Rai, Alisha. Girl Gone Viral. New York: Avon Books, 2020.
ISBN-13: 978-0063003989 (hardcover)/978-0062878137 (paperback)/978-0062877888 (ebook) | $27.99 USD (hardcover)/$15.99 USD (paperback)/$10.99 USD (ebook) | 400 pages | Contemporary Romance
In Alisha Rai’s second novel in her Modern Love series, a live-tweet event goes viral for a camera-shy ex-model, shoving her into the spotlight—and into the arms of the bodyguard she’d been pining for.
OMG! Wouldn’t it be adorable if he’s her soulmate???
I don’t see any wedding rings [eyes emoji]
Breaking: #CafeBae and #CuteCafeGirl went to the bathroom AT THE SAME TIME!!!
One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a hot guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted the entire episode with a romantic meet-cute spin and #CafeBae is the new hashtag-du-jour. The problem? Katrina craves a low-profile life, and going viral threatens the peaceful world she’s painstakingly built. Besides, #CafeBae isn’t the man she’s hungry for…
He’s got a [peach emoji] to die for.
With the internet on the hunt for the identity of #CuteCafeGirl, Jas Singh, bodyguard, friend, and possessor of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina’s ever seen, comes to the rescue and whisks her away to his family’s home. Alone in a remote setting with the object of her affections? It’s a recipe for romance. But after a long dating dry spell, Katrina isn’t sure she can trust her instincts when it comes to love—even if Jas’ every look says he wants to be more than just her bodyguard…
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
The Right Swipe was one of my favorite books of last year, so I feel Girl Gone Viral had some big shoes to fill coming after it. And while there are things I enjoyed about this one, I didn’t feel like it had the same “spark” that the first book did.
The premise is great, especially since it does tap into both last year’s #PlaneBae controversy and Rai’s own experience the negative aspects of viral fame. And the inclusion of Katrina’s experience with panic attacks as a result of past trauma and how the experience of going viral magnified the issue was well-done.
However, the execution of the plot ends up falling flat. This is an incredibly slow burn, and it feels at times like nothing is happening. And the romance has so much potential, being somewhat friends-to-lovers, as well as the fact that he’s her bodyguard in a somewhat intense situation. However, I never really felt believed in their relationship or rooted for them.
I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I hoped, but I feel like there’s the bones of a good story here, given some of the topics it touches on. If you don’t mind a slower paced contemporary romance with a focus on the world of “modern romance” (dating apps and social media), perhaps you’ll enjoy this more than I did.
Alisha Rai pens award-winning contemporary romances and her novels have been named Best Books of the Year by Washington Post, NPR, Amazon, Entertainment Weekly, Kirkus, Oprah Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine. When she’s not writing, Alisha is traveling or tweeting. To find out more about her books or to sign up for her newsletter, visit www.alisharai.com.
Amazon (affiliate link)
Bookshop (affiliate link)