As the influencer industry has continued to rise in recent years I knew it was going to start coming up in the pop culture. Movies, television, and books were going to start to reflect this new job as a plot point and I think that is very obvious in some of the books we've seen, the latest reboot "He's All That" and other TV and movies. 

One of the first books I saw embrace this plot was "Influence" by Lilia Buckingham and Sara Shepard... yes, Sara Shepard of Pretty Little Liars. She has been one of my favorite authors forever so I knew that it would be incredible.

Shepard partnered with a new, upcoming, young writer Lilia Buckingham and they wrote this book together. As you read, you can tell that there's Shepard's psychological twist woven throughout and it makes the book much more thrilling. 

Publisher's Summary

After a video she makes goes viral, everyone knows Delilah Rollins. And now that she's in LA, Delilah's standing on the edge of something incredible. Everything is going to change. She has no idea how much.

Jasmine Walters-Diaz grew up in the spotlight. A child star turned media darling, the posts of her in her classic Lulu C. rainbow skirt practically break the Internet. But if the world knew who Jasmine really was, her perfect life? Canceled.

Fiona Jacobs is so funny--the kind of girl for whom a crowd parts--no wonder she's always smiling! But on the inside? The girl's a hot mess. And when someone comes out of the shadows with a secret from her past, it's one that won't just embarrass Fiona: it will ruin her.

Who wouldn't want to be Scarlet Leigh? Just look at her Instagram. Scarlet isn't just styled to perfection: she is perfection. Scarlet has a gorgeous, famous boyfriend named Jack and there's a whole fanbase about their ship. To everyone watching online, their lives seem perfect . . . but are they really? The sun is hot in California . . . and someone's going to get burned.

My Thoughts

Spoiler alert: I really liked this book! It was semi YA, semi-adult and I loved that it was borderline a thriller/mystery but not completely. It's very reminiscent of Pretty Little Liars and you can definitely tell it was written by the same person. 

The influencer perspective felt very real, modern, and realistic -- it was a striking plotline that kept you on your toes, pulled you in, and kept your attention all the way through. I liked that you had the newer influencer paired with the seasoned veterans, it felt almost very Gossip Girl to me in a way. I loved the behind-the-scenes 'look' at the influencer world, that 'setting' was like another main character.  

When you first start reading, you're trying to get a hold of who is who and where the story is going t go but once you get to the first plot twist, it becomes pretty obvious. 

I didn't really love any of the characters so much but they were likable enough, aside from Scarlet Leigh which I guess is obvious; I don't think we were supposed to like her. 

Once you figure out what is going on, what the story is really about, you start trying to figure out who is at fault and when you do, it's pretty jaw-dropping. Yet, if you're paying attention, it's probably not super shocking. I can't say much else without giving the entire plot away! 

"Influence" is a really fun book that was enticing, entertaining, and thrill-seeking. It felt very real while at the same time, being an overly exaggerated look at influencer life. If you love YA novels, enjoyed the Pretty Little Liars books, and like a low-key thriller, you should read "Influence". It's an easy, quick read to pull you out of a reading slump! 


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