Viral by Helen Fitzgerald

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?

Hey! Here's my review.

The opening line is jarring and made me sit up and take notice. The topic made me think, made me wonder what I would do if it happened to me. Then I sat back and watched everything spiral out of control, frantically turning pages to see how far it would all go. 

This novel got me thinking about the issue of consent (I love this video on consent). At what level of intoxication does a consenting sexual act become abuse? I could easily imagine a situation like this happening - especially after living on the Gold Coast in Australia and seeing the reckless behaviour during schoolies week every year. 

Although I didn't agree with all the characters actions, I could relate to them and understand their motivations. The characters had depth and were well written. This is the second novel I've read by Helen and I plan to read more. I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  • Where: NetGalley
  • Format: ebook
Purchase link


  1. Have you read her book "The Cry".
    I'd never heard of her, but my friend Sarah at work is her sister in law and recommended I read one of her books. Quite confronting.

    1. The Cry is the only other one of Helen's I've read. I really enjoyed it. Yes they are quite confronting and make you think while also being engaging pageturners.


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