because there were parallels in Charlotte Green to real influencers many of us have probably followed at some point in time. But also I feel like this book is such a good look at parasocial relationships because they are W I L D when you stop and think about it.

The ending was a little too neatly wrapped up for me and I didn’t love the romance addition, but overall this is a major win.

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it was an interesting read for sure. Its very juicy and reads like someone with a chip on her shoulder. If you're in the right mood, it's page turning as heck.

The short chapters and near-constant action are certainly another reason i read this book in one sitting. And also because it's a book that's in a pretty negative headspace. And also, I wanted to shout at the lead character over and over again when she was thinking one thing internally and then doing another externally. Which drives this reader batty.

The other reason that this book was only 3 stars for me is that it comes from a very Millenial POV from a work perspective. There's a lot of talk about long hours, but, that's what these staffs of these people do. That's what many, many successful companies require from their staff. I feel that, if she'd one even the smallest amount of research, she would have known that she wasn likely to have to work a lot to basically 4x the salary she was earning. So, yeah, there was a lot of complaining about things, but then also complaining about the opposite of that thing. And that REALLY drives this reader crazy.

Don't get me wrong. I was glued to this book the whole time and absolutely wanted to know what was going to happen. And I was very interested in the details about how being an influencer works. It's 100% a job I never, ever want. It seems exhausting.

I will say that, if you love The Devil Wears Prada and stories like that one, I think you'll find a lot to be interested in here.

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I thought this was such a clever, snarky and well done end of summer read. The story was fast paced and not at all one-note, which sometimes novels marketed like “The Devil Wears Prada” can be. This is more than that, and felt much more timely since influencers are absolutely unavoidable in every medium at this point—and since the author used to work for a highly recognizable influencer who had a very public and very familiar fall from Grace, this felt very juicy. I loved it, and read it in one day. Can’t wait to recommend at the store!

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A fast and brutal devil wears prada for RIGHT NOW, Crooks is blisteringly funny and a bit terrifying in how much this rings and cuts.

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This book screamed ‘this is the tea on Rachel Hollis’ from the moment I opened it up. Only to find out midway through the book that the author actually worked for The Hollis Company. Sooooo, there’s likely a lot of truths here.

It started out really strong with some shock-factor realities about what it was like to work for an ‘influencer.’ But then the boss in the book just kept being awful (though I also found her relatable at times), and the MC just kept falling more under her spell, and I got a little bored with it all.

I did like how it addressed influencers in general. Especially the kind that people model their entire lives over. This is usually someone who writes one blog or posts one video that gains a lot of traction and next thing you know, millions are looking to them for advice. It’s a good reminder.

It’s also just a good workplace drama. Overworked employees, stealing ideas and credit—- then giving just enough reward to pull people back in. Sometimes if jobs were boyfriends y’all, we’d say they were emotionally abusive.

I’d recommend this if…
- you read ‘Girl Wash Your Face’ and could see right through it
- you love to get the tea
- you’re super curious what it would be like to work for an influencer

To be clear, the author never says this is about Rachel Hollis or that it’s based on her own experiences (but like, I’m not dumb either). 🤣

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Rating is actually a 3.5. Thank you to the publisher + NetGalley for my advanced copy of this book!

At first glance, 'Under the Influence' seems like your typical literary fiction, hot girl summer book, of which there have been so many as of late. While you read, though, you realize that it's far more than that.

I have to admit that, when I started this book, I wasn't entirely sold on whether I was going to like it or not. I work in social media, PLUS I live in Nashville, and that is one big critique I have of this book - I know that when works of fiction are set in real cities, it's common for the specific details of the setting to be different from reality, but it took me out of the story every time Harper was narrating and mentioned places in Nashville. Like, what hundred-acre vineyard right outside of downtown Nashville? And there are no strips of restaurants in the Gulch.

By the end, though, the satirical nature of Crooks' writing and plot arc came together so well that I was in shock. I enjoyed the unraveling of Harper's 'perfect' job, and of Charlotte Green, but I do think this book tried to do too much all at once. I don't think the romance between Harper and the AV guy (I can't even remember his name) was necessary, except for one tiny bit of exposition. I did enjoy it once we got past the first 100 or so pages.

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‘Under the Influence’ follows Harper Cruz who is struggling to find her feet. Her aspirations of working in New York publishing appear to be a pipe dream and she can barely afford her rent. Her desperation leads her to apply for Charlotte Green, a well-known charismatic self-help influencer. This job will solve all her financial problems but there’s a catch - she will have to ditch the life she knows in New York and move to Nashville for a job she knows nothing about as the ‘Visionary Support Strategist’ at The Greenhouse … and she has to make her decision in 24 hours. She says yes because what can possibly go wrong?

There were many elements I think many of us can relate to. 20s are such a difficult time period when you not only have to deal with crafting your own life but dealing with everyone around you being at different life points than you.

Many people will probably have worked for a Charlotte Green, and if not, consider yourself lucky. To say she is challenging to work with is an understatement and I see the similarities to Devil Wears Prada. While it’s easy for an outsider to spot clear abuse of power, lack of boundaries, and cult-like mentalities, as we see with Harper, it is harder to escape when you are so deep in it.

The cult-like elements were funny and absurd but there’s a reason those environments exist. As we see with the Greenhouse, there’s an incorrect mentality of undying loyalty to your job/boss/company because of the opportunity and your subsequent new life. This is understandable but you don’t owe anyone or anything your entire life and you should never sacrifice your voice.

I find the influencer universe fascinating so this book was right up my alley. A plot like this could've been cheaply done but it was not. I really appreciated Noelle’s decision to include deeper themes around the pitfalls of social media, friendship, hustle culture, micro-aggressions, superficial diversity in the workplace, etc.

We can all find ourselves under the influence at some point but we don’t have to shame ourselves as it’s never too late to change your story.

A great debut! 👏🏾 Thank you, @noellecrooks @gallerybooks for the copy 🥹💚

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This was fun! I couldn't put it down - a little cringe at times, sort of like watching a car accident, I couldn't look away! Entertaining and more than over the top, but I still enjoyed. 3.5-4 stars

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Many of us know the controversies surrounding Rachel Hollis. Being that this is written by a former employee of her, it’s easy to guess this is a not so subtle window into her time working for the influencer. If you are up to do date with the antiMLM movement, nothing in this book with be shocking. For me it was predictable. However, I thought it was an enjoyable read. Crooks is a good writer and it easily could have a been cringey story, but she pulls it off well. It’s not snarky or hateful so if that’s what you are looking for you won’t find it here.

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