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Viral

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3.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,774 ratings  ·  276 reviews

So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety six people have seen me online. They include my mother, my father, my little sister, my grandmother, my other grandmother, my grandfather, my boss, my sixth year Biology teacher and my boyfriend James.

When Leah Doyle and her adopted sister Su go on holiday together to Magaluf to celebrate their A-levels, only Leah returns home.

...more
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published January 28th 2016 by Faber & Faber (first published 2016)
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3.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,774 ratings  ·  276 reviews


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Deanna
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favorites
Oh my....WOW!!

"What if the worst thing you did went viral?"

What a question! I don't want anything I do to go viral.

Heck I don't even know where to start with my review. This was one helluva book!!

****I will try my very best but there may be minor spoilers ahead. Please read with caution***


From the first sentence I was shocked and pulled into this story. I won't tell you what the first sentence was but if you've read the entire book description you probably have an idea.
Actually both the very f
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Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Viral is a book that made me think. It made me think about the incredible power of the internet and social media to bring something positive or negative into our homes, minds and hearts and how desensitised so many of us are to it now, especially teens and young adults. It's a freaking minefield.

Su is a sensible, intelligent and practical girl who lives a stable life with her adopted parents. Su is Korean by birth and was adopted as a tiny newborn baby. She does not think she is anything specia
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Jules
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Viral is a very modern day story with a great plot, is fast paced, sometimes tense, and often thought provoking.

Gone are the days when teenagers are encouraged to read Go Ask Alice to put them off making the same mistakes. Teenagers seem much wiser and clued up on sex and drugs these days. Now is the time for parents to be placing a copy of Viral in amongst their Christmas stocking fillers, in the hope they will realise what goes on the internet doesn’t just go away. It may not be fun if whateve
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Lee
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well with an opening line like that I was not quite sure what I was in for, don't let this put you off as it is a good book. The story enforces the perils of social media and how the youth of today can be totally unaware of the damage that can be done, and the end result can be devastating to all involved. Once placed there, it cannot be removed and will linger on the net for years to come. I don't want to say to much more as do not want to give the plot away. Helen FitzGerald tells a good tale, ...more
Liz Barnsley
Absolutely brilliant novel - Helen Fitzgerald has a really REALLY good eye for characters and this is a socially relevant storyline that is really quite scary if you think too much about it. Killer opening line followed by a killer tale this is highly recommended. Hoping to have Helen on the blog on release to talk about some of this stuff so full review will follow then.
Emma
Dec 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Well the opening line was quite a hook. I won't spoil the surprise though.

It was a really interesting read for two reasons: the plot was pacey and the subject matter was topical.

The idea of a video going viral is part of modern consciousness, people share content like this every day without a thought. It was fascinating to look at the experience from the side of the person who was the 'star' of the show, how it affected them and those around them. The filming of a sex act in public, the consent
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Rossy
Dec 06, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
1.5 stars
I expected A LOT more than I got, based on the first pages and GR reviews.
I struggled to finish it, I must admit.
The plot was promising, but I ended up feeling so bored and I didn't understand most of the characters' reactions at all, especially the incident involving Bernie, the father.
Janet
I knew when I went in to this book that there was going to be a lot of controversy surrounding it. It starts of with a 'killer' line which is meant to hook the reader in straightaway, and it does. However, I think I'm going to be in the minority when I say that I didn't love this book as much as I was hoping to.

Viral is a prime example of how a word has taken on a new meaning. Instead of something infectious we now tend to think of something going 'viral' online with phenomenal speed. A sign of
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Eric
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The caption on the cover sums this novel up quite nicely.

A twenty-something adopted daughter is filmed in a tavern committing an act that goes viral when an unsavory man uploads the recording to the internet.

The novel follows as the young woman deals with becoming worldly notorious almost over night, while explaining her ongoing turmoil with her sister and powerful, steely mother.

As the novel unfolds, each main character is followed, with the tale detailing their own reactions to the viral vide
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Christine
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The opening line of Viral is shocking, appropriate and mind blowing. This is a very modern tale of a good girl going bad and how the whole world gets to know about it, via social media. One mistake in our technological internet age and your life can change.

