Book Review: Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai

2.5 stars

Katrina, an ex-model, spent most of her childhood in the spotlight as a model. Now, after the death of her husband, she has created a space of anonymity for herself. That is, until one day, a man approaches her at a busy coffee shop and asks to sit with her. He’s cute, but Katrina isn’t ready to date, so she politely turns him down when he asks. She thinks the interaction is over, but the next day finds out that an observer at the next table documented the entire thing on her Twitter- included with a photo. Next thing Katrina knows, she is going viral as the #CafeBae and people all over the world are trying to uncover her identity. So when her bodyguard, Jas, suggests a weekend away, that sounds exactly like what Katrina needs. However, the more she spends time with Jas, the more she realizes that the sparks between them are undeniable.

This is the companion novel to The Right Swipe (full review here), a book I was pleasantly surprised by. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling this book quite as much.

I really liked reading from Katrina’s perspective. She was lots of fun and had an interesting back story. In fact, I wish we would’ve gotten more about her backstory. The author added a few details, such as an abusive father and a kidnapping, but I wish she would’ve gone a bit more in depth into water her childhood and pre-marriage life was like.

This was a dual perspective novel, so although I liked Katrina’s voice, I didn’t like Jas’s as much. I found him quite boring and monotone compared to her. Even by the end of the book, I felt like I didn’t know that much about him, and I also didn’t understand how his feelings for Katrina had come to be. From the start of the novel, he’s such crazy for her, and I wish I would’ve been able to see a build up of those feelings. He had so much family drama going on, and I felt like that’s the only part of Jas’s character that was really developed.

Now, let’s continue with the romance. The idea of a bodyguard romance sounds super intriguing, but this really didn’t work for me. I didn’t understand where Jas and Katrina’s relationship stemmed from, it just kind of appeared. It didn’t seem very real to me. The author tries to cover for this by saying they had been into each other for since the beginning, but I still didn’t really feel it. This made the whole story feel kind of insta-lovey. Not only that, but the two also claim to love the other after the first time they kiss. It just didn’t feel super real.

Although this wasn’t my favorite, there were some things I really did like about this book! Gia, Katrina’s roommate, is so precious and I am so excited for her to get her own novel! I also loved the mental health representation in this book! Katrina struggles with anxiety, and the author goes into detail about how this affects Katrina. However, I love the fact that even though Katrina has anxiety, she is still crazy successful! She has amazing friends, financial security, and by the end a great boyfriend. I feel like there is a stigma that people with anxiety cannot be successful, and the author totally erases that prejudice.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?