I love it when I read a description of a book on NetGalley and then it ends up being the book that everyone is reading and talking about on social media.

That's what happened with "Followers" by Megan Angelo. I requested this book months ago... perhaps even mid-Summer after being very intrigued by the summary. As we get further away from the start of influencer marketing and it becomes more normal, it's bound to start popping up in fiction books. That is the premise of "Followers"... influencers which of course, is very interesting to me.

I was so graciously given the chance to read "Followers" before it was released on January 9th, 2020 but I just finished it a few weeks ago #whoops. If I'm being honest, I didn't like the layout of the arc; sometimes on NetGalley when I receive an ARC, it's not formatted like a proper book and it makes it really hard to read. So it wasn't until I saw people starting to talk about it did I realize that I had it on my Kindle.

After reading the summary again, I sucked it up and read the book with the wonky format. And I'm very glad that I did.

Publisher's Summary

Orla Cadden is a budding novelist stuck in a dead-end job, writing clickbait about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Then Orla meets Floss—a striving, wannabe A-lister—who comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they dream about. So what if Orla and Floss’s methods are a little shady—and sometimes people get hurt? Their legions of followers can’t be wrong.

Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity—twelve million loyal followers—Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is based on a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.

Followers trace the paths of Orla, Floss, and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, and toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry and tender, bleak and hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

My Thoughts

This book was very hard to follow and understand at first. I was completely lost and kind of felt like giving up. It was just really confusing and frustrating. About a quarter of a way through, I fell into a groove and started to follow the story. I think it was partly the layout of the book, the flipping back and forth from past to present, and also the writing style. It was very detailed, intricate, and a little jumpy.

Once I got passed the confusing parts, I was completely addicted. I think I finished this book in one sitting after the complicated parts. I just wanted to know what happened.

Orla and Floss's stories were complicated and messy; it was very intertwined, a little confusing and self-dependent; throughout the book, I disliked them both more and more, especially Floss but that was the point.

When it came to Marlowe and the future world of influencers, it was hard to follow but very interesting. I much preferred Marlowe's stories than Orla & Floss. After "The Spill" which you don't really know what happened until the end of the book, influencers and technology became regulated by the government. Marlowe was a government-mandated influencer and her entire life is broadcasted to her followers. 

The way technology affects her life in different ways from marriage, friendships, her health -- her followers are able to touch every part of her life and she has no choice... until she does. Marlowe makes a big decision to find out who she is and it changes everything, for everyone. 

There comes a point in the novel when you realize the past and present are linked and I think that was the moment that I became more interested in the story. It was an 'oh my' situation and I couldn't believe things were going to go in that direction. It was so interesting. 

On another note, "The Spill" that everyone kept talking about throughout the novel was really anxiety-inducing. Thinking about how that could happen to us one day was insane and it was just so eye-opening, seeing how reliant on technology we actually are. There's nothing we could really do about it if technology stopped working one day; it was scary and very interesting. 

That's how I could sum up this book: interesting. Dreaming up a world where influencers are government employees and they have zero privacy is a scary thought. When you find out what "The Spill"is, you'll be nervous and think twice about what you share over technology. In the end, when everyone's stories connected, it made my heart happy. It was a beautiful ending that married both past and present in a great way.

"Followers" by Megan Angelo was one of the most interesting, thought-provoking books I've read in a while. It was a little scary, a little confusing, a little shallow but it all had an important message. I really loved "Followers" and Megan Angelo is a wonderful writer. I'm confident in saying that this novel will end up on my most loved book of the year list in December.

Have you/will you read Followers?


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