Cover Image: Allow Me to Introduce Myself

Allow Me to Introduce Myself

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Member Reviews

Thank you Graydon House, HTP Books, HTP Hive for my #gifted copy of Allow Me to Introduce Myself! #HiveInfluencer

𝐓𝐢𝐭𝐥𝐞: 𝐀𝐥𝐥𝐨𝐰 𝐌𝐞 𝐓𝐨 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐞 𝐌𝐲𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟
𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐫: 𝐎𝐧𝐲𝐢 𝐍𝐰𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐥𝐢
𝐏𝐮𝐛 𝐃𝐚𝐭𝐞: 𝐌𝐚𝐲 𝟐𝟖, 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟒

★★★★★

I knew as soon as I read the Dedication page that this book was going to be emotional, and I was right. Nwabineli has such a beautiful way with words and I cannot recommend this book enough. There was so much about this book I loved. The character development was truly remarkable. On top of that, this book was laced with family drama and I thought the author did such a great job of integrating some really difficult topics into the plot.

I loved how this novel was so thought-provoking. It really made me think more about social media and how I personally use it and how it impacts children. There is so much to unpack with this novel and I found myself telling myself I would read one more chapter but then one more turned into 5 more and then before I realized it, I had finished the entire book. I love books that allow me to so easily get lost and this one did just that.

While there were some heavy topics in this book, there were also some tender moments and also some humor and wit sprinkled throughout as well. It was the perfect blend and I can’t wait to read what Nwabineli writes next!

Posted on Goodreads on May 22, 2024: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/144922955?ref=nav_profile_l
**Posted on Instagram - Full Review- on or around May 23, 2024: http://www.instagram.com/nobookmark_noproblem
**Posted on Amazon on May 28, 2024
**-will post on designated date

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I was really interested to read this book because Onyi Nwabineli’s debut was very well written but was ultimately not for me. I was curious to see what she would do with her second book. I’m glad I gave this book a chance because it was really excellent.
Allow me to Introduce Myself tells the story of Anuri, a young woman, who spent her formative years online as the stepdaughter of a huge “mommy influencer.” We witness the aftermath of Anuri’s childhood with no privacy and a life full with sponsored content. Everything changes when Anuri begins to worry for her younger sister, Noelle, having to go through what she went through.
This book explores really timeless themes of family, loss, friendship and addiction and also really topical ideas like how to navigate today’s Internet while maintaining privacy and a sense of self. I really enjoyed this book and it was very well written. I enjoyed getting to hear snippets of the perspectives of characters other than Anuri.
Thank you to Graydon House and Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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You ever read a book that articulates something you think about often in such a better way than any of your rambling thoughts?

This was that for my thought on the child aspect of the momfluencer side of social media.

Anuri is an adult now but grew up with a stepmom that used her in all of her social media sponsorships and projects without her consent. And now she is dealing with the consequences of being in a public eye for so long and using not so healthy ways to deal with parents that seemed to love her more for what she could do than her as a person (alcoholism) all while watching her baby sister (she’s 5) have to deal with the same upbringing.

This definitely is how I feel every time I see kids go viral or momfluencers using their kids in sponsorships. How it has to be similar to what happens to child actors but differing a little. I enjoyed this book even tho it was stressful.

Excellent commentary on letting kids be kids.

Thanks to netgalley and harlequin trade publishing for an eARC.

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Where to even start with this one! The cover? STUNNING. The premise? I was SO intrigued. I think the subject of the prevalence of children shown on social media/mommy bloggers will continue to be a hot topic for years, especially as technology continues to change and grow.

Unfortunately, I think where this one lost me a bit was the writing style. I just never felt immersed in the story and multiple times to go back and reread paragraphs that I had just read because it wasn’t making sense.

I did really enjoy seeing the character growth of Anuri and loved her friendship with Simi and Loki. And precious Christian was a bonus! 3/3.5 stars.

