Books & Literature

Book Review: Killer Content, by Kiley Roache

YA THRILLER: Knives Out meets One of Us is Lying! In this twisty thriller a group of famous TikTokers begin turning on each other when one member is found dead at their beachfront Malibu mansion.

An easy, entertaining read for teens and young adults.

TikTok, influencers, lit, ship … it may sound like a foreign language to some, but not to the teen/young adult target audience of Killer Content. It’s as contemporary as you can get, and while it’s far from anything deep (except perhaps the infinity pool), it’s an easy read that will definitely entertain.

Killer Content follows the supposedly charmed lives of six teenage TikTok stars. They party the summer away in the Lit Lair, a mansion owned by Sydney’s parents, while collaborating to create more viral content for their adoring fans. It’s like a fantasy, until Sydney is found dead in the pool. Cryptic messages soon begin appearing on their group TikTok account, turning the investigation to the other members of the house, who, it turns out, all have a reason for potentially wanting Sydney dead.

This book is an easy read and moves quickly, though with each chapter in first person from a different character’s perspective, it can become confusing as to whose head you’re in if you neglect to read the headings at the start of the chapter. For some characters, who had very distinctive voices, this wasn’t an issue. But I often found I mixed up the characters of Kat and Beau, who sounded virtually identical.

The characters were rather two-dimensional, with most following extremes in stereotyping, such as Gwen, the blonde, not-so-smart girl with an obsession with fashion, or Sydney, the rich “bitch”. On the other end of this spectrum is Kat and Beau, both painted as the “normal” ones in the house, but unfortunately their characters come across as bland with little to make them unique. To a point, the stereotyping works in this genre; it comes across reminiscent of a TV sitcom where entertainment value is placed higher than depth, and it keeps you reading for this reason. This is also how the author gets away with passing off the concept of a bunch of 17-year-olds living unsupervised in a mansion for the summer, having wild parties and earning millions by being influencers. From a realism perspective it falls short, but from a larger-than-life entertainment perspective, it can certainly pass.

While someone looking for depth and nuance will be disappointed with this book, anyone eager for an easy read, or something fun and far removed from reality, will enjoy Killer Content, particularly if they fall in the teen/young adult target audience category.

Reviewed by Kristin Stefanoff

This review is the opinion of the reviewer and not Glam Adelaide.

Distributed by: Penguin Books Australia
Released: November 2021
RRP: $16.99

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