cover image Such a Bad Influence

Such a Bad Influence

Olivia Muenter. Quirk, $24.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-68369-401-4

Bad on Paper podcaster Muenter’s wildly entertaining first novel sounds the murky depths of social media fame. From the moment Evie Davis was born, she’s been prominently featured on her family’s YouTube channel. With her zealous mother, Erin, guiding her career, Evie, who’s now a teenager, has amassed more than four million followers and enough money for the family to move into a McMansion in Phoenix, Ariz. Things have turned out much differently for her older sister, Hazel, who rejected their mother’s pursuit of internet stardom. Recently fired from her job as a digital editor at a newspaper and facing a mountain of student loan debt, Hazel lives alone in a Las Vegas studio apartment. When Evie suddenly stops posting on her social media accounts and disappears, Hazel returns to Phoenix to aid the police in tracking her down. The more Hazel learns, however, the less sure she is that Evie wants to be found. Muenter augments Hazel’s dryly humorous first-person narration with transcripts of podcast interviews and forum posts that speculate about what happened to Evie. Packed with trenchant critiques of internet celebrity and topped off by a satisfyingly nasty finale, this leaves readers wanting more from Muenter. Agent: Dana Murphy, Trellis Literary Management. (June)