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So, I tried to find a reason this wasn't a 5 star book. I mean, it isn't one of those call in sick to work and read overnight stories, but yet it was. Anuri (my apologies as I don't know how to do the accents) lost her mom at her own birth. Her father shortly thereafter married the nanny he had hired to care for Anuri. Ophelia loves Anuri! That is very evident throughout the story. However, social media addiction takes over and Anuri's life is monetized through Ophelia's blog. I have always felt the oversharing of a child's life online was wrong and weird. I cringe thinking of some of the stories I've heard of mommie bloggers and what they've had their children do for clicks, sponsorships, etc. Is loving the child continent upon the success of each post? How can the child feel otherwise? After pulling away herself, Anuri faces her stepmother in a legal battle over her own image and life. I had to wonder how often this will happen as these social media kids grow up and realize how their lives were negatively impacted. It is like child Hollywood stars, right? And, consider the baby from the Nirvana cover suing his parents. This book is a good realistic insight into what many overzealous "influencer moms" might be facing. (I'll stop rambling about the issue.) In addition to the strong and thoughtful plot, I loved so many of the characters. The friendship between Anuri, Simi, and Loki was beautiful and kept the mood of the book positive when things came crashing down. And Gloria is everything anyone could ever want in an attorney: strong, intelligent, and wonderfully caring. Believe it or not, I almost even felt some sympathy for Ophelia! Needless to say, this was indeed a 5 star read for me. Thought provoking, heart wrenching, and would make a really good book club selection with a lot to talk about!

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Onyi Nwabineli has done it again. After reading Someday, Maybe, I knew I would love this second book. Allow Me to Introduce Myself follows the story of Anuri, a child influencer whose life was put on the internet by her stepmother. Nwabineli takes readers on the severe consequences of putting kids online for views, clout, and money. Anuri battles with alcoholism, trauma, and fearing relationships. Ophelia fell in love with Anuri when she first met her as a baby, but she used her for her gain. I loved how this story was written, from the metaphors to the relationship dynamics and highlighting the impact of child influencers. At first, I thought Ophelia was the villain of this story, but it has to be Anuri's father, Nkem. He was grieving the loss of his first wife, the mother of his child, which impacted his relationship with his daughter; however, he let Ophelia drive that wedge between him and his daughter even further. I wish we, as readers, saw more of Nkem and Anuri, a mending of their relationship, especially towards the end. Nkem should've stood up for his daughter and protected her rather than believing Ophelia. I loved Ophelia's downfall because her intentions weren't pure. I loved the friendships between Anuri, Loki, and Simi, it was quite endearing. Their friendship, overall, felt like a warm cup of hot chocolate. It warmed my heart that Anuri had them, including Christian. I loved that the book started with Anuri going to therapy and ending with her going to therapy but seeing her little sister and father. The use of therapy in this novel is beautiful because it only shows how much Anuri needs to work on herself. Anuri overall was complex as a character, but as a reader, you end up loving her and her many talents. She could make a life for herself outside the influencer life she did not want.

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Thank you to @Graydonhousebooks and @HTP_Hive and @Netgalley for this e-arc. All thoughts are my own.

Anuri’s life has been closely documented and monetized by her influencer stepmom. Now as an adult, she’s finally free to live her life, but she’s still struggling. When she sees her young sister being lead straight towards the path she’s on, she can’t help but take action to stop the cycle of abuse

This book did a fantastic job at tackling the often-controversial topic of social media and children. I hardly post any photos of my daughter. It was a decision that I made before I had her, and one that I stuck too despite many people, including grandparents, urging me to loosen up on. No, I don’t mind the occasional candid photo, but posting 100’s of photos out into the void that is the universe is not what I want. My daughter can change her mind when she is old enough to fully understand what is happening, but until then, it’s my choice to keep her safe. This book did a great job highlighting not only the dangers of over posting photos and videos of children, but also of the mental toll that online presence can take on the child. I loved this about the book. However, I found the multiple POV’s, and the past and present timelines were a lot to stay atop of. I also found that the book seemed to wander at times, and I struggled with it. However, this is one of those books that will stick will most definitely make you think about online presences.

I went back and forth whether or not to round up or down on this book but I ultimately ended up rounding up because it stuck with me for so long. 3.5 stars.

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I loved the theme of finding your power and. protecting yourself. Social media has become a huge theme in a lot of our lives and seeing influencers all the time is the norm. That being said the main character has finally gotten her own power back of her social media presence but notices her step mom starting the same cycle with her sister. Basically its the story of how she helped find herself and help her sister. I give this a solid 3.75 stars I loved where the author was going with it but I do feel like with so many characters and Povs it just got to be a lot.

