Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

SocialCreature

Buy it here: Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

For readers of Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt, a dark, propulsive and addictive debut thriller, splashed with all the glitz and glitter of New York City.

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.

This book is unlike anything I’ve read before. Even now that I’ve finished it, I truly can’t decide what I think about it. But the book itself has stayed with me and I’ve thought about it more than a few times.

Louise Wilson is just a girl trying to make it in New York City. Insecure and unsure of herself, she works several jobs to get by. One, as an SAT tutor, and this is how she meets Lavinia. Louise is easy to forget. You could pass her in a crowd and not think anything of it. But Lavinia, an actress/student/writer/wealthy kid stands out. And once Lavinia pulls you into her world, it’s hard to let go of that lifestyle. This is exactly what happens to Louise.

The way this story is told was enjoyable for me. You feel like the author is actually telling you the story, and that adds an extra layer of depth. It kept me on edge because initially, we aren’t sure how nefarious this story might turn. You really don’t know who is bad and who is good. Both Louise and Lavinia are not the most lovable characters. It’s a delicate push and pull between them and the author maintains a perfect balance so the story always has just the right amount of tension.

This story was fascinating. I would stop reading and I found myself sitting and thinking about Louise and Lavinia and what they would do next. What weird person Louise would meet and how she would handle her changing life. What would Lavinia think as Louise starts to branch out on her own with Lavinia’s friends? I would absolutely recommend this book. It was easy to read, had the perfect elements to keep me on edge (as I think any good thriller should do), and the ending left me speechless.

 

 

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The Unified Theory of Love and Everything by Travis Neighbor Ward

unifiedtheoryoflove

The Unified Theory of Love and Everything by Travis Neighbor Ward

Emerson Wheeler has everything she ever wanted: two beautiful daughters, a reliable husband, and a modest gardening business in a small town. But after her estranged father commits suicide, she has to face facts. She’s been lying to people her whole life, and her unhappy marriage is keeping her from knowing her true self.

Finn Lowell is a married father of two and a Navy police officer. After a childhood of abuse he has a hard time trusting people. Soon he must decide whether to continue in active duty and risk being deployed overseas. If he quits, he can spend the summer at his lake house alone with his sons.

When Emerson volunteers to help Sybil Hay, a reclusive physicist, with her rundown estate in Delphi, Georgia, she’s in for a surprise: Finn works there in his free time. Emerson has only met him once through her husband, but it convinced her that spending time together could be dangerous because of their attraction. Equally dangerous are Sybil’s unconventional beliefs about love, which date back to a mysterious summer she spent with Albert Einstein.

After Sybil falls ill, Finn makes Emerson an outrageous offer that will test everything they stand for. And through it they will discover their deepest fears and dreams, while uncovering secrets they never knew.

In the literary romance THE UNIFIED THEORY OF LOVE AND EVERYTHING, Travis Neighbor Ward takes readers on a journey into the heart of marriage, friendship, and what it means to love someone.

Let me start by saying this story will not be for everyone. However, of all the books I have read, this one connected with me on several levels. If I am being honest, I thought this was one of the most beautiful pieces of literature that I have ever read.

From the synopsis, you can infer, accurately, that Finn and Emerson have an attraction to each other. Both of them are married, but not happily. Not entirely unhappy but they both recognize that things are not right in their marriage. In both of them working with Sybil at Hay Manor, they both start to open their minds more to what life is really about.

I know this story is really about Emerson and Finn, but in my opinion, I feel Sybil is truly the star of the story. Sybil was in love with Albert Einstein for four years and this book is sprinkled with quotes and thoughts on Albert Einstein’s theories and his life. We also see Sybil’s unconventional feelings on love and happiness. Sybil almost seems mystical in how well she can read Emerson and Finn, but I think in reality, it was her own life experience with love that helped her see through Finn and Emerson. Some might say she “poked the bear”, but I think Sybil’s character had the fortitude to know how fragile life truly is, and that we shouldn’t waste it.

The end of the book was not at all what I expected. I did read other reviews from readers on GoodReads, and some felt the end was rushed. I truly did not believe that to be the case. I think the author did a beautiful job at creating the realities of infidelity and when a family might be fracturing. It isn’t pretty or nice, but people experience it every day. Finn and Emerson have to deal with these issues or they cannot ever move on with their lives. They needed closure.

I would absolutely recommend this book. However, it is not a typical love story. Its classified as Fiction Literature>Romance. There are the themes of love in this story, but my true feeling is that love isn’t the whole point of this story. The truth of this story lies within ourselves, with facing the things we need to see, even when we don’t want to.