Killer Content

Kiley Roache. Underlined, $9.99 paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-42749-1
Roache’s (The Dating Game) first thriller is an uneven take on the dangers and fleeting nature of online fame. In Malibu, six teen TikTok stars live together in a massive mansion, landing sponsorship deals and protecting their collective and individual brands. But each of the Lit Lair’s inhabitants have something to hide, and it all threatens to spill out when a body is found in the pool: that of Lit Lair member Sydney Reynolds, the white 17-year-old whose parents own the mansion. When ominous videos are subsequently posted to the group’s TikTok page, the house’s surviving members attempt to keep their secrets off-screen while navigating rapidly changing public sentiment. Despite attempts to address layers of internet fame and offline realities—Jamaican Kat is the group’s sole Black member, Latinx-cued Cami grapples with disordered eating, and Gwen deals with sudden financial insecurity—a lack of strong characterization and distinct voices make this multi-perspective, nonlinear story difficult to follow, and its depiction of suicide and mental illness feels shallow. Fans of Ash Parsons’ You’re So Dead may nevertheless enjoy this look into influencer living. Ages 12–up. Agent: Nicole Resciniti, Seymour Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 10/07/2021
Release date: 11/30/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-593-42750-7
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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