When a book has you hooked from the very first page, then you know you're in for a ride, and boy what a ride our latest #ReadWithMC pick was. In November, our book club members dove into Yomi Adegoke's The List, a gripping story on the ramifications of social media, anonymity, and cancel culture. Taking center stage is Ola, a British high-profile journalist with a penchant for exposing #MeToo stories and who's about to marry fiancé Michael. The two soon become social media famous as the epitome of "Black Love," but the fairytale romance all comes crashing down just a month before the wedding when Michael's name appears on an anonymous list calling him out as an abuser. Ola is then left with a choice: does she believe her soon-to-be husband or the story of victims she's built a career supporting?
While The List is a wildly entertaining story, our book club members loved that it tackled deeper issues. "I loved how the author was able to navigate the nuances of social injustices, criminal injustices, victim blaming, political and racial movements and a host of other concerns in between," wrote @charliauthor. "Everything just read and felt so real." In their five-star review, @tabbireads wrote something similar: "I cannot fathom the genius/emotional intelligence required to write a book which handles such a complicated thought experiment and all its ramifications in such an engaging, thought-provoking and multi-faceted way!" Other members also described The List as "addictive," "thought-provoking," "phenomenal," and on more than one occasion, a "page-turner."
Each month, we gather up the reviews of our virtual book club members so anyone else looking for their next great read has a collection of recommendations. Here's what #ReadWithMC readers had to say about The List.
"the list by yomi adegoke 💍📱5⭑
now if you think it’s strange that I read this in sept and am only just reviewing it now, mind ur business xxx
the countdown to ola and michael’s wedding in on (literally bc every chapter is x days til the wedding). ola is a high profile feminist journalist and she’s marrying successful media man, michael. all is fine, everyone is excited, until one morning, michael is named on a twitter list of allegedly abusive men. and then the shit starts to hit the fan.
this book had me gripped from page one - the pacing is excellent, the characters are so perfectly drawn and the social commentary is smart and witty and to the point. there’s not a lot more I ask for in a fiction pick and this was the first book in a hot minute I can confidently call a page turner. couldn’t wait to pick it up, couldn’t put it down.
I was also so delighted by how it wrapped up. I didn’t see the ending coming and I was so delightfully surprised when it did. highly recommend for a reading slump - big thank you to @4thestatebooks for gifting me this proof copy, I enjoyed every page 🏼" — @tierneybooks
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"📚 Book Review 📚
Title: The List
Publication Date: 20 July 2023
“A man accused of stealing a goat should not entertain visitors with goat stew”.
What a book!
27 days before Michael and Ola’s wedding The List is released on twitter… it’s a collection of names posting allegations. And Michaels name is on it.
From the moment The List comes out in the book on page 9, i was hooked, anxious, and so curious!
Throughout the book, we countdown to the wedding while dealing with The List, Michael and Ola’s jobs, friendships, their relationship and their future.
It is brilliantly written, and while reading the book, I couldn’t help but think - what would I do if I knew someone on The List?
I couldn’t put this novel down, it was an absolute page turner. I held my breath a lot, but it was incredibly great! So clever! And the ending was superb!! I loved it!
It’s a great reminder that the internet and social media is powerful. True or not true, a life can be destroyed so easily.
Looking forward to watching the tv series, it will be a fantastic show!" — @mim_reads
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"The List 📝 Yomi Adegoke
★ ★ ★ ★
Ola is a successful journalist at a female magazine and is marrying Michael in less than one month. Michael has just landed a dream media job and together Ola and Michael are a social media power couple.
Until, a list of abusers in the media industry is published and circulated online with Michael on the list. Ola must find out the truth before their fast approaching wedding day.
This book expresses the grey areas of abuse allegations really well. As the story goes on we see the truth behind others also on the list and the reader is reminded not to always make snap judgements, as so many do on the internet.
It also explores the impact on the women close to the alleged perpetrators and the conflicting emotions they face.
It’s addictive, juicy and thought provoking. I have to admit I thought the book was a bit one dimensional when I reached the middle but it completely picked up towards the end and had me gripped in the last few chapters.
It’s a story about the internet, feminism, the #metoo movement, toxic masculinity and the impact of allegations.
If you enjoyed The List, I’d recommend Underbelly by Anna Whitehouse which is another addictive story about the dark side of social media.
I found the Q&A at the end of the audiobook (and the Vogue interview) with Yomi really interesting, it was great to hear about her writing journey and motivations behind writing this kind of story.
And did you know The List is being adapted for tv🙌🏽🤩" — @libraryofluc
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"REVIEW: The List ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
This was excellent!
Honestly, after so many duds in the Fantasy space, i decided to have a breather/pallet cleanser and it was phenomenal! The added pleasure of this being set in South London with all its accompanying colloquialisms and cultural references, was a pleasure to read.
Ola and Michael are considered InstaFamous and the epitome of 'Black Love'. They seem to have it all but when Michael's name is found on a list of men in the media who are predators, the cracks in their relationship begin to show.
To the untrained eye, this is basically written in an entire other language! Lol. It might even be difficult for non-black South Londoners to understand but for me who grew up around the speech, these types of people, it an exemplary spotlight on our culture, the good and the bad.
I adore how the author was able to describe certain characters that had similarities to actual Black famous and Insta-famous individuals that made it all the more entertaining. This isn’t to say that those people had done anything like what the book says they’ve done, but they were just wonderful depictions of the type of people found in our communities and it was clear that the author was able to build those visions through a shared social experience.
I laughed. I cried and at some moments, I was genuinely afraid to turn the page because I wasn’t sure what surprises would be revealed. The social commentary throughout out was incredible and i loved how the author was able to navigate the nuances of social injustices, criminal injustices, victim blaming, political and racial movements and a host of other concerns in between. Everything just read and felt so real, and i cant commend it enough for being so genuine.
The ending absolutely blew me away and i implore all of your to go out and read this book. Not only for a great story, an easy read with depth but to get a real depiction of Black British culture at its finest but in some cases, at its worst.
Thank you for this @yomi.adegoke 👸🏿" — @charliauthor
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"REVIEW the list by yomi adegoke
i didn’t know what was going to fill the void after yellowface, because i found that combination of easy to read but intellectually complex so addictive and stimulating BUT ‘the list’ was absolutely perfect.
the list has the same vibe in that it’s an absolute page-turner which feels like a thriller whilst offering a nuanced dissection of society and v topical issues (side note: if anyone knows of other books in this category let me know - i’m going to try eliza clark’s new book next as i think ‘boy parts’ also met this criteria)
‘the list’ is about ola, a high-profile journalist and women’s rights advocate and her fiancé michael when their world falls apart because a list of abusive men, anonymously submitted by victims, goes viral and michael’s name is on it.
i cannot fathom the genius/emotional intelligence required to write a book which handles such a complicated thought experiment and all its ramifications in such an engaging, thought-provoking and multi-faceted way!! the narrative alternates between ola, navigating whether to believe michael and aligning her behaviour with her feminist values, and michael, navigating the reason he was put on the list and his relationships with the men in his life. JUST READ IT it’s soo good bye xx" — @tabbireads
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Brooke Knappenberger is the Associate Commerce Editor at Marie Claire, where she writes across the board from fashion and beauty to books and celebrities. As a pop culture junkie, Brooke obsessively consumes and writes about the latest movie releases, streaming TV shows, and celebrity scandals. She has over three years of experience writing on fashion, beauty, and entertainment and her work has appeared on Looper, NickiSwift, The Sun US, and Vox Magazine of Columbia, Missouri. Brooke obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism with an emphasis on Magazine Editing and has a minor in Textile and Apparel Management.
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