Bess’ Book Recs: Girl Gone Viral by Alisha Rai

Y’all, I thought I gave this recommendation ages ago.

My mistake.

Alisha Rai’s books are some of my absolute favorites. She’s the first author that really got me to stick around the romance genre, that really ticked all my boxes. And this is the first one that, after reading it (multiple times) from the library, I bought so I can mark it up and read it whenever the whim strikes. Which it does, often.

Instead of the usual overview, the last time I read it (yesterday) I put a bookmark in some of my favorite parts so we can talk about them.

“Twice she’d hyperventilated to the point where Jas had to pull over.”

I also have car anxiety and this brought back a memory of a road trip in college where I had a panic attack so bad that Kevin (yes, we’ve been together forever) had to pull over and a Very Nice Southern Gentleman cop stopped to inquire why a Tall Dark Man had a sobbing woman in his (my) car. I’ve never seen that experience reflected on the page before and it was surprisingly warming. A+ to Alisha for nailing that sensation and I dearly hope it was through research and not personal experience.

“Zeus is a cat. How can you tell what’s love and what’s utter disdain?”
She scratched the rottie behind its short ears and spoke in a high-pitched voice. “We do not enforce terrible stereotypes about cats. Are we a cattist household? No we are not.”

Yes! You all know my opinion on The Canine Conspiracy that trashes the feline reputation and it makes me so happy that Katrina–and by extension, Alisha–don’t buy into it.

Jas doubled over, choking and coughing, which made sense, because he’d just pumped a direct spray of the stuff right at his face.

Honestly, funniest scene in the entire book. It’s such a stereotypical guy thing to do. “Is this pepper spray effective? Only one way to find out!” I cackle every time I get to it. The flawless logic involved.

Becca, Ross, and Alan were outgunned, outmanned, outnumbered, and outplanned, but they’d never know it until it was too late.

I see what you did there.

The water was harmless, but later, she’d come out and pick up all the balloon remnants. Though knowing Jas, he’d probably already considered the environmental impact of their little game here and had a cleanup plan in place.

We stan characters who care about the damages balloon bits in nature cause.

I also adore the healthy–and realistic–relationship Kat has with her therapist and the gradual reckoning Jas undergoes to deal with his own mental health issues. Also the easy acceptance** of his need for accommodations. No judging or being dicks about it, just “here are some options I made, pick the best for you.” This is the most represented I’ve ever felt by a protagonist, barring the millions of dollars bit, and that’s a pretty cool sensation.

**If you read it, you get the asterisks.

If you’ve got anxiety issues and/or trauma and also want a warm, fuzzy romance with pets and a strong support network of found family, get on this!

Or if you just want to read about a guy pepper spraying himself.

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