People to Follow
by Olivia Worley
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Pub Date 31 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 14 Nov 2023
St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books
In Olivia Worley's pitch-perfect debut, People to Follow, ten teen influencers come to a remote island to star in a reality show, but when one of them winds up dead, they realize that this time, the price of getting “cancelled” could be their lives.
A reality show on a remote Caribbean island. Ten teen influencers. One dead body.
Welcome to “In Real Life,” the hot new reality show that forces social media’s reigning kings and queens to unplug for three weeks and “go live” without any filters. IRL is supposed to be the opportunity of a lifetime, watched closely by legions of loyal followers. But for these rising stars--including Elody, an Instagram model with an impulsive streak; Kira, a child star turned fitness influencer; Logan, a disgraced TikTok celeb with a secret; and Max, a YouTuber famous for exposés on his fellow creators--it’s about to turn into a nightmare.
When the production crew fails to show up and one of their own meets a violent end, these social media moguls find themselves stranded with a dead body and no way to reach the outside world. When they start receiving messages from a mysterious Sponsor threatening to expose their darkest secrets, they realize that they’ve been lured into a deadly game…and one of them might be pulling the strings.
With the body count rising and cameras tracking their every move, the creators must figure out who is trying to get them canceled--like, literally--before their #1 follower strikes again.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 568 members
When I picked up this book, my eyes saw a thriller involving influencers, and right away, I knew I needed to read it. I missed that they were TEEN influencers and that this was YA, but that just made this so much better. You actually forget that they are teenagers until they remind you. I got so invested in each one learning what they did IRL and who could possibly be the sponsor. I definitely did not figure it out! Thank you to Netgalley and St Martin's Press for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
Are you as obsessed as I am with those trashy reality tv shows that are filled with beautiful people and juicy drama?
If you answered yes, then add this to your TBR pile!
10 influencers are cast on a reality tv show taking place on a remote island, with no access to the outside world. When the production crew doesn’t show up and one influencer ends up dead, the others wonder if it was it a drunken accident or something more sinister… As the bodies start to pile up, everyone has a motive, but who is the killer?
Secrets, lies, drama and murder…. I could not put it down!
Told from 3 different points of view, it was easy to follow and kept you guessing.
People to Follow is Olivia Worley’s debut novel and I’m excited to read more!
This is a must read YA thriller! The writing and characters are on point. The "Then There Were None" with reality TV and influencers on an island is brilliant. This book is hard to put down. I needed to know what happened next!
Thank you NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
A great read what shows the seedy underbelly of so-called influence and fame in today’s society. Highly recommended to all!
Loved this one! So many twists and turns in the story line. Perfect for anyone who likes a good who do it type of thriller.
I really enjoyed the concept of this mystery novel, it had what I was looking for in this type of book. The characters were unique and well-done. I was invested in the mystery and enjoyed getting to read this overall. I loved the way Olivia Worley wrote this and am excited to read more from her.
"I’m in hell. Actual, biblical hell. It’s the only explanation I can scrounge up for why I’m here, trapped on an island with the three people who I specifically came here to get away from. The worst part is, it’s my own fault. I know the cast list was supposed to be secret, or whatever, but I should have done something, anything."
I read this book in one night! Even though there were 10 influencers to keep track of — and multiple perspectives, on top of that — I found it easy to stay engaged. The plot moves fast and is a little kooky at times, but it's overall a solid read. One note is that there is some heavy content, and while it's addressed thoughtfully, it could still be sensitive for some readers.
Heart pounding thriller that left me on the edge of my seat. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. Definitely one of the best books this year.
People to Follow by Olivia Worley was one of the best thriller debuts I’ve read all year!
Who wouldn’t love a story about ten teen influencers. A reality show on a remote Caribbean island. And one dead body?!
Propulsive and thrilling.... A page-turner that will keep you glued until the very end.
This is a well constructed thrilling novel that is well written, well-paced and with lots of surprises.
Olivia Worley superbly ratchets up the tension over the course of this fast read.
