Book Review//Followers by Megan Angelo
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 dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss―a striving, wannabe A-lister―comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla and Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.
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, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is 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.
** I received this novel from NetGalley and Harlequin-Graydon House Books in exchange for an honest review**
This novel follows two characters, Orla and Marlow, and takes place in two time periods, 2015 and 2025. Followers is told from two perspectives. Normally I don’t enjoy reading this type of novel, but it works really well for Followers. The two perspectives offer insights into Orla and Marlow’s different but similar worlds – how Orla’s world became Marlow’s. I saw a very human side to the characters, they seemed so relatable to me, and even though this novel had a science-fiction feel to it, it could still take place today, it’s still so relevant to what we’re seeing on social media today.
The one word that comes to mind when I think of Followers is “relevant.” I’ve never read a book that was more relevant to today’s technology than this book. I was hooked from the very first sentence. This book had me spellbound, I only put it down when it was absolutely necessary – like for Christmas dinner. I remember that I couldn’t stop talking about this book throughout dinner. I finished Followers in four days, but I easily could have finished it sooner. I love this book, it made me reflect back on how we use social media, and how a person becomes famous or becomes an Instagram “influencer” which is exactly what Floss is. This novel asks the questions of how a person becomes famous and to what lengths will a person go to gain that status and stay in the spotlight.
This has to be one of my Top Five books of 2019, so much so that I bought it once it was published. I’m pretty sure I squealed with delight when I saw it in my local bookstore. My boyfriend is used to this by now, whenever we go to the mall (where my bookstore is) we stop there and I grab a book… or two… sometimes three. I can’t wait to give this book another read, I feel like I missed certain elements to it when I read this book the first time. I just want to get absorbed in it all over again. Even as I’m typing this I want to grab Followers and re-read it with a cup of coffee.
I get passionate about a book that makes me feel a wide range of emotions, a book that leaves me to question everything that I’ve read and a book that leaves me feeling exhausted at the end in the best possible way. Followers made me reconsider how I use my social media accounts, I was tempted to delete most of them when I finished the book, but I decided to cut back on my usage of them and I became more aware of what I was posting on my personal and bookstagram accounts.