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My (Secret) You Tube Life By Charlotte Seager

My (Secret) You Tube Life‘My (Secret) You Tube Life’ is the latest book by Charlotte Seager.

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.

The F Word By Lily Pebbles

The F Word ‘The F Word’ is Lily Pebbles thoughts on female relationships.

If there’s one piece of invaluable advice for women and girls of all ages, it is that there is nothing more important than creating and maintaining strong, positive and happy friendships with other women. In a culture that largely pits women against each other, I want to celebrate female friendships… all strings attached! If my 1998 diary is anything to go by, female friendships are incredibly complex and emotional but they’re the mini love stories that make us who we are. For many women, friends are our partners in crime through life; they are the ones who move us into new homes, out of bad relationships, through births and illnesses. In The F Word I’ve set out to explore and celebrate the essence of female friendship at different life stages and in its many wild and wonderful forms.

When it comes to female friendships, they are occasionally a bit of a minefield, they’re no longer as straightforward as when we were children, when we approached someone in the playground and asked if they wanted to be your friend.

Granted, now as an adult you could try that approach but it might result in some odd looks before backing away. As, we get older friendships become harder, we outgrow friends, as we might be travelling at different paces, we might have a difference of opinion or there just might be that one friend that doesn’t bring out the best in you.

‘The F Word’ is a great insight into the workings of the female mind and particularly the relationships between women. It might not provide any earth shattering information, but it provides informative and useful advice into dealing with different personalities at different times.

The book is written in a laid-back style that made for entertaining reading that I found myself relating to on many levels. My friendships vary, there’s work friends, social outgoings, school friends and there’s that one friend who’s always there, no matter what they are going through. That person, who means the world to you.

Lily writes frankly and honestly about her friendships through the years, how they’ve developed or faded away and she speaks frankly of moments of jealousy, that no-one ever wants to admit to.

There’s tips on how to handle all types of relationship dramas and there’s an useful inclusion of how to make new friends on social media and the do’s and don’t’s of interactions.

Although the cover of the book and the content of the book suggests it’s for an older market, I did think this book was more suited for the Young Adult audience, for those heading off to university and unsure how to make new friendships. Either way, ‘The F Word’ is a fun and fresh book with some warm humour and honesty dotted throughout.

You can buy The F Word: A personal exploration of modern female friendship from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.