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My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Many thanks to Net Galley, Penguin Random House UK and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
The Family Friend by C. C. MacDonald is a psychological thriller focussed on the perils of social media. YES, we have all been there, I bet there are millions amongst us who are so tuned into instant fame thru any social media handles that smartphones have somehow become an extra hand instead of an electronic device. The change from wanting to check the phone to be so needful of it and addicted to it is surprisingly so real that all of a sudden tour companies have started tagging #digitaldetox as the new trend for vacation. Of course, the pandemic hasn’t helped matters at all, making an already bad condition worse.
Erin is an insta-mum who projects a happy cool façade to the world but is truthfully struggling with her 9-month-old son Bobby. Her partner Raf is trying to make ends meet and Erin is determined to make something out of her Instagram account and earn money out of it. The need for validation from strangers has Erin totally hooked into her social media but it is also her intense desire to give meaning to her life where she has always wanted to be an actor par excellence. But achieving fame comes with a price as troll videos of her less than happy moments surfaces. The arrival of Amanda, Raf’s friend from Australia is a god-send but paranoia grips Erin and things go downhill soon.
The Family Friend has a solid story showing the readers about the pain of social media fame, and the effort it takes to maintain the status quo especially with a child who knows only to scream his head off every single time. There’s also a journal of a young girl whose entries gives us the creeps. The story however fails to offer much in the ‘thrill’ element as the plot is honestly predictable for seasoned readers. It takes more than half of the book for some action to happen coz of which there’s not much heart-thumping ride that’s expected from a psychological thriller. So instead of the “OH, MY” moment, in the end, the climax fell a bit short for me.
Going with 3 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ for this one.
From the author of Happy Ever After comes an unmissable new psychological thriller about a famous Insta-Mum influencer and what happens when a someone starts to stalk her every move…
Erin lives an idyllic life by the seaside with her baby boy and handsome Australian fiancée. She’s upbeat and happy – a natural mum. At least that’s what her thousands of followers on Instagram think.
In the real world, Erin is struggling with anxiety and finding it difficult to connect with her screaming son. So when a famous agent offers to make her the biggest instamum out there, she’s over the moon. And when Amanda, a family friend who’s visiting from Australia, says she’ll move in and babysit to help make it happen, it seems like the stars have finally aligned for Erin’s exciting new career.
But when a devastatingly revealing video is posted online by an anonymous troll, Erin’s brought crashing back to earth. As everything she’s worked for starts to slip away, Erin must find out how far she can trust those closest to her.
This review is published in my blog https://rainnbooks.com/, Goodreads, Amazon India and Twitter.