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Figgy O'Connell

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Viral

Viral - Helen  Fitzgerald
I sucked twelve cocks in Magaluf.
So far, twenty-three thousand and ninety-six people have seen me do this. They might 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 of six weeks, James.
Helen FitzGerald starts her stories with a bang, and pulls the reader along as she pieces their world together for us. She doesn’t faff around with the happy life before the storm, but rather throws us right in at the “event” that is going to change these characters’ lives forever and goes back to fill in the details as they’re relevant.

In Viral, the central character is Su Oliphant-Brotheridge, adopted daughter of an American and a Scot, big sister, conscientious student, virgin.
She has mum’s blue eyes and Dad’s dark brown hair but no-one ever says either of those things even though they are all thinking it. Leah has Gran’s mouth and Grandpa’s lips and white skin like every Oliphant and every Brotheridge except me. My skin’s dark but not very, as if my Asian-ness has been left out in the rain all these years, wishy-washy, nothingy-wothingy, not a colour, but not not one either.
The event takes place in Magaluf, in the presence of her younger sister, Leah, and Leah’s two closest friends, when she is so wasted that she gives blow job after blow job to a circle of twelve men. She’s filmed, and the video goes viral, and now she refuses to return home until the next viral video makes the world forget about what they saw her do.
The guy at the fruit stall has his phone in his pocket: ping. You have a new message. Jim has shared a video. You have been tagged in a post. Barcelona is showering pings, and each one is a droplet of my shame. Ping – where’d that come from? Ping – whose inbox did I just arrive in? I’m going crazy, hearing pings. They’re talking to me: you’re disgusting, Su, revolting.
While Su’s on the run, having disposed of her phone and leaving her family no way to get in touch, her mother is doing what she can to bring those involved to justice.
The notion that Xano could be every boy and every man had crossed her mind more than once. Would a nice boy like Su’s James have filmed the scene in the Coconut Lounge? Would a good boy like Frieda’s son Eric have said ‘fucking cow, take it fucking whore?’ Would the boy next door, literally, Barry, have uploaded it? It was too sickening to dwell on, but perhaps Xano’s behaviour did not set him apart from his peers.
Ruth is used to being in control and having people do what she says; she’s a Scottish court Sheriff. So the fact that none of the men who were involved in the Magaluf situation did anything technically against the law just drives her harder in her mission for some kind of justice.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!