Cover Image: Under the Influence

Under the Influence

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

When is dream job not a dream? Harper Cruz finds out when she accepts a job with mega influencer Charlotte Green and is whisked off to Greenhouse headquarters in Nashville. The position comes with an onsite, heavily discounted apartment and a somewhat dubious job title, Visionary Support Strategist. It turns out that the title means whatever Charlotte Green wants it to mean and Harper is supposed to anticipate and respond to her needs before they are spoken. She’s part of the top team and quickly falls under Charlotte’s spell. Her life is absorbed by work. There is no time to eat, to sleep or to stay in touch with family and friends. Something has to give. Will it be Harper or the hamster wheel that is the Greenhouse?

Under the Influence is compulsively readable and deeply disturbing. Charlotte’s manipulative management style is frightening and yet somehow familiar. Author Noelle Crooks has captured the quicksilver world of social media and influencers from her own experience. 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Gallery Books and Noelle Crooks for this ARC.

Was this review helpful?

3.75 stars

When something is marketed as "The Devil Wears Prada for the influencer generation" I am immediately at attention. While I doubt I'll reread this as often as TDWP, I was thoroughly entertained. As someone who has personal experience with a "fun" job working for an emotional terrorist, this also brought back my eye twitch, so that was a gift in itself.

Harper has lost her job in the publishing industry and is desperate to stop relying on her best friend's generosity and spare room in Manhattan (lol). Her life goes from 0 to 100 when she's hired as a visionary support strategist for a hugely popular lifestyle influencer, Charlotte Green, and relocates to Nashville, where she's immediately immersed in the company CULTure. 

The 9-5 is a myth here, but Harper's coworkers seem genuinely overjoyed to be spending their entire lives spreading Charlotte's message of positivity and white feminism. Yay! Harper literally can't afford to quit, so decides she might just be jaded from past jobs and needs to lighten up. This becomes easier when Charlotte starts to recognize Harper's efforts. Even though it turns her new work friendships into something more like rivalries, and she's constantly on guard to make sure Charlotte doesn't get herself canceled, Harper drinks the koolaid. Her job is her life, and anyone who expresses concern at that is just threatened by #girlbosses. 

The author of this book famously worked for Rachel Hollis, wink wink, nudge nudge, so there's definitely a juicy gossip angle to reading this that makes it hard to put down. I would have rated it higher, but I wanted more from the ending. I liked how things wrapped up, for the most part, but wish that we'd got to read those events play out rather than get them as a flash forward. A lot of what I liked about this book was how the emotional manipulation rang true and was written realistically, so watching the results of that play out would have been rewarding to read, I think. But maybe that's just wishful thinking for my personal experiences.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, & the author for the advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I could not put this book down. Very good! This is very insightful regarding the world of social media and influencers. Definitely recommend.

I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The popularity and success of influencers was amazing to me.This novel really gives an insiders view of their world their lives.A really engaging informative read that I really enjoyed.#netgalley #gallerybooks.

Was this review helpful?

Under the Influence was one of the best books I’ve read this summer! If you’re a 20/30-something who has ever dreamt of being an influencer (or working for one), this is a great beach read for you.

Was this review helpful?

This was a fun, if predictable, book. It was basically the light version of a cult MLM documentary you would watch on Hulu. So while being easy and basically enjoyable to read, it wasn’t particularly clever or salacious or scandalous.

Was this review helpful?

I love a book about an influencer and this was a great one. It was fun and frustrating and familiar to many situations we have seen online. It was a fascinating commentary on social media and the curation it causes. I didn’t love the love interest as much as the friends, but it was a satisfying story that I would recommend on a hot summer day. Thanks to NetGalley for this arc in exchange for my honest review!

Was this review helpful?

The Devil Wears Prada for the influencer generation. Harper is struggling in NYC when she’s offered an amazing opportunity (topped with an overwhelming amount of red flags) to work for an influencer in Nashville. She throws on her rose-colored glasses and heads down south and is immediately thrown into the deep end.

The circumstances that led to Harper choosing to go to Nashville felt rushed and not entirely plausible, but everything after felt very real to the point of triggering for anyone who has ever worked for a self-proclaimed #girlboss (hand raise). Like DWP before it, Under the Influence is also clearly referencing a real woman the author used to work for and that bit of salaciousness gave the book an extra bit of entertainment. Although make no mistake, Rachel Hollis is no Anna Wintour and she never will be. Girl, please.

Read if you like: workplace gossip, Sounds Like a Cult, green juice

Was this review helpful?

