Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Social Creature” as Want to Read:
Social Creature
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Social Creature

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  9,311 ratings  ·  1,540 reviews
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,
Hardcover, 273 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Doubleday
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Social Creature, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Jessica If only there were something you could read that would let you know what happens in the book.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,311 ratings  ·  1,540 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Social Creature
Emily May
Mar 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
This is the second book I've read in the last couple of years that should just be called "The Talented Mr. Rip-Off". Genuine Fraud was the other one. The moment you tell us that a book is like The Talented Mr. Ripley - which the blurb does - you basically spoil everything that happens for anyone who knows the plot of that book.

But, to be honest, I don't think not knowing the plot of Social Creature could have saved it. I just don't get the hype. This was an unpleasant reading experience from sta
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, netgalley, arc
What in the everloving world did I just read and I mean this in the best possible way. Holy smokes, man, that was a firecracker of a book.

This is like nothing I’ve ever, ever read before, but I’m having a similar reaction as to when I read Caroline KepnesYOU. It’s a little something like this: I don’t know if I liked it but I can appreciate it for being something completely unique and compelling, yet dark and disturbing. In fact, I would give it a full 5 stars for sheer originality, creativit
Well…now that was about as different as it gets! Bizarre, shocking, dark, and did I mention bizarre?! If your interest is piqued, then this is a must for your summer reading.

Lavinia has it all. She’s young, rich and drop-dead gorgeous. She resides in the heart of New York City where the night scene is her own private play-ground.

On the other side of town, and calling Brooklyn home, Louise is living a very different lifestyle. Somewhat older, not nearly as glamorous and surviving pay check to pa
May 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley

Louise is poor. Lavinia is not. Lavinia takes Louise under her wing. Lavinia is young, lacking in common sense, with a very aggrandized sense of herself. Louise sees an opportunity and takes it. How much would you put up with to live the rich lifestyle? And what would you do to maintain it?

First warning - The characters here are all unlikable. Lavinia, especially, was just so obnoxious, so pretentious, so needy it was hard to see why she was so popular. The supposedly so desirable lifestyle com
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton is a 2018 Doubleday publication.
Unorthodox – but very effective!
Louise Wilson is one birthday away from thirty, working three jobs to stay afloat, living a dull, uneventful life. Through a tutoring job, she meets Lavinia, a rich young woman taking a break from her ivy league education. Lavinia pulls Louise into her vivid, and lavish world, all of which is expediently documented on social media. Louise caters to Lavinia’s every whim which earns her a chanc
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Omgggg I had the best night ever. Tara Isabella Burton and I sat out on the porch with a box of wine while she told me this fucked up story about this chick she knew in college named Louise.

That's what it feels like reading this book, the author is speaking directly to you via a disjointed style of writing that is clearly purposeful and a genius way to get under your skin while building up an uncomfortable tension.

The cast of characters are straight from one of those annoying reality shows fea
Diane S ☔
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Remember the party girls, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Ritchie? Their nightly exploits posted everywhere. The beginning of the book reminded me of them, Lavinia, extroverted, larger than life, heavy drinker, partying nighlty. Louise, quieter, introverted, attracted to Lavinia with her outrageous personality and lifestyle. Constantly taking selfies, posting everything on social media, one outrageous scenario after another.

Under the glitter and glitz, this is actually a dark novel. These character
Susanne  Strong
5 Stars.

WOAH! What in HECK did I just read?

Addictive, crazy and all out weird. “Social Creature” is one of the strangest, most convoluted books I’ve ever read.

Characters without a heart or soul, characters whose behavior completely intrigues and disgusts and whose lives you can’t stop reading about. What starts out as just plain weird quickly becomes totally engrossing. I dove in head first and didn’t dare come up for air till the very end.

Lavinia and Louise’s friendship - say what?! My thoug
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 enthralling trainwreck stars to Social Creature! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Social Creature is a total trainwreck of a read, and I mean this in the best possible way. Yes, it is absolutely addictive, and because of that, I could not stop reading. More on that in a bit.

Louise is quiet, introverted, and mousy. When she meets over-the-top socialite and party animal, Lavinia, her life takes an intense and even toxic turn. The two become fast friends, and the story turns dark really, really fast.

The less you kn
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't know what this will say about me but I freaking loved this book. Oh, man, it is so deliciously fucked up.

