Monday 24 July 2023

Book Review: The List by Yomi Adegoke (Contemporary Fiction)

Title: The List
Author: Yomi Adegoke
Publisher: 4th Estate
Publication Date: 2 August 2023
Pages: 384
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Ola Olajide, a celebrated journalist at Womxxxn magazine, is set to marry the love of her life in one month’s time. Young, beautiful, and successful—she and her fiancĂ© Michael are considered the “couple goals” of their social network and seem to have it all. That is, until one morning when they both wake up to the same message: “Oh my god, have you seen The List?”

It began as a crowdsourced collection of names and somehow morphed into an anonymous account posting allegations on social media. Ola would usually be the first to support such a list—she’d retweet it, call for the men to be fired, write article after article. Except this time, Michael’s name is on it.

Compulsively readable, wildly entertaining, and filled with sharp social insight, The List is a piercing and dazzlingly clear-sighted debut about secrets, lies, and the internet. Perfect for fans of Such a Fun Age, Luster, and My Dark Vanessa, this is a searing portrait of these modern times and our morally complicated online culture.


The List was a thought-provoking and topical read. I found it especially interesting as it mirrored many thoughts I'd had in light of the MeToo movement. While I absolutely want to see women believed when they come forward, as they should be, and get the justice they deserve, I have concerns on whether innocent people could be caught up in it all, falsely accused as revenge over something else entirely. I worry that we need to get the right balance to ensure the correct people are punished, and that's exactly what this book looks at in its narrative. I thought it offered a realistic portrayal of people viewing the incident from a range of different perspectives, creating a grey area where we are forced to confront our own opinions on who is in the wrong, or if anyone can ever fully be in the right in such a situation. It also offered a scathing look at the power of social media and how trolling can ruin people's lives, which is also a timely topic. All up, I think this is a book that will generate a lot of discussion upon its release, with readers possible breaking into two very distinct camps regarding their views on the stance it takes. I felt it was a very worthwhile story that gave me plenty to dwell upon even after I'd turned the final page. I am giving it four stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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