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Filter This by Sophie White

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | General Fiction

By Swirl and Thread

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Are the #instafabulous really #livingtheirbestlives ?

Filter This is most definitely THE READ for the Insta Gen and for all fans of the ‘Aisling’ books. Written by Sophie White, Filter This will be published on September 5th with Hachette Ireland and is being hailed as the debut that will be most talked-about this Autumn.

Described as ‘a sharp, funny and heartfelt novel set in the Instagram world of #selfies and #OOTDs where appearances ARE EVERYTHING, but nothing is as it seems’Filter This is ‘filled with darkly, humorous observations and flawed relatable characters…’

ARE YOU INSTA-READY?

I am on Instagram. I post images of books and a few photos of nature and coffee cups. But of myself? Very, VERY infrequently. Why? PRESSURE. Recently I heard the term ‘Glow-up’ being used and after being explained it’s meaning by my 15 year old, I realised that I would need one serious glow-up before I would EVER consider the idea of regularly posting pictures of myself and as for the #OOTD ?? TOO MUCH WORK. Yip I’m lazy. I just could not be bothered and yes I am not from the Insta Gen. I am however intrigued and somewhat in awe of the folk who live their lives in a filter of perfection. HOW DO THEY DO IT?

Sophie White writes about fictional characters, all striving to be the next BIG star on Insta, the influencer that all companies will be striving to do a ‘collab’ with. Writing with a witty pen, she also manages to reveal the hidden layers, the real truth behind the filter, and the fear of losing the badge of honour that goes hand-in-hand with repeatedly trending on social media platforms.

Shelly Divine, a Mummy-Influencer, is Ireland’s number one Mama, with the picture perfect lifestyle. She lives in a stunning home with an interior straight out of a photo shoot. Her little girl, Georgie, and husband, Dan are all part of the package, part of the Shelly machine, that the greater public want to see. To the outside world, Shelly’s life is the dream, the envy of many of her followers but what really happens behind the closed door. How does Shelly seem to be able to do EVERYTHING, while appearing so glamorous and unfazed at ALL times?

Ali Jones is a wannabe Influencer. Working in a dead-end job, Ali sees The Influencer as her get-out, her way to be someone, to win an award and achieve a fraction of what Shelly Divine has. Ali has set up an Insta account and posts daily with motivational images and of course her #OOTD. Her fan base is increasing but very slowly.

Ali’s father is very unwell and her mother is not particularly involved or interested in Ali’s life. Frustrated with her life, not coping well with her father’s illness and feeling uninspired by her job, Ali makes a very spontaneous decision, one that will lead her down a very treacherous path. Ali dreams of adulation, collaborations, sponsorship deals and more, and is prepared to cover her rather rocky tracks to fulfill this ambition. But at what cost?

Sophie White has written a contemporary and very relevant novel highlighting, with much humour, the negativity of social media. Ali and Shelly both are looking for something, looking for meaning in their lives. Ultimately both are looking for happiness but keep losing sight along the way of what is really important to them. Filter This is a highly entertaining read, a book that I have no doubt will spark many conversations. It is a satirical look at our modern lives and our obsession with PERFECTION. We are all guilty of touching up a photo, adding filters and creating the image we wish to share with the world…but we have to ask the question…at what cost?

Filter This is a funny, charming and delightful read but with an edge. It is a very pertinent read with characters who, at times, will both charm and frustrate. It is a very engaging read and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. And I learned stuff, lots of stuff…… but the most important thing I learned is that I am way too lazy to EVER post a daily #OOTD My head hurts at the thought of it, yet I do admire the tenacity and pure determination of those who do and those who dare to dream…..

(c) Swirl and Thread

Pre-order your copy online here.

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