This story follows Louise, an almost 30 yr old New Yorker, and her budding friendship with the 23 yr old Lavinia. Lavinia comes from money and Louise doesn't come from anything. Louise becomes obsessed with Lavinia and in keeping her friendship with her alive. Lavinia is everything she isn't. She's a free spirit who lives off her parents money while taking a break from school. There
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Filled with all the glitz and glamour of New York City, “Social Creature” follows wealthy party girl Lavinia Williams and her newest bestie Louise Wilson, an aspiring writer living on the margins. As they travel from one decadent, outrageous, and extravagant party to the next Louise becomes infatuated with Lavinia and her lifestyle. Lavinia and her friends are obsessed with social media and the decisions they make about their lives seem to be driven solely by how exotic, exciting, and enviable t ...more
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although I haven’t read enough of the upcoming summer books to be sure, this may well be the beach read of the season. The plot is one that we all know well: young, socialite takes poor small-town girl under her wing and obsession ensues. It reads fast and reminded me of Bight Lights Big City with more than a dash of The Luckiest Girl Alive thrown in for good measure. Burton captures NYC wonderfully including the vast disparities between working class Sunset Park, Brooklyn to the glitzy world of ...more
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 heading for disaster stars
My reviews can be seen here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

Throw together an introvert, a wealthy party girl, New York City, and a whirling social scene and you have the makings of the frenetic book. Louise Wilson meets the whirlwind Lavinia Williams and the two hit it off and embark on adventures, parties and hook ups that are reminiscent of the roaring twenties where anything, and I do mean anything goes. Their relationship is a catastrophe, one where they
Carol (Bookaria)
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novel has mesmerizing, over-the-top, unlikable characters and I loved it!

First, just look at the cover! The dramatic makeup, the tear-streaked face, the downward-looking eye. They're all glimpses into the story. 

As the description states, Lavinia has everything, Louise is barely surviving but once they meet they become inseparable. Their friendship is as complex as their personalities. 

I listened to the audiobook and the narration was perfect. The narrator did a great job with the transatla
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Wow, do I ever have conflicting feelings about this book! I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars but since I'm undecided I'll give it 3.5 stars and round up. The first half was barely a 2 star and the last half a solid 4.

I almost DNF’d it multiple times in the first half but kept reading. I can’t say I’m proud of myself for continuing to do so because these are two of the most obnoxious, hedonistic, pretentious, self-absorbed humans on the planet. Neither is likable, and each is unlikable in different
Elyse  Walters
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Audiobook- read by Saskia

The title fits....even that ‘eye’ - book cover - is ‘creepy’ fitting.
For those who thought ‘The Circle’, by Dave Eggers was scary...creepy...( I thought it was much more fun than this book)....
This novel is - in part - another branch on the social media tree- the powerful influence technology is over our lives.

For me.... this Audiobook was background chatter-noise - engaging ‘enough’...not great.
I finished it while going about my chores-sauna resting and pool
Katie B
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

I can't really say I liked it as a whole which is why it's getting less than 3 stars but I definitely didn't hate it. There were certain aspects of the story I liked but I did struggle with the writing style. Kinda bummed because I thought I'd like this one more.

Louise is struggling to get by when she meets Lavina, the woman who has everything. They strike up an intense friendship and let's just say this book shares a lot in common with another popular book/movie. And no, I'm not going
Liz Barnsley
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Social Creature using the literary equivalent of watching a horror movie with a cushion over your face, peering out over the top of it. I was compelled ever onwards but almost didn't want to look...

It starts off quietly enough - Louise has nothing and she meets Lavinia who has everything. Louise wants what Lavinia has and Lavinia is more than happy to give it to her. At first. Of course surface sparkle hides inner darkness and you can never really know the truth of someone else's existenc
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, suspense
This book kind of exhausted me, TBH.

I couldn't stand any of the characters, which I don't typically mind, but for some reason these all grated on my nerves, not to mention they all had obnoxious names.

Lavinia: High maintenance, spoiled little rich girl who lives life to the fullest, often at others expense. (And I'm not just referring to money)

Louise: This one confused the heck out of me....often appearing as a dull, mousy, wallflower; and others she is shown as beautiful, vibrant and witty. But
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

This is one of those times where the blurb name dropping might be a curse. If readers go into this expecting something warped like Gillian Flynn, there will be a lot of disappointed faces on the intertubes (except for one scene that had Mitchell like awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww yeah!!!!). I also get the idea of the comparison to Donna Tartt because Tara Isabella Burton has a distinct writing style, but once again it’s not very accurate. Why a
Jul 05, 2018 marked it as lost-interested
DNF @ 20%

Why this one didn’t work out for me:

I didn’t like the writing, it was a bit strange for me and a bit confusing at some point!

It contains very looong chapters! It’s 270 pages with only 10 chapters and even I read 20%, still the second chapter hadn’t been finished!

I got bored! Nothing happened, just two seemingly friends were happy and having good times at parties!

But I should say it was me and not the book because most of my friends loved this! So don’t listen to me and read it, hope you
Bentley ★
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, cover-porn
See this review and more like it on!

Mesmerizing, twisted and intense, Social Creature examines the destructive power of narcissism in the digital age - and the lengths one will go to obtain the glamorous lifestyle portrayed in their social media accounts.