The story introduces us to Su, an adopted child of Ruth and sister to Leah. Su is pretty much the perfect daughter, on her way to university to become a doctor and make her mark in the world. Su goes on holiday to Magaluf and is lead astray. A
...more
Vera (GirlySunglasses)
Dec 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of fast paced books, young adults,
3 stars

This is a good book, a fast and easy read (I finished it in under 24 hours), the curiosity of what would happen, what the characters would do propelled me to keep going.

There's a good amount of foul language and some explicit descriptions in the book, more than I'm used to, but way less than in a rap lyrics, for example.

The premise of Viral is an interesting and current one: what would you do if the most embarrassing/humiliating moment of your life was caught on camera, posted on Youtube
...more
Anne
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, Viral is the book with that opening line. The line that the publishers wanted the author to change. The line that will be the deciding factor when the big supermarkets look at it, and think about stocking it on their shelves. The line is a shocker, there is no doubt of that, but it's also an extremely good hook, it's also relevant, and it's also actually not that offensive at all. Compare it to the content of best-selling novels such as Fifty Shades, or to stuff that goes on in computer game ...more
Elaine
Jan 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book with an opening line that is guaranteed to grab your attention. You will start to read and before you know it, you are at The End. I have seen those documentaries about brits behaving badly abroad, and specifically in the local clubs where the PR people entice the youngsters in with cheap drinks and before they know it they are taking part in “sexy games” on the club stage. This is what happens when one of those “games” is filmed and uploaded to Youtube and the fall out that follo ...more
Figgy
I sucked twelve cocks in Magaluf.
So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety-six people have seen me do this. They might include my mother, my father, my little sister, my grandmother, my other grandmother, my grandfather, my boss, my sixth-year biology teacher and my boyfriend of six weeks, James.
Helen FitzGerald starts her stories with a bang, and pulls the reader along as she pieces their world together for us. She doesn’t faff around with the happy life before the storm, but rather throws us ri
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Tracy Fenton
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With possibly the best opening line ever this story grabs you by the collar and doesn't let go until the end. The sad and painful side of the Internet and how the mistakes we make can now be uploaded and shared with the world! Fascinating characters and a thought provoking tale.
Leah
Wow, where to start? This sounded like an AMAZING read. Seriously, when I saw it on Amazon, I was dead excited because it sounded great. Not only is it very topical, but it sounded addictive, the kind of novel you devour in one sitting. Which I did, to be honest, but not in a good way. More in an I-want-to-be-finished-with-this-book way.

However Viral was one of those reads I just didn't understand. WHAT WAS GOING ON? Yes, what happened to Su went Viral, and yes that first line is ehhhh interest
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TL
May 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to TL by: Figgy
The opening line is a killer one and does suck you into the story... it started out well but ultimately it ended up being so-so for me.

I saw Figgy reading it and was intrigued by the status updates she posted and by the summary of the book... Added it to my amazon wishlist and waited for it to come down in price, when it finally did I jumped on it right away.

The writing: 3.5 stars
Plot and characters: 2.5-3 stars

I felt like I was on the outside looking in as things unfolded in the story. I felt s
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Paul
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
Viral – A Very Modern Story

Helen Fitzgerald has written the story of the modern age with Viral; this book is every parent’s nightmare and could so easily happen to your child. Viral examines what happens when a teenager does something terrible that is recorded and then posted online for the whole world to see and remember. This is a story of doing something so terrible it is meant to define you but at the same time you rediscover your love for your family and those closest.

Leah and Su Oliphant-B
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Joanne Robertson
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is a book where I have an awful feeling that THAT first line will actually be what defines this novel and I sincerely hope not as I'm sure that wasn't the authors intention here. That said, it is a real killer of a line to get you straight into this story of a video that goes "viral".

When Su and her sister Leah go to Magaluf for a holiday with their girlfriends to celebrate the end of their school days, they can't foresee that it will end in such a horrific way. Before they can even get on
...more
Sarah
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well this was something a bit different for me and also an author I hadn't read before.
The blurb was enticing so when it came up to request on netgalley I requested a copy and was lucky enough to be approved.
The start of the book certainly grabs you're attention and from there I was eager to pick up the story at every opportunity to see how the fallout was going to affect each of the characters and whether it would be the making or breaking of the family involved.
It certainly leaves you thinki
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Amy Norris
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had such a relevant and interesting premise. Good girl Su is filmed performing oral sex on 12 men in a nightclub while on holiday. The video goes viral. We follow the aftermath.

