YouTuber LilyLoves has an amazing life: a rockstar boyfriend, a totally Insta-worthy London flat and a collection of beauty products that seems to grow daily (thanks, PO Box). Sixteen-year-old Melissa’s life is way less amazing – LilyLoves is the only thing getting her through it. She’s Lily’s biggest fan and spends hours each night watching her videos and liking her posts. Melissa wants that life for herself – or at least to look like she has it. As Melissa starts to grow in confidence – and followers – she discovers a crushing secret about Lily – the ultimate YouTube lie. Does she share Lily’s secret and crush her fame? Or will they both continue to live a lie – both online and off?
This is Charlotte’s debut novel and it’s a really interesting and addictive story that I read in one sitting.
I’ve a keen interest in social media and influencers so for me, this book was the perfect book to curl up with, as it dealt with the positive and negative sides of having a following.
The story is seen through the narrative of LilyLoves, a hugely successful video blogger who has just reached three million followers on YouTube. To her followers, she has the perfect life, the perfect relationship, boyfriend and the perfect lighting to take the perfect selfie. But behind closed doors, her life is far from perfect, battling anxiety and self fear, LIly is trying hard to keep it together for her loyal following.
Meanwhile, 16 year old Melissa, is a huge fan of LilyLoves and believes everything that she reads and sees on social media and she aspires to be just like her idol. So, when she falls in with the popular crowd and gets herself a boyfriend, she uses this to her advantage and uses photographs and filters to create her own following.
I really enjoyed this book, it gives an interesting and realistic insight into the world of blogging and how much pressure there is to be seen as perfect. As it’s currently the number one job that children aspire to do, it shows the stress that people are put under to create perfection, it also shows shallow and reactive it is, as fans can change over the simplest thing and quickly become the enemy. I really liked Lily, she was a sweet woman, who’s hobby slowly took over her life and she was unable to decide what was real or purely staged for social media. She showed the immense pressure that influencers are put under by their audience to always maintain their perfect lives.
Mellisa is a regular teenage girl, who is obsessed with social media and is off a generation where communication is through memes and pictures. She wants to be sought after after and hopes with creating this made up life, that her audience and life will become real.
A story of filters, selfies and followers, ‘My (Secret) You Tube Life’ is an interesting story about the complexities of social media and how fickle and hateful it can be, when things don’t always go the followers way.
You can buy My [Secret] YouTube Life from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.