cover image People to Follow

People to Follow

Olivia Worley. Wednesday, $24 (352p) ISBN 978-1-2508-8138-0

In Worley’s tense debut thriller, 10 teen social media influencers agree to ditch their phones to film a reality show on a secluded tropical island, only to realize they’re stranded with a killer on the loose. Upon her arrival, wellness enthusiast Kira encounters her frenemy McKayleigh, whom she met at a reality dance competition and who is a founding member of the hugely successful TikTok creator group Bounce House. While former Bounce House member Logan is livid to see McKayleigh, documentarian Max is eager to film what he assumes will be rivalry-fueled chaos among the other influencers, who were all given smart watches to communicate with the show’s crew. The vibes turn sinister, however, when the production team fails to arrive and an unknown sponsor informs the group via their watches that they must reveal past secrets or risk media exposure. When one of the attendees turns up dead, the teens turn on one another in a race to escape the island. Somewhat formulaic chapters are buoyed by lighting-quick pacing and savvy twists, and through four shifting perspectives, Worley notably considers social media fame’s impact on both the content creator and their following. Most characters read as white. Ages 13–up. Agent: Claire Friedman, InkWell Management. (Oct.)