I loved the characters and their interactions with each other. I loved Su and really felt for her. The book started out so strong and it took a weird turn. The second half just felt like it lacked direction and a lot of it seemed unlikely or unbelievable. At the end of the day though I still enjoyed reading thi
...more
Laura
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Reviewed on www.snazzybooks.com

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald is a shocking and very topical novel that really made me think about the effect that the internet, and today’s ‘instant share’ culture has on society.

The story is fast paced and Fitzgerald creates some brilliant, convincing characters. You really feel for poor Su; although many will see her as naive and stupid (which she was!), she certainly didn’t deserve to have this happen to her, and it made my blood boil reading about the experience
...more
David Reviews
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

When Leah and her adopted sister eighteen year old Su decide to fly to Magaluf to celebrate the end of A-levels, there are shocking and devastating consequences. A holiday video quickly goes ‘viral’ and Su in her shame feels the need to disappear.

From the memorable first line Viral is gripping and this fast-paced contemporary story is hard to put down. Author Helen Fitzgerald novel is uncompromising and highly entertaining, as she smoothly brings together the side stories and family history to a
...more
❧ Cristina ☙
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My ratings: 4/5 | 8/10

This was so awesome and the finale is unforgetable!

Review soon, written and on video! :)))
Bill Kupersmith
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: me-emma
With Helen Fitzgerald I always go someplace new & learn something I’d never thought of before, & now I know the hot place to go in Magaluf & what ‘paddle wire’ is & some fascinating new uses for it (nothing to do with either table tennis or canoeing). Unfortunately, what happens in Magaluf doesn’t stay in Magaluf, as Su, our 18 y/o principal character discovers when she unwittingly stars in a porn video that ‘goes viral’ on the internet, thanks to her sister Leah & her friend ...more
Cleopatra  Pullen
Well this is one opener that can’t be ignored:

So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety-six people have seen me online. They include my mother, my father, my little sister, my grandmother, my other grandmother, my grandfather, my boss, my sixth year Biology teacher and my boyfriend James.

What they have seen is a video of Su Oliphant-Brotheridge on holiday in Magaluf with her sister Leah. Let’s be coy and just say that the uploaded video isn’t something that any of the people listed above would wa
...more
Sharon
Feb 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One hell of an opening line that I won't spoil, but sufficed to say, this isn't for you if you don't appreciate foul language.

I love a good swear, and I like Helen Fitzgerald's writing style, so when I saw that this was a new book, I bought it straight away.

This paragraph from the burb above caught my eye:

"When Leah Oliphant-Brotheridge and her adopted sister Su go on holiday together to Magaluf to celebrate their A-levels, only Leah returns home. Her successful, swotty sister remains abroad,
...more
Book Addict Shaun
I don't know what I was expecting the first line of Viral to be, but judging from the reactions of most other readers I expected it to be a lot more shocking than it actually was. The book opens with one of our main characters, Su, telling the reader about how a sex act she performed in a Magaluf club has now gone viral, as a video has been uploaded to the internet for the world to see. The reader learns that Su was adopted after being abandoned as a baby, is from a fairly well-to-do family with ...more
Claire
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
When Viral was released, all the hubbub was about its opening sentence; six words that set the scene for the whole book. And yes they do have a huge impact. But this book is so much more than these rather unique opening six words; it’s the journey of a family affected by these six words.

Su-Jin is desperate to get the relationship back with her sister and will do anything to fit in with her sister and her friends. She is the total opposite of her adopted sister which makes her life so much more d
...more
Christy
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book starts out with just-turned 18 year old Su explaining in explicit terms what she did the night before - performing a sex act on a dozen different men whilst drunk. The video has gone viral, and tens of thousands of people have seen it, including her parents, her grandparents, her boyfriend, and pretty much everyone she knows. Su is already grappling with her identity and fitting in; an adopted Korean in a white family, with a sister who has a lot of jealousy issues and deliberately goa ...more
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Helen FitzGerald is the second youngest of thirteen children. She grew up in the small town of Kilmore, Victoria, Australia, and studied English and History at the University of Melbourne. Via India and London, Helen came to Glasgow University where she completed a Diploma and Masters in Social Work. She works part time as a criminal justice social worker in Glasgow. She's married to screenwriter ...more
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“I WILL NOT TOLERATE INSOLENCE IN MY FUCKING COURT!’ Ruth” 0 likes
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