Evocative of the glitz and glamour of The Great Gatsby, New York City high society life has never seemed so nihilistic as it does in this novel. Told through the perspective of 29 year old Louise - an outsider looking
"There are two kinds of people in the world: the people you can fool into liking you, and the ones clever enough not to fall for it."

Social Creature is the most peculiarly told original story that I've ever read! I mean this in the most loving way because I obviously loved it (finished the story within 24 hours #allIdoIsRead). Louise Wilson is an aspiring writer living in Brooklyn, while maintaining odd jobs and coordinating tutoring sessions so she can pay rent while she writes. She ends up
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

I heard no preliminary hype about this book - it just kind of appeared out of the ether, but I really liked the Black Swan vibe I got from the cover and the blurb on Goodreads compared this book to Donna Tartt and Gillian Flynn, two authors whose works I regularly five star because they're amazing. Here's the thing, though: Burton is in no way on the same level as those two authors and to compare them is unfair to both parties. It's like
☆Dani☆ ☆Touch My Spine Book Reviews☆
I really enjoyed this novel and thought the storyline was unique. I qucikly became invested in the story and this book surely grabs your attention! The only thing that bugged me is the characters got on my nerves at times but hey it happens. Overall I think it was a good read and not your everyday thrill either. I recommend this novel!😀
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
You know how there are those books that give you all the chills and make you really uneasy, where you don't like a single thing that is happening with the plot and the characters bother you to bits, where the storyline is so disturbing that you almost pull out your hair, and yet it is nearly impossible to put the book down and you keep turning pages! Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton belongs in that category.

Louise is an ordinary girl trying to make ends meet, struggling with multiple job
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton is one of those books that, when it ended, I didn’t know what to think. I’m still not sure. The book is extremely readable, I couldn’t stop. The story centers on the relationship of Lavinia and Louise, two twenty-somethings living in New York City. Lavinia is a beautiful young woman who lives off her parent’s money while on a “break” from grad school. Lavinia spends all of her time partying with other troubled and moneyed friends, she meets Louise, a meek ...more
Nicole Chinnici
Several days after having finished Social Creature, I still have a lot of mixed feelings about it that I’m having trouble putting into words. But I’m going to try.

The blurb for this book captured my attention immediately. But! If you haven’t read the blurb for this somewhere other than above – don’t! The one I read has a fairly large spoiler in it.

Upon starting Social Creature, the writing style continued to captivate me. Told in the third person limited, it almost read like a piece of journalis
Erin (from Long Island, NY)
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(4.5 rounded up & the audio was great!) This book was so strange & refreshing.. It is a thriller, so full of dark impulses & obsession, but i appreciated it even more as an intense character study. & oh, the characters! It's been compared to a certain classic, well-known book, but I'd say to just avoid any info beforehand & go in blind.. What a fun, bizarre ride! Definitely 1 i won't forget for a long, long time.. & i can't wait to see what else i can find by this author! I love her writing styl ...more
Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)
3.5 stars, rounding to 4

First, let me say what a deliciously creepy book this is. Obsession, lying, conniving, compulsive... makes me question everyone around me! Second, I've seen TONS of comparisons of this to The Talented Mr. Ripley... which I saw the movie ages ago and never read the book so while I can see how it is, that kind of got lost on me in making any type of comparison myself (which I'm grateful for).

The writing style was a bit different than what I'm used to. Honestly, if I had to
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Give Me Your Hand
  • Invitation to a Bonfire
  • Devotion
  • Our Kind of Cruelty
  • My Year of Rest and Relaxation
  • Bunny
  • My Dark Vanessa
  • The Incendiaries
  • The New Me
  • Bitter Orange
  • A Double Life
  • The Lost Night
  • The Herd
  • Followers
  • Looker
  • The Favorite Sister
  • My Sister, the Serial Killer
  • Self Care
See similar books…
Tara Isabella Burton has followed a female hermit into the remote Caucasus, gotten love amulets from Turkish Islamic shamans, and held signs with the street preachers of Las Vegas.

Her work on religion, culture, and place can be found at National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera, The Economist's 1843, Aeon, The BBC, The Atlantic, The American Interest, Salon, The New Statesman, The T

News & Interviews

Readers have a lot to look forward to this year! Just feast your eyes upon all of these debut books to check out and emerging authors to...
124 likes · 38 comments
“There are things it is better for a person not to know. The day and the manner of your own death, that’s one, or whether or not you’re going to fuck your mother and kill your father. What people say behind your back. The names somebody you love has called somebody else. There’s a reason people are able to function, in this world, as social creatures, and a good part of that reason is that there are a lot of questions intelligent people don’t ask.” 1 likes
“Louise thinks: we cannot be known and loved at the same time.” 0 likes
More quotes…