Social Creature was a spur-of-the-moment library grab, because I remembered Sarah's strong reaction to the book last year. It stuck in my mind as one I had to check out. And everything Sarah said was right: I almost put this down several times, but it took turns that kept me reading and was truly a messed up story.
It reminded me of a recent story in The Cut that I vaguely followed and that caused a bit of an online buzz: read I Was Caroline Calloway and you'll get the idea (even if you have no idea who Caroline Calloway is, because I certainly didn't). Briefly: a meek, plain girl meets a charismatic socialite who takes her under her wing. Plain girl becomes sidekick and hanger-on, and both exploit one another in their own ways. Social Creature draws on archetypes that are apparently common in this weird socialite world, but it takes a truly dark turn and follows a twisted path toward its conclusion.
Super dark, messed up books like this aren't always my thing--I usually feel kind of icky after reading them, and this was no exception (which makes it hard to rate, because the execution was pretty brilliant, if a bit implausible). But sometimes I just can't resist the premise or strong reactions of other readers. For now I'll be taking a break from "dark and twisted" until another comes along that I just can't resist.
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They go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them… They drink and Lavinia tells Louise about all the places they will go together, when they finish their stories, when they are both great writers-to Paris and to Rome and to Trieste…
Lavinia will never go. She is going to die soon.
Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship. A Talented Mr. Ripley for the digital age, this seductive story takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it irresistibly new.