Summary and book reviews of Followers by Megan Angelo

Followers

by Megan Angelo

Followers by Megan Angelo X
Followers by Megan Angelo
  • Critics' Opinion:

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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2020, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2020, 416 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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About this Book

Book Summary

An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make and the profound moment that changes the meaning of privacy forever.

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 traces 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.

CHAPTER ONE
Orla

New York, New York
2015


Orla left for the bad salad place without her phone, so it took her a while to find out that Sage Sterling had finally died. Sage was found on a poolside chaise at the Los Angeles hotel where she had been living for a year—never mind the fact that she was so broke, she often tipped the staff not from her handbag but with old handbags: scuffed-up Louis Vuittons, old Balenciaga totes with half the fringe worn off. The bellhops would make a big show of thanking her, then place the purses in the lost and found.

Sage was erratic and filthy and sporadically mean, and she kept a pet ferret named Mofongo in the room with her. Yet everyone felt compelled to treat her gently, because outside the stucco walls of the hotel complex, the world was waiting, teeth bared, for her to fuck up again. So it was not strange, as the staff would tell the police later, that no one stopped Sage when she let herself into the pool around three in the morning. And it...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The book is speculative fiction at its best; it takes our current society, technology and political landscape and predicts one possible future based on a very plausible trajectory. Angelo's plot is fresh and entertaining from start to finish; it also feels quite relevant, exploring the risks associated with social media that many of us are just starting to comprehend...continued

Full Review (548 words).

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(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Media Reviews

Washington Post
Megan Angelo’s Followers, with its terrific writing about terrifying ideas, is destined to be such a talker that you must read it immediately or risk being out of the loop.

Entertainment Weekly
One of next year's most anticipated books...a scathing, razor-sharp take on the future of humanity and social media

Shelf Awareness
Shrewd and surprising...a darkly prophetic novel that takes an incisive look at women, fame and the future of social media stardom.

People
This dark, pitch-perfect novel about our dependence on technology for validation and human connection is as addictive as social media itself.

BookPage (starred review)
Even if you aren’t a fan of science fiction or reality TV, Followers delivers a shrewd look at human relationships, habits and obsessions. Of all the doomsday scenarios out there, perhaps it won’t be too bad if this one comes true after all.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Reminiscent of The Truman Show and told in alternating voices...the tale skillfully builds to a terrifyingly believable climax...Angelo delivers a strong, consistently fascinating debut.

Booklist (starred review)
Her writing is crisp and the familiarity of the characters is refreshing. Angelo also weaves in a perspective on contemporary political decisions and the effect they could have on us all in the not-so-distant future. This is an intricate and brave story of friendship, ambition, and love and the lengths people will go to protect it all.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Endless clever details and suspenseful plotting make this speculative-fiction debut an addictive treat.

Author Blurb Abbi Jacobson, bestselling author and co-creator of Broad City
If anyone is going to explore a future version of our high-tech, internet-obsessed culture, please let it be Megan Angelo. Followers is pure gold.

Author Blurb Jennifer Close, New York Times bestselling author
How can I explain how much I love this book? Followers is an inventive, addictive, and perfectly constructed novel. It made me laugh out loud, care deeply about these characters and reexamine my Instagram habit. Megan Angelo's debut is a sharp look at social media, friendship and the lengths we'll go to in order to feel seen...it's also the best book I've read in years.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Instagram

Instagram App on Smartphone In Megan Angelo's Followers, the protagonist uses Instagram, a photo and video social networking application, to elevate her roommate to the status of "influencer"—someone who has enough of an audience (aka "followers") that sponsors will pay them to mention their products or services. Instagram has two million advertisers, and with 90 percent of accounts following at least one business, influencing on the platform can be a lucrative profession.

Instagram started as the brainchild of Kevin Systrom (b. 1983), a Stanford University graduate who, in 2009, was working as a marketing associate for Nextstop, a travel recommendation startup (acquired by Facebook in 2010). He spent his hours after work and on weekends teaching himself ...

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