Happy Monday! This week I’m throwing not one but TWO book reviews your way. The first of the two is a non-fiction that’s somewhat of a true crime book. It doesn’t focus on any grizzly murders or other violent crimes. But rather on online scammers and how we all fall prey to social media. Sounds interesting, right? I was VERY excited to read this one and now I’m equally excited to share my review. So without any further ado, here’s my review of Hype by Gabrielle Bluestone.
Many thanks to Harper Collins for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Hype: How Scammers, Grifters, Con Artists and Influencers Are Taking Over the Internet – and Why We’re Following
by Gabrielle Bluestone
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date of Publication: 29th April 2021
Format: eBook (337 pages)
From the journalist behind hit Netflix documentary Fyre comes an eye-opening look at the con artists and serial scammers of the digital age―and why we can’t stop falling for them.
We live in an age where scams are the new normal. A charismatic entrepreneur sells thousands of tickets to a festival that never happened. Respected investors pour millions into a start-up centered around fake blood tests. Reviewers and celebrities flock to London’s top-rated restaurant that’s little more than a backyard shed. These unsettling stories of today’s viral grifters have risen to fame and hit the front-page headlines, yet the curious conundrum remains: Why do these scams happen?
Drawing from scientific research, marketing campaigns, and exclusive documents and interviews, Vice reporter Gabrielle Bluestone delves into the irresistible hype that fuels our social media ecosystem, whether it’s from the trusted influencers that peddled Fyre or the consumer reviews that sold Juicero. A cultural examination that is as revelatory as it is relevant, Hype pulls back the curtain on the manipulation game behind the never-ending scam season―and how we as consumers can stop getting played.
As one of my most anticipated releases of April, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review Hype. But did it live up to my expectations? Well, yes and no.
I was drawn to the premise of it looking at how online personalities are scamming others in various ways. As a blogger, I fall under the ‘influencer’ umbrella and I’m always interested in reading about the dark side of this industry so an exposé sounded right up my alley. And it was. At least the bits that weren’t focused exclusively on Fyre Festival.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m fascinated by Fyre Festival. I studied Events Management at university. As such, the whole drama blows my mind. There were so many red flags. Why did so many people fall for it? How did it even get that far? The whole thing is surreal. And if you’re interested in this case then you’ll love this book. It has so much detail and generally tries to answer all the questions you might have.
However, I didn’t expect it to be quite so heavily focused on Fyre. And that’s what disappointed me. Because I really enjoyed the discussion of how hype and social media are affecting us. But whenever it came back around to Fyre Festival, I was desperate for it to change topic again.
The chapters are pretty long and roughly half of each chapter was Fyre-focused. That meant I was dragging myself through pages of in-depth analysis of Fyre. By the end, I was skipping huge chunks of text.
Overall, I did enjoy reading Hype. But it probably would have gotten a higher rating from me with significantly less focus on Fyre Festival. (Potentially even an easy 5 stars because I did enjoy the other half of the book that much.)
Read This If You…
- Like true crime but want something light with no violence
- Are interested in reading about Fyre Festival
- Want to understand how social media influence works and how individuals manipulate it for their own personal gain
So there you have it, my review of Hype by Gabrielle Bluestone! What are your thoughts? Will you be picking up this book yourself or maybe for a loved one? Let me know in the comments below!
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