3.5 rounded up. I liked this more than I expected and think the premise was fleshed out well. The surrounding characters were perhaps the best part and I was glad the epilogue wrapped up their stories nicely as well. I think the ending conflict could’ve been drawn out a bit, but it also wasn’t over done which often can happen. I would definitely check out more from this author.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

When I learned (after reading this book) that it was written by the former brand director at The Hollis Company, it alllllll made sense. Because I was getting RH + Co vibes all throughout. That aside, this story is really successful as a look into corporate overwork, the ways influencers feel they're above it all, and what it means to lose yourself. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the free advance copy.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Net Galley for providing an early copy of Under the Influence by Noelle Crooks

Protagonist Harper lands her "dream job" with influencer Charlotte and her "Green" company that is over the top in social media along with every product and gimmick imaginable to keep the company in the public eye. While things start out in chaos and misunderstandings, Harper rises to a priority position within the company while coming to the realization that Charlotte is deceitful, narcissistic and cruel, all in the name of "building up" her employees. It will not take readers long to figure out the negative sides of Charlotte, and author Noelle Crooks creates a Harper we are breathing with and cheering for. How much is she willing to sacrifice in terms of family and friend relationships before speaking out and ultimately helping all the employees under Charlotte's iron rule.?

Under the Influence is a "real time" read that completely satisfies.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for the arc!

Under the Influence is perfect for this day and age of influencers and "hustle culture." Fabulous insight on the many examples on how social media has touched all of our lives, and in particular the new crop of influencers.

Thanks again Noelle Crooks, I very much enjoyed reading your work.

Was this review helpful?

I found the subject matter of the heart of this fascinating: influencer culture, the cult-like status of a self proclaimed “girl-boss” and the entourage behind her, and the toxic positivity that hides so much negativity in the background.

i did think that the characters lacked depth. ( Maybe that was intentional given the subject matter?)

I thought the description of the culture and work environment were spot on with many of the issues present in the publishing and influencer space, and overall enjoyed this debut novel!

Was this review helpful?

Harper Cruz takes a job on a whim working for popular influencer, Charlotte Green. Charlotte’s whole movement strikes her as flaky and odd, but it’s a job. As she gets more involved with the job, she begins to respect Charlotte and her philosophies. The deeper she gets though, the more she risks.

If you want to see what it’s like to work for a popular influencer, this is the book. While I’m not familiar with the experience, this story seemed pretty freakin legit and exactly what it would be like. It actually made me really angry. I hated the influencer and the kool aid they were all drinking. I loved how there was nothing too wild and crazy in it, and it really could have been any influencer movement you see online.

“Let’s face it, if everyone is out to get you, you’ve got to be doing something right.”

Under the Influence comes out 8/8.

Was this review helpful?

I devoured this book in just under two days and am so glad I did. I was drawn in by the premise, as I'm somewhat familiar with influencer/multi-level marketing culture myself. Though I never made it as deep in as Harper, and I never actually worked for the company, as a consumer I was briefly sucked in and was willing to tell my friends about the product. At times I think this book triggered my anxiety, because of what I know from the real culture, but I kept reading because I couldn't put it down! I had to know what was going to happen next with Harper and the Green crew. Because of that, I have to give this book 5 stars! Thank you to Netgalley and Gallery books for this ARC!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Gallery Books for the arc!

You know those books that stay with you long after you read them? Under the Influence is definitely one of those types of books. You are taken along this amazing story where you enter the world of influencing and cancel culture and how toxic social media can be and I'm just speechless at how good this was.

I went in expecting just a basic lit fic read but have now found a new favorite.

Was this review helpful?

Gah, I loved this so much! I’m a sucker for books about influencers, and this is easily the best one I’ve read. I’ve seen it described as The Devil Wears Prada for the Instagram age, and this couldn’t be more accurate. Harper is such a realistic character, and I loved seeing her go from skeptic to believer to brainwashed, and finally back down to Earth. While I can’t say with certainty, it definitely feels like this is based on a particular self-help influencer, especially as the author is a former employee of said #girlboss. This was such an addicting read, with the cult-like setting making it impossible to put down, and a perfect book to binge on your summer vacation!

Was this review helpful?

I quite loved this book! In this generation where influencers are so prevalent, it's nice to see a book that shows that influencers are not the best and the brightest and the culture surrounding them is actually... really toxic. I felt like this book portrayed the cult-like nature of influencer following and the company culture itself (similar to start-up life) really well.

I dislike 90% of influencers for how disconnected they are from practically everything and how unaware they are of social standards/expectations so I had a great time hating Charlotte.

Overall, if you're looking for a fast-paced, fun read, you'll likely enjoy this book! I'll be keeping an eye out for the author's future works.

Was this review helpful?

Isn't this written by the former assistant to Rachel Hollis? I wonder how they feel about it? I don't think the book was as good as it could have been, it felt like a book that had been written over many, many years and then cobbled together into a manuscript. Something just seemed a little disjointed. That said, who doesn't like to read about the bizarre world of influencers? I think it worked as a beach read.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to Gallery Books for this ARC!

A fast-paced, drama-filled book about the life behind a self-help influencer and what it really takes for them to get all of this content online. This is perfect if you’re obsessed with cults or scandals, or love to hate very popular “hey girl!”-type influencers. I basically felt like I was seeing a behind-the-scenes of Rachel Hollis’s life.

Was this review helpful?