An unputdownable page turner of a read… I didn’t want to miss a single second… Had me gripped from start to finish.
A true thriller!… All of the secrets. All the lies. All of the unknown. When you finally think you know what is going on, there is a major plot twist! It is perfect
Phenomenal pacing, twisted characters, and a captivating prose Worley has created a scintillating new psychological thriller that was unputdownable!
I seriously can’t wait to read her next novel. Because if it’s anything like this… I’m ready.
"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
Thank You NetGalley and Wednesday Books for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
Thank you, Wednesday Books and Netgalley, for the arc!
PEOPLE TO FOLLOW is a thriller that will be talked about, especially by influencers, since they are used to being by their phones 24/7 and always thinking of what to post next. Olivia Worley created a great cast of characters with an excellent premise that I couldn’t stop reading until I knew whodunit.
It starts off innocent, but maybe a little catty, with ten influencers, and then there is a body. Suddenly it’s not the free and fun vacation they thought they were on. Each character is unique, with interesting hidden secrets, making it fun to read.
For a debut author, Worley has written a book that I couldn’t put down. Excellent characters that I wanted to know more about. A thrilling mystery with plot twists that I didn’t see coming. I will definitely be picking up whatever she writes next.
If you’re a fan of The Glass Onion, And Then There Were None, and locked door mysteries, definitely pick this up! It’s a super fun read!
You guys, I knew I was going to love People to Follow, by Olivia Worley. I love reality TV novels, I love stories of social media performance, I love influencers in fiction. Also, I love locked-door mysteries in which everyone gets cut off from civilization. So good.
"Welcome to “In Real Life,” the hot new reality show that forces social media’s reigning kings and queens to unplug for three weeks and “go live” without any filters. IRL is supposed to be the opportunity of a lifetime, watched closely by legions of loyal followers. But for these rising stars–including Elody, an Instagram model with an impulsive streak; Kira, a child star turned fitness influencer; Logan, a disgraced TikTok celeb with a secret; and Max, a YouTuber famous for exposés on his fellow creators–it’s about to turn into a nightmare."
It was a little hard to keep track of all 10 influencers at the beginning of People to Follow, especially the crowd of famous-for-being-famous types. I think that’s intentional, because it starts the novel in an island party house full of interchangeable attractive, entitled people. Once the story gets moving, the infighting and secrets help develop the characters.
As the story goes on, the mysterious Sponsor of their free influencer getaway asks them for secrets and promises to cancel anyone who lies. The worst secret, or refusing to participate, gets someone voted off the island for a dark reality show feel. Oh, I forgot to mention that everyone’s left their phones behind for a social media detox (to be filmed and shown on TV, love it), and that a terrible storm has prevented the crew from arriving on the island, cutting the influencers off completely. My favorite. As bodies and dark secrets mount up, it becomes clear that the deaths are not tragic accidents and the guest list isn’t random.
So, there are definitely some parallels with Agatha Christie‘s And Then There Were None. All the baddies have been tricked onto an island, where their dark secrets come out and the body count keeps rising. It seems impossible for anyone to be doing all these murders, since there’s no one else around. Such a great premise. The weak part in And Then There Were None is how much of it feels too contrived for me.
In People to Follow, we have a similar feeling with 10 people on an isolated island, facing murderous revenge for their past actions. Mostly I loved it, with all the elements of twisty drama, what’s not to love? But, again, the weak parts for me were moments that felt contrived and forced. I absolutely bought the overall story of influencers going on a trip, leaving their phones, bumping into their enemies, and discovering it was all messed-up Revenge Island. But there were still a few moments that felt like too much coincidence and too contrived (spin the bottle? right now?), and some uneven moments. (We have a collection of backstabbers, liars, scammers, and literal murderers on the island, and then one influencer whose “crime” is basically not personally dismantling weight loss and diet culture?)
Still, even with a few heavy coincidences, a murderwall of interlocking secrets makes for tense reading and so many possible motives and suspects.