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This story offers a fascinating look at how family blogging and social media use impacts children as they grow up throughout their adult lives. The story of Anuri and her distance from her parents was interesting, and the writing was beautiful and thought-provoking.

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Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book ahead of publication! My review will appear on my blog on 5/23/24. I will also feature the review on Instagram that same day and post my review to Goodreads, The Storygraph, Fable, and retail sites.

Review:

I read "Someday, Maybe" by Onyi Nwabineli last year and found it deeply moving. I was super excited when I saw she had a new book out this year, and I couldn't wait to dive in. Much like she beautifully and deftly covered suicide and grief in her first book, this time around, Nwabineli covers the topic of mommy influencers who use their children for fame and fortune with great depth and a keen eye. I found this to be a powerful and thought-provoking novel that delves into the complexities of family dynamics, identity, race, and the struggle for autonomy. Anuri's journey from a childhood shaped by manipulation and exploitation to her courageous stand against it is both thought-provoking and a little infuriating.

The book focuses on Anuri, a young Black woman living in London who struggles with anxiety, depression, and alcoholism (to name a few). From the time she was a baby, Ophelia, her white stepmother, documented Anuri's life on social media through pictures and blog posts that eventually turned into lucrative sponsorship deals and other business opportunities for Ophelia. Even today, people still recognize Anuri and treat her as if they know her. It's tough to live a normal life when people impose on your privacy almost everywhere you go. It's no wonder that Anuri struggles the way she does.

But now Anuri worries about her five-year-old half-sister Noelle. Ophelia has started using Noelle in her Instagram and blog posts - monetizing Noelle's likeness much like she used Anuri. Anuri has started recognizing personality quirks that she knows all too well in Noelle, and Anuri knows that she has to stop Ophelia before she ruins Noelle's life the way she ruined hers.

In this book, Nwabineli skillfully explores the themes of consent and agency, particularly in the context of social media influencers who exploit their children for personal gain. Anuri's story sheds light on the dark side of influencer culture and how it can potentially harm children who have no say in what their parents post about them or how their parents portray them online. As readers, we are forced to confront uncomfortable truths about the lengths people will go to maintain their image and status, even at the expense of their family members.

Another aspect that I found compelling was the exploration of race and privilege through the characters of Anuri and her stepmother, Ophelia. Anuri's experiences as a Black woman navigating a world shaped for her by her white stepmother were very thought-provoking. It was also heartbreaking to read some of the things she experienced as an adult that were shaped by the things her stepmother had subjected her to. This is something I'd never really thought about before, but it's definitely something I'll be thinking about for a while now.

Throughout the novel, Anuri's journey to reclaim her identity and confront her past is a rollercoaster of emotions, and asks important questions like how far is too far and how much of our lives do we really own when we are children? Where do our parent's rights stop and ours begin, and is there a statute of limitations on how long they can monetize our childhood? Nwabineli's writing is engaging and evocative, drawing the reader in with each new revelation. Through Anuri's journey, we are reminded of the importance of speaking our truth and standing up for what is right, even when it feels like everyone is working against us.

Overall, I found this to be a compelling and thought-provoking novel that will stay with me for a while. It raises some fundamental questions and will make you rethink everything you know about mommy influencers. This book is a reminder of the power of resilience, the importance of reclaiming our narratives, and the enduring hope that comes from standing up for what is right. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a captivating and insightful read.

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Thank you to NetGalley, HTP Hive, and Harlequin Trade Publishing | Graydon House for the advance reader copy of Allow Me to Introduce Myself by Onyi Nwabineli. This was the first novel I had read by Nwabineli, but it won’t be my last. I enjoyed the storytelling, character development, and relationships explored. This one was so nuanced – telling tales of influencers/momagers/kids in the spotlight, grief, family dynamics, found family, race/culture, alcohol abuse, finding your own way, and so much more. It’s told through multiple POVs and timelines and written beautifully. Definitely pick this one up if you’re looking for an engaging story that will tug on your heartstrings and make you think!

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Harlequin Trade Publishing | Graydon House and NetGalley provided an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed here are solely my own.

