Under The Influence – How to Survive and Thrive Online by Malini Agarwal | Book Review

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Under the Infleu
Under the Influence by Miss Malini Agarwal

Book Specifications

Title – Under The Influence

Author – Malini Agarwal

Language – English

Genre – Non-Fiction, Self Help, Memoirs

Price – INR  324 (paperback), kindle – INR 279.3 ( check the link below for latest pricing)

Publisher – Harper Collins 

Book buying LINK – AMAZON.In

The author of  ‘Under the Influence’ – Miss Malini

Malini Agarwal, better known by her more popular name Miss Malini, was born on May 26, 1977, in Allahabad, India. Besides writing a very popular Gossip column in Midday, a leading daily in Mumbai, she has been a popular TV host, digital influencer, an Indian novelist, and businesswoman. She worked as a radio host at Radio One in Mumbai, India, before moving on to Channel [V] India as head of digital content. She started her blog, MissMalini.com, in 2008 and writes about fashion, beauty, lifestyle, Bollywood, and Indian television. In addition to radio and her blog, she has guest anchored many television shows, including Miss Malini’s World, UTV Bindass, Inside Access on Vh1, Feet Up With the Stars on Voot, and Kya Scene Hai on Zoom.

Having seen the best and worst of print to social media, she is qualified for writing this book would be an understatement of sorts.

My Thoughts about  the book ‘Under The Influence’

Catchy Title

The title of this book ‘Under the Influence- How to Survive and Thrive Online’ immediately attracted my attention.As Malini says in chapter 12 of her book , “Everyone’s an Influencer “, everyone posts on social media so the title seemed very relevant.I too am a blogger and an influencer so this book was just about up my alley.

Captivating Cover page

The sunny bright yellow background with Ms Malini herself as the cover page model is most suitable because she has been a successful influencer even before we knew the meaning of being an influencer. Also the colour scheme is bold and visually captivating much like her gossip columns.

Honest and Crisp Narration

Malini starts this book with ‘A note to the Reader” which includes introduction of herself and about the generation she represented.Here she also talks about how the different generations communicate with each other and the world.She admits to mistakes she committed as a novice influencer and that gives the book a very human feel instead of sounding preachy.

Her narration style is informative and lively and because I belong to her generation , quite relatable , but Zoomers or Gen-Z may probably skip the parts that talk about Gen-X (us).

Inputs from Other influencers

While Miss Malini give sus honest glimpses of her life and her challenges as a blogger , TV host , columnist and social media influencer, she also shares stage with famous influencers and social media stars like Sakshi Gupta from Curvy Wardrobe and famous performer Vir Das etc when she talks about how to tackle trolling and negative feedback , which not only adds value and weight to her writing but also adds variety.

This is a very honest account of Miss Malini’s life as an influencer,(mind you it is not an autobiography though).It’s basically a manual for dealing with being in the public eye, respecting your audience and how to keep your sanity and not lose perspective while growing as a brand.

She even gives us some valuable charts and activities to judge for yourself how you fare on  various parameters as an Influencer, but I felt that slowed the pace of the book in some places.

On the Flip side

Under The Influence how to survive and thrive online by Malinin Agarwal

Firstly,while on the outside,the book cover is so attractive , on the inside, whenever Malini  quotes another influencer , that part is highlighted in grey since the printing is black and white,which for me looked visually drab and less attractive.Maybe if the other influencer’s notes were put in just a box or if they added a bit of colour to those parts, that would have made it more appealing.

Secondly,”Under the Influence”  tries to be a journal, memoir  and also self help book which becomes a mish-mash in few places.I have often struggled with this getting carried away myself, whenever I try to be too correct and end up rambling on.It can take away from the flow of the writing.

Thirdly, there are no technical insights or tips about blogging or social media or even surviving online.The book purely deals with how to grab the limelight and then how to deal with the fame or pitfalls of being in the limelight.

Known for her sharp, crisp and witty style of writing in her nascent days, here we see a more mature, gentle and kind side of her.

To Conclude

‘Under The Influence’ by famous social media queen and columnist Miss Malini Agarwal, deals with the emotional side of being an influencer. Richly drawing from her own experiences , she makes this an engaging and helpful book for anyone who dabbles in social media.

My personal favourite was the section that dealt with trolling because trolling can badly affect an Influencer’s emotional wellness.

Overall, this book is a good read , I missed the wit and black humor of the OG Miss Malini, nevertheless it will be another feather in the cap for the ever evolving Miss Malini and a source of inspiration for a budding influencer in the rather bleak and often cruel online world.


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Before leaving , do share with us if you ever had a negative experience on the social media and how you dealt with it.

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