cover image Under the Influence

Under the Influence

Noelle Crooks. Gallery, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-66800-494-4

Crooks debuts with a magnetic story about a broke New Yorker looking to make her mark within the publishing world. Harper Cruz lives with her privileged friend, Poppy, in an apartment Poppy inherited on the Upper East Side. She can’t afford the rent Poppy charges, however, and is desperate to avoid moving back home to the Hudson Valley. At Poppy’s encouragement, Harper applies for a job with influencer Charlotte Green in Nashville, Tenn., and is hired as Charlotte’s Visionary Support Strategist. In Tennessee, her role turns out to be just as vague as the title suggests, though less glamorous. She’s tasked with running mindless errands—buying yoga mats, crystals, and candles—and with baking holiday cookies and babysitting Charlotte’s five children. The story takes a turn when Tiffany, one of Charlotte’s “OG Three,” quits and threatens to dish on social media about Charlotte’s toxic workplace environment. The plot has plenty of momentum, and Crooks lays bare Harper’s desperation to succeed. Readers will gobble up this intelligent update on The Devil Wears Prada for the digital age. Agent: Mollie Glick, CAA. (Aug.)