Cover Image: Under the Influence

Under the Influence

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Member Reviews

three words: UGH. WHY. MEH.

harper’s roommate applies on her behalf for work for social media influencer charlotte. when harper is hired, she moves to nashville and uproots her entire life to build this “boss babes” brand. charlotte is not everything she seems, and hides a vicious nature within her.

this novel was so unbearably boring. there are so many loose ends by the end of it, that you truly don’t care what happens to harper or her coworker bella. this is a very surface level exploration into the world of influencers exploiting their employees and fabricating their lives. harper is a severely underdeveloped character who magically grows a backbone at the very end. the question is, why did harper agree to work for charlotte in the first place? why did she continue to work for her when charlotte’s true nature came out? and why should i care?

thank you to netgalley and the publisher for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this read! It was fast-paced and I couldn't put it down. While some of the dialogue fell a little flat and the characters a tad one-dimensional, I still was completely drawn in. Having some knowledge of who the author is, who the influencer is based on, and some of the drama surrounding said influencer definitely played a part in my enjoyment of this read and my 4-star rating. If I had no knowledge, I still would likely give it 3.5 stars as I would be a little pickier about the dialogue and the characters' dimensions.

* I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Under the Influence by Noelle Crooks was brilliant and utterly compelling.
This was an engaging novel that sucked me in almost immediately.
Crooks writing was just amazing. I was reading this like a crazy person. Couldn’t put it down.
She drew me in with her amazing characters who are fascinating, interesting and relatable.
The whole concept of this story was truly addicting to me. And I enjoyed everything about it.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

Thank You NetGalley and Gallery Books for your generosity and approving this eARC!

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This book was a real page turner and found myself unable to put it down. The author draws the reader in with detailed imagery and a compelling story. I enjoyed the author’s voice - how she described scenes, characters and events, painting a clear picture for the reader. The story itself was interesting and relatable as I have yet to meet anyone who hasn’t had a boss they detest. What I enjoyed most was just how awful the influencer boss lady is and the unbelievable actions that took place completely catching me off guard. The reality that these type of people actually exist in our world made this story that much more horrifying - though I am aware this book will not come from the horror or thriller section of the bookstore. I applaud the author on their ability to write such an entertaining story that elicited both gasps of shock and fits of laughing out loud. I may even have shed at tear at some of the more sentimental portions too. I appreciate the depth of emotion that was conveyed in the author’s writing causing me to feel the same frustration the characters in the story felt. This book is an all around great story and am glad to have had the opportunity to read it.

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Ok, hear me out. This is an easy read and it will be of special interest to a certain group of women (but keep in mind the story is fictional). The story delves into the world of working for an influencer, showing us it’s not all pretty instagram posts and dance parties.

Specifically, the book is about a “self-help” influencer, and I found many parallels between Charlotte and an influencer I used to follow very closely. I resonated with the conflicting feelings the employees in the company had because I felt the same way - I also “drank the kool aid” and ultimately formed a parasocial relationship with the influencer who I actually knew very little about. This grift worked because I was in a vulnerable place when I “found” her. (That’s part of the pattern - they reel you in when you’re emotionally down.)

If you’re familiar with this real-life influencer (think “what makes you think I want to be relatable” outbursts and girl, “you’re made for more” messaging) who hit her peak stardom in 2019 with books, journals, in-person conferences, swag of all kinds, and a work culture that was remarkably similar to that in the book, then I think you’ll really enjoy this book. If you’ve ever gone to conferences, practiced gratitude and goal setting each morning, tuned in for a morning show, and held onto every word an influencer says, this book is for you. Frankly, there needs to be an in-person meetup so we can have a wine+whine of our own (and get some more tea on these characters).

I’d totally love a sequel or a story written from the perspective of another character!

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I read this book because I have a fair bit of skepticism about the influencer industry and was interested in receiving a behind-the-scenes peek while being entertained by a good story. To be honest, I struggled with the writing and dialogue in this, and yet, I kept turning pages. So on the one hand, I was entertained—a solid three stars for that! On the other, I wish the story had been fleshed out more—the characters a little more multi-dimensional, the writing and dialogue a bit more finessed, etc. But still, it gave the peek and entertainment I wanted!

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I absolutely loved reading this book. I was completely drawn into the topic and could not stop reading it.

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Book: Under The Influence
Author: Noelle Crooks
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pub Date: August 8, 2023

I read this based solely on the influencer aspect. Oh and also because it was set in Nashville. I love reading books that take place in areas I have visited. And I also thought it would be a good book to step outside my box with. Something to read besides mystery/thriller books. It’s just not for me. I need more action. I had hoped there would be something sinister when it was described as having a “dark side.” But that said if this was my kind of genre then it would have been a really good book.

Thank you Gallery Books and NetGalley for this sneak peak! Publication date is August 8, 2023.

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Competently written for a debut. Knowing Ms. Crooks' background, I found it interesting that the fictional newsletters were more engaging than the dialogue and other fictional parts. Thanks for the chance to read it and learn more about the influencer industry.

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What a ride! It was an adventure diving deep into the Greenhouse world. As someone with very little knowledge of the influencer world, it felt very real to me lol. It’s as unhinged as I had envisioned. I do wish more ~happened~ throughout the novel. However, the ending was a pleasant surprise.

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The girlboss/influencer/dark workplace comedy concept has been done a lot, so any new take needs a fresh angle. I thought Under the Influence would have that. I loved the premise of this book, but I didn't make it very far into the story. All of the characters came off as one dimensional, and the dialogue made me cringe a bit.

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Loved this book!! The main character is amazing and so relatable. I always love a story that revolves around social media and the personal relationships that go along with it. This book had it all!

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As one whom did not grow up of which social media is the commonplace of conversation and dictates the perception of how people live their lives, I found it fascinating that a person such as Charlotte could create such a cult following due to fabrication she called real life. As Bella correctly said, she created compliment sandwiches. It would be easy for someone as young and impressionable as Harper to buy into it. But as the Green team and all the messages they conveyed, it was a fabrication. This was a fascinating read and I was so glad that those who are good and deserved more found it. A hashtag is just that.

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Thanks so much netgalley for the chance to read this book early! I didn’t know what to expect going into this one but I really didn’t enjoy this read. I think it was the dialogue between everyone and the boss especially. It just didn’t seem like this could be a real job either. This one fell flat for me. I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

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