The book's blurb describes it as a tale with “biting wit and heartfelt introspection” and it couldn't be more accurate. Although I've never experienced social media fame, don't share a Nigerian cultural background, don't reside in London, and am quite a few years beyond my own quarter-life crisis, I found a profound connection with Anuri Chinasa. Her struggles resonated with me deeply, being unique yet universal simultaneously. The book took me on a rollercoaster of emotions, from laughter and outrage to disbelief and optimism. I give this five enthusiastic stars!

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This book concept/plot was very unique and intriguing. The author weaved self discovery, social media and childhood fame together with beautiful detailed writing.
I felt this book had good character development and I was invested in how this storyline was going to play out for her sister.
This book did contain multiple POVs and past/present elements which at times could be a little confusing.

Thank you Netgally + publisher for a digital copy in exchange for my honest review.

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A thought-provoking book that is both timely and important! This is not what I was expecting, and I was so utterly surprised by how impressive the commentary is on social media and public online spaces. I highly recommend this one.

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"Allow Me to Introduce Myself" is like having a heart-to-heart chat with a close friend. Nwabineli's storytelling is so genuine and charming, you'll feel like you're right there with her, sharing in her experiences. From moments of laughter to those of introspection, this book is a delightful journey of self-discovery and connection. It's the perfect read for anyone looking for a warm and uplifting escape.

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Whew this is just a look into a terrible era that we live in smh ! The step momma and her daddy really upset me in the worst way possible 😒 ! Beautifully done,I really enjoyed this book despite my anger towards the terrible parenting 😫 I feel so bad for those girls! But trouble does not last always ❤️

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I read this author's first novel, Someday Maybe, when it came out and really enjoyed it- beautiful writing and lovely story. I struggled with this book though. I think it might have been the switching back and forth of the timeline and the different POVs of the characters that hindered me from enjoying it. I was really excited to read a book covering the topic of family bloggers/a child influencer but this one didn't quite hit right for me. While I didn't love it, I am sure it will work for a lot of people.

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This was a highly anticipated follow up to Someday, Maybe.

The topic is very compelling and worth addressing- the impact of an influencer’s lifestyle on their children and the fact that young children can’t consent to having their lives documented online. In this case, there’s the added element of Anuri being Nigerian and her white stepmother being the influencer who gains attention for marrying a widowed Nigerian man and raising his daughter.

While I sympathize with Anuri’s plights, some of her demands as an adult coming out of a life online, one in particular that I won’t spoil, didn’t seem reasonable. Being upset about being online against your will is certainly valid but some of the scenarios described sounded more like what you’d expect with the child of a major celebrity or even a reality star versus an influencer. For example, pictures of a drunk Anuri leaving a nightclub end up in tabloids. Regardless of her stepmom’s follower count and paid sponsorships, I didn’t buy that paparazzi would care about her partying.

Nwabineli’s writing still shines and I liked the way Anuri’s friends supported her as well as the conclusion. But, unfortunately this didn’t hit the same bar for me as Someday, Maybe.

Ratings
Quality of Writing 4.5/5
Pacing 3/5
Plot Development 2/5
Character Development 4/5
Overall Enjoyability 3.5/5

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Special thanks to NetGalley Graydon House Books and HTP Books! I heard about this title on Sarah's Bookshelves Live and it felt so timely and relevant. Anuri, our MC has grew up in the spotlight as the main feature on her stepmother's social media channels. Now Anuri is 25 and feeling those effects from her childhood. Now Anuri's younger sister Noelle might be going down the same path as Ophelia (Anuri's step mother is featuring her on her social media). This book is emotionally engaging and follows a family with dysfunctional relationships. It is extremely timely in the age of mom influensters and the question of children participating without being able to give true consent.

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Anuri grew up beloved by millions as the central star in stepmother Ophelia’s social media empire. Now 25 and struggling with alcoholism, Anuri doesn’t know who she is beyond the cameras that documented her every moment. Although Anuri is estranged from her family now, her much younger sister Noelle still resides at home. When Ophelia begins to feature Noelle in her daily videos, Anuri must find the strength to reclaim her sister’s story — and her own. This family drama asks sharp, intelligent questions about the role of children in social media during the era of “mumfluencers”. Excellent, nuanced family drama.

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