Books Magazine

Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

By Pamelascott
Viral by Helen Fitzgerald So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety-six people have seen me online. They include my mother, my father, my little sister, my grandmother, my other grandmother, my grandfather, my boss, my sixth year Biology teacher and my boyfriend James.

When Leah Oliphant-Brotheridge and her adopted sister Su go on holiday together to Magaluf to celebrate their A-levels, only Leah returns home. Her successful, swotty sister remains abroad, humiliated and afraid: there is an online video of her, drunkenly performing a sex act in a nightclub. And everyone has seen it.

Ruth Oliphant-Brotheridge, mother of the girls, successful court judge, is furious. How could this have happened? How can she bring justice to these men who took advantage of her dutiful, virginal daughter? What role has Leah played in all this? And can Ruth find Su and bring her back home when Su doesn't want to be found?


[I sucked twelve cocks in Magaluf]


(Faber & Faber, 4 February 2016 paperback, bought in a charity shop)



I read this for 2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge. The category is 'a book you got from a used book sale'.


This is my first time reading the author. I have a few others books by her in my collection that I haven't got round to reading.

I enjoyed Viral.

I must admit I didn't have a lot of sympathy for Su at first. I felt pity for her because the video was everywhere, people were saying nasty things about her and my sympathy went a little further when it affected her family. I will admit, I was judging her, like everywhere else who saw the video and wrote her off as a slag. However, when it's gradually revealed what really happened last night and her life is torn further apart I completely changed my mind about her.

Viral is a powerful book about the effect of binge drinking, letting your guard down in a foreign country and the role social media has in our lives, how our lives can be ripped apart in the blink of an eye when the worst choice we made becomes public knowledge.

Viral is well written, using different narrators to covey different versions of the same story. My favourite character was Su's mother. She's so fierce. She wants someone to pay for what the video does to her daughter's life and her sense of rage and helplessness is painful to read at times.

Viral Helen Fitzgerald

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