Followers

Megan Angelo. Graydon House, $26.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-525-83626-8
In her spectacular debut, Angelo masterfully explores the dark side of social media. In 2015, aspiring author and Manhattanite Orla Cadden is working as a reporter at celeb blog Lady-ish when she becomes roommates with Floss Natuzzi, who is desperate to become a star. Using her platform at Lady-ish, Orla succeeds in making Floss ultrafamous. They enjoy the perks—invites to swanky parties, free merchandise—until a technology cataclysm in 2016 changes everything. Fast forward 35 years, and a dystopian view of social media is revealed: there are now state-appointed celebrities who are on TV 24/7. Their lives are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, and their marriages, pregnancies (including designer babies), and relationships are merely story lines for a voracious public. A California woman named Marlow Clipp with 11.6 million followers is facing a pregnancy story line when she decides to research her past—and is astounded by what she finds. Reminiscent of The Truman Show and told in alternating voices of Orla in 2015–2016 and Marlow in 2051, the tale skillfully builds to a terrifyingly believable climax. There are also sly references to a few current pop-culture names—including Charlotte C. Mezvinsky (aka Hillary Clinton’s granddaughter) as the mayor of New York in 2051. Angelo delivers a strong, consistently fascinating debut. Agent: Stefanie Lieberman, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/04/2019
Release date: 01/14/2020
Genre: Fiction
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