Calendar Girls is a blog event hosted by Flavia and Melanie. Each month (on the first Wednesday of the month) we will be discussing a different book based on a theme chosen by Flavia and Melanie. January’s theme is Best Debut Novel of 2016.
My pick for best debut novel of 2016 is Viral by Helen Fitzgerald, but it’s a bit unfair as it’s the only debut novel I read in 2016 which was also published in 2016 (at least as far as I know, I’m a bit hazy on what I have read in 2016). I have read a lot more debut novels, but this one was the only one that was published in 2016. Having said that, Viral was a very good book.
Viral is about two sisters, Su and Leah who go to Magaluf to celebrate after graduation. Leah is the wild one and Su the quiet, serious one. However, it is Su who ends up drunk in a nightclub performing multiple sex acts. The whole sordid affair is captured on video – a video that goes viral. Humiliated, Su refuses to go back to the UK with Leah.
Leah arrives home, alone, forced to explain to their parents what has happened. Their mother Ruth, a prominent judge, vows to bring Su home, and to take revenge on the men who took advantage of Su.
Although I didn’t like everything in the book, I did appreciate how it showed how – in today’s world of technology – one bad night can ruin your life, and the life of those you love. How one person with a cell phone has the power to broadcast your sins to the world.
Let me know in the comments if you agree with my pick.