Pitoniak’s dialogue-heavy prose keeps a quick pace, and her characters and the TV-news setting ring true, even as the propulsive plot begins to strain credibility. Hand this to readers who like books exploring the dark side of female friendships, à la Megan Abbott, or fans of Tara Isabella Burton’s Social Creature (2018).
... a phenomenally written novel that keeps up the tension from the beginning until the very end, with a storyline that is flawless. It is a psychological thriller (I kept asking myself Who is the bad guy and who is the victim here?); a critique of society; and a showcase into the world of the privileged and super-rich ('old money'), and their offspring ... This is a book worth reading because, in addition to what already has been said, it poses and addresses an important question: 'What are we prepared to do, and how far would we go, in order to achieve our ambitions and be successful?'
... psychologically astute ... Pitoniak perceptively traces the fracture of Violet and Stella’s sisterlike bond, leading to a denouement the reader will not anticipate. The author’s insightful glimpse into the competitive world of television news, as well as her spot-on portraits of these two ambitious women, come together in an emotional, gripping novel sure to become a popular summer read.
If the pivotal event of the book—and its sinister aftermath—seems slightly far-fetched given the relative grounding of the first two-thirds of the novel, who cares? It’s a trivial quibble given the sheer pleasure of reading this book. Pitoniak is an astute social observer, and the novel—a literary thriller about class aspiration and young female ambition—is a twisting delight with a haunting punch ... Deceptively nuanced, and impossible to put down, this is escapism with substance.