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Cover image for Followers : a novel
Title:
Followers : a novel
ISBN:
9781525836268
Physical Description:
380 pages ; 24 cm.
Summary:
Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she's stuck writing about movie-star hookups and influence 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 pretence 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.
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Summary

Summary

"Terrific writing." --Washington Post

"Dark, pitch-perfect novel." --People

"Engaging confection wrapped around a thoughtful critique." --USA Today

"Meet an all-too-real nightmare wrapped in an influencer bow...one you won't be able to look away from." --TheSkimm

"Followers is pure gold." --Abbi Jacobson, bestselling author and co-creator of Broad City

HIGHLY RECOMMEND BY PEOPLE MAGAZINE · THESKIMM · KATIE COURIC'S "WAKE UP CALL" · ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY · VOGUE.COM · MARIE CLAIRE · PARADE.COM · BITCH MEDIA · HELLO GIGGLES · BUSTLE · BOOKLIST

An electrifying story of two ambitious friends and the dark choices they make to become internet famous.

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.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

In her spectacular debut, Angelo masterfully explores the dark side of social media. In 2015, aspiring author and Manhattanite Orla Cadden is working as a reporter at celeb blog Lady-ish when she becomes roommates with Floss Natuzzi, who is desperate to become a star. Using her platform at Lady-ish, Orla succeeds in making Floss ultrafamous. They enjoy the perks--invites to swanky parties, free merchandise--until a technology cataclysm in 2016 changes everything. Fast forward 35 years, and a dystopian view of social media is revealed: there are now state-appointed celebrities who are on TV 24/7. Their lives are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, and their marriages, pregnancies (including designer babies), and relationships are merely story lines for a voracious public. A California woman named Marlow Clipp with 11.6 million followers is facing a pregnancy story line when she decides to research her past--and is astounded by what she finds. Reminiscent of The Truman Show and told in alternating voices of Orla in 2015--2016 and Marlow in 2051, the tale skillfully builds to a terrifyingly believable climax. There are also sly references to a few current pop-culture names--including Charlotte C. Mezvinsky (aka Hillary Clinton's granddaughter) as the mayor of New York in 2051. Angelo delivers a strong, consistently fascinating debut. Agent: Stefanie Lieberman, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. (Jan.)


Kirkus Review

How far will our addiction to screens and our obsession with social media go? And how much will we pay for it?The bill is large indeed in Angelo's first novel. In alternating narratives beginning in 2015 and 2051, she creates two chilling versions of celebrity culture in techno-hell. It all starts with a post on a website called Lady-ish written by staff blogger Orla Cadden. "Sooo What Does The World's Most Expensive Brow Gel Actually Do? One Instagram It Girl Finds Out" is the first of a series of pieces Orla concocts (down to scrubbing the writing off a tube of Maybelline for the photo shoot) to boost the profile of a wannabe Kardashian typeactually her roommate, Floss, whose drive to be famous in the absence of any talent or notable quality runs over everything in sight for the course of the novel. In the 2051 plot, we meet Marlow, a young wife in Constellation, California, a closed town populated with government-selected celebrities devoted entirely to the production of a reality show watched by everyone who does not live there. "Is it me or does Mar have kinda chubby armpits," asks one of Marlow's more than 12 million followers, watching her stretch before getting out of bed in the morning. "NOOOOOOO NO ONE WANTS TO WATCH ANOTHER PILL ADPUT THE MARLOW FLAMINGO SMACKDOWN BACK ON!!!!!" screams another when Marlow gets upset with her network-issued storyline and throws a fit. Both the 2015 and 2051 plots revolve around a mysterious event called the Spill, which feels somewhat less original and interesting than the buildup to its reveal. However, the joy of the details continues all the way to a denouement in Atlantis (formerly Atlantic City), where the relationships we have begun to suspect between the characters of the two plotlines are untangled and confirmed.Endless clever details and suspenseful plotting make this speculative-fiction debut an addictive treat. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Orla is a celebrity gossip blogger by day, and at night she fantasizes about a life as a successful author. Her roommate, Floss, meanwhile, has her sights set on becoming an A-list celebrity. Both in a career slump, they scheme up a plan using social media to jump-start their careers. The tool driving their ambition ultimately becomes the catalyst for their downfall. The story also jumps ahead 35 years, to the year 2051 after a catastrophic data spill hacks all technology for three days. Readers meet Marlow, a government-appointed celebrity who lives in a controlled village, Constellation, where her every move is being monitored by followers and every decision made by executives at the network. Angelo masterfully intertwines the lives of Orla, Floss, and Marlow while reflecting a painfully accurate picture of our current fame-driven, tech-obsessed society and its possible destruction. 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.--LaParis Hawkins Copyright 2019 Booklist


Library Journal Review

DEBUT In 2015, Orla wants to be writing literary fiction but instead turns out puffery like her trend piece on the hat that three stars wore to the funeral of a B-list young actress. Her new roommate, Florence, aka Floss, wants to be over-the-top famous but has barely made a low-rent runway. Then Floss persuades Orla that the way for them both to get ahead is for Orla to craft any story, plot any plot, publicize whatever it takes to put Floss gloriously before the public eye, with Orla catching the afterglow. "It's not enough to be talented, it's not enough to work hard," she says to the skeptical Orla. "You have to do anything, everything, and you need to forget about doing the right thing." So Orla signs her pact with the devil. By the 2050s, sponsored folks famous for being famous are sequestered in a California village, their every move spilled worldwide by live camera--they have lots and lots of followers--and we see just how far Floss's conceit (or shall we say deceit) has gone. What's the connection of one 2050s star, Marlowe, to Orla and Floss? And how will their tale turn out? VERDICT An edgy, exciting read, a slap-in-the-face cautionary tale, and future thrills that provide au courant shivers. [See Prepub Alert, 7/1/19.]--Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal


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