Last year, I enjoyed reading Holly Wainwright's debut novel, The Mummy Bloggers where I met three women who were followed, idolised, imitated and trolled online. When all three were nominated for prominent social media awards, the scene was set for a hilarious battle for clicks, likes and shares. As the awards drew closer, lies unfolded and the stunts spun out of control.
In How to be Perfect, Holly continues her engaging story with the reinvention of Elle after her public shaming. Elle's new vibe is one of serenity and positive intentions, or is it? She now hosts an exclusive retreat where women pay thousands of dollars to follow her extreme lifestyle. But who is bankrolling her new empire?
Meanwhile, wedding preparations are underway for Abi whose ex-husband is building a financial cult from her garden shed. However, Abi's teenage daughter's YouTube channel is gaining followers for all the wrong reasons.
Frances has a newborn and turns to her WhatsApp mothers' group for support, although it appears to only exacerbate her anxiety. Frances aspires to be more like the fit mums she follows on Instagram. On returning to work, she believes if she can save enough money to attend Elle's private retreat, everything in her life will soon be perfect...
Clean eating, green smoothies, smug mums, dirty tricks and fake gurus: How to be Perfect highlights the power of social media versus the reality. A super fun read!
Holly Wainwright lives in Sydney and has spent her career as a journalist, both in print and online.
Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Allen & Unwin, RRP $32.99