I was sent an early copy of Girlcrush by Florence Given a couple months ago, but I just got to read it this past week.
Girlcrush takes place in 2030, so a little bit in the future, but basically everything seems the same as now. Eartha is in her mid-20s and in a relationship with a man that she has grown to hate. After deciding to end things with him and going out to celebrate with her best friend, Rose, she finally admits to herself that she is bisexual. Rose, who is a non-binary lesbian, says she’s known the whole time and they both get drunk while celebrating. While drunk, they film a video and post it on Wonderland (sort of like Instagram) with Eartha coming out as bi and drunkenly spilling her guts about how she can’t take the horrible treatment of her boyfriend anymore and how she had grown to be disgusted by him, etc.
Her drunken video resonates with thousands of people and she becomes an overnight sensation on social media. Her commissions are through the roof (she’s a collage artist) and her follower count grows exponentially every day. Overwhelmed by her sudden popularity, Eartha quickly agrees to sign with E.V. a social media manager. Eventually, Eartha becomes so engrossed with her social media persona that she lives her life based on what her followers want her to do, say, post, etc. The pressure and ill intentions of people start to really get to her and soon she doesn’t know what is real, fake, who to trust, etc.
I liked the novel and thought Eartha’s anxiety about the pressures of social media can be relatable to most of us at varying degrees. While I did enjoy the novel and found it to be a quick read, I didn’t love it. Eartha, at times, made it difficult to feel for her because she never seemed to learn her lesson until it was way too late. There were so many times where something bad would happen and instead of learning from her mistakes she would keep trusting people too easily or doing things without thinking, etc. aka the things that got her in trouble before. Of course, not everything was her fault, but because so many things were partially her fault it made it difficult to really feel bad for her completely. My feelings towards Eartha did get better at the end, but I wish the ending had a more in-depth wrap up. If it did, I think I might’ve liked it more.
Overall, I thought it was an interesting book about a woman exploring her sexuality and the pressures of social media and society.
*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.*