2023 Reviews · contemporary fiction · new release · Tandem Collective Readalong

New Release Book Review: The Hemsworth Effect by James Weir

Title: The Hemsworth Effect

Author: James Weir

Published: November 30th 2022

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia

Pages: 432

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 3 stars

A sleepy town is about to wake up and smell the turmeric lattes #DontForgetYourKeepCup

It started with the Hemsworths. Now, Byron Bay local, Aimee Maguire, is about to lose everything because she can’t afford to pay the rent. Her engagement is also on an official time-out since her fiancé doesn’t know what he wants. The last thing she needs is a surprise visit from her micro-influencer niece looking to ‘build her brand’.

Her arrival sets off a chain of events that ends with Aimee tangled up with a group of influencers-turned-reality TV stars, exposing her to the absolute worst of humanity. But somewhere amid this mother of all messes there just might be a silver lining Aimee has been searching for. All she needs to do is embrace the one thing she’s been fighting so hard against – change.

Cashed-up celebs, desperate wannabes, cranky Karens and cringe-worthy hashtags – it’s all here in this hilarious novel about the celebrification of Byron Bay and the power of letting go.


Award winning journalist James Weir has turned to writing thanks to the release of his first novel, The Hemsworth Effect. Known for his humour and sharp observation skills, Weir has produced a lighthearted and fun Aussie contemporary fiction novel.

The Hemsworth Effect exposes us to the world of celebrities, aspiring stars, and the rise of the hashtag in a story that looks at the glamourisation of a well-known Aussie tourist spot. Thanks to the influence of the Hemsworth brothers in Byron Bay, this popular destination has seen an increase in celebrities and wannabe stars flocking to the area. Local Aimee Maguire is struggling financially and in her personal life. When her influencer niece comes to stay, more problems are in store for Aimee.  Despite her best efforts to avoid the influencer life, Aimee becomes mixed up in the celebrity world and the reality television circuit, which turns her life upside down.

The bookstagram circuit came alive a couple of weeks ago thanks to the coverage of The Hemsworth Effect by James Weir. Described by my read-along buddies as a fun, delightful and hilarious, I was keen to get started on this one, it has such a catchy title! The Hemsworth Effect was my luggage buddy as James Weir’s debut accompanied me on a couple of international flights and coach rides. The Hemsworth Effect was an easy read that I turned to when I needed some essential travel down time.

The celebrity and influencer world is on the rise thanks to the strength of social media and reality television shows. I am not a huge fan of influencers or reality television, but they do seem to be very popular topics for contemporary fiction titles of late. Insightful, unpredictable and satirical, The Hemsworth Effect gives us glimpse into the life of both the trashy reality television world and a local from Byron Bay. These two worlds collide well as the novel progresses. I particularly enjoyed the snapshot of Byron Bay and its changes due to the impact of both celebrity stars and influencers. Weir teases these aspects of his novel out well for his audience to both critique and enjoy.

The Hemsworth Effect is filled with an array of wacky, odd and entertaining characters. The lead character is independent and likeable. I would have liked to connect to Aimee a touch more and delve a little further into her life. I have a complicated relationship with the central topic focus so this may have impaired my full enjoyment of the cast and their issues. Weir injects plenty of drama, some emotion and a few amusing interludes to keep this narrative going, it was never a wholly serious read, just an entertaining general fiction novel.

Think hashtags, social media trends, popular celebrities and reality television all in one. The Hemsworth Effect is a witty read for all contemporary fiction readers. 

The Hemsworth Effect by James Weir was published on 30th November 2022 by Simon & Schuster Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Hemsworth Effect, James Weir, visit here.

*I wish to thank Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.



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