Followers

A Novel

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Pub Date 14 Jan 2020 | Archive Date 30 Mar 2020

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Description

An electrifying story of two dream-chasing 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—an ambitious, wannabe Kardashian—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 act of terrorism 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.

An electrifying story of two dream-chasing 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...


Advance Praise

"One of next year's most anticipated books.... Looking for a scathing razor-sharp take on the future of humanity and social media? Meet Followers."
-Entertainment Weekly

“If anyone is going to explore a terrifying, future version of our high-tech, internet-obsessed culture, please let it be Megan Angelo!”
-Broad City star & author Abbi Jacobson

“Megan Angelo has crafted an eerie masterpiece about the world we live in and the world we don’t want to live in. Followers will make you reconsider whether you really want your fifteen minutes of fame."
-Christina Dalcher, author of Vox

"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." -New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Close

"A frolicking dystopia: smart, terrifying and addictively fun. Orla and Floss have stolen my heart emoji, and I will read anything Megan Angelo writes." -Rufi Thorpe

“This smart, prophetic tech dystopia takes a perceptive look at our digital lives and forecasts an engrossing but eerie future.” -Shelf Awareness

“An intricate and brave story of friendship, ambition, and love and the lengths people will go to protect it all.” –Booklist, *starred review*

“Spectacular… the tale skillfully builds to a terrifyingly believable climax…Angelo delivers a strong, consistently fascinating debut.” –Publishers Weekly, *starred review*

“Endless clever details and suspenseful plotting make this speculative-fiction debut an addictive treat.” Kirkus Reviews, *starred review*

"One of next year's most anticipated books.... Looking for a scathing razor-sharp take on the future of humanity and social media? Meet Followers."
-Entertainment Weekly

“If anyone is going to explore ...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9781525836268
PRICE CA$29.95 (CAD)

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Average rating from 228 members


Featured Reviews

Tags: psychological thriller, dystopian, satire

It is hard to pin this book down with a review. Based on the pink and cursive cover and a brief skim of the synopsis, I was expecting a lighthearted satire on Kardashian culture. What I got was a thrilling, occasionally satirical, critique of what we value as a society. (Or, more specifically, what we think OTHERS THINK we should value in society.)

The main characters are awful people, but the brief glimpses of vulnerability and honesty that the reader sees allows us to forgive them, just a bit. Even an unrepentant narcissist does something brave and selfless eventually. The timeline bounces back and forth before and after "the Spill," a psychological terrorist attack using mined online data, and American society is wildly changed as a result. But one thing is still the same -- family is complicated.

Highly recommended.

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It would be so much more convenient for me if I could pigeon hole this novel as just another "dangers of social media" story, but I cannot. It is, of course, inherently that, but it is many other things as well. So here I am, inconveniently, at two on the morning reading the final pages with my fist between my teeth because nothing about this story could wait until morning.

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Megan Angelo's upcoming novel Followers tells two linked storylines, connected at first by the concept of followers and reality celebrity, but later by the needs of these well-developed characters.

In the first story, twentysomething Orla is sure she's going to move to NYC and become a novelist, but unfortunately, she finds a job writing celeb clickbait, with success measured in views and not literary merit. I was reminded of Eleanor's popular listicles in Sociable, Orla would definitely write about things that are just so coffee on a slow celeb-news day. She still wants to write a novel, but at night, she finds herself exhausted, drained, and aimlessly scrolling social media instead of creating.

Her roommate, Floss, knows that social fame is the key to riches and stardom, and she's ready to crash parties, date a famously obnoxious celeb, or whatever it takes to make that happen.  What Floss and Orla put into motion changes everyone's lives, and I loved how it was unstoppable without being a predictable Overnight Sensation storyline. The scenes of Orla's high school crush, now a suburban schlub, are deeply sad, especially how she really wants him to be her True Love, even as he prepares a depressing pitch deck on applying Floss' stardom for his own chance at wealth.

The second story begins in our future, in a closed, reality-TV community. Resident Marlow is extra famous as the face of an anti-depressant, mood stabilizing drug. She's on camera 23 hours a day, with a handsome husband, beautiful friends, and this season, the scriptwriters tell her that she'll be having a new baby. The viewer comments are hilariously on-point, criticizing armpit chub or tiny facial expressions, but of course, Marlow can't respond directly to them without breaking the illusion. This lifestyle is obviously brittle and unsustainable, but again, it doesn't unfold too predictably.

There was one small part of the book that was gorier than I expected -- it's not a shock, readers are led up to it with a lot of warnings about that terrible night and the scar left behind, but I was still revolted.

Because both storylines explore internet celebrity, I worried that this was going to slip into typical pearl-clutching thinkpiece territory (Young people are doing things in public, just for the clicks! Dumb stunts didn't exist before the internet!) but instead this well-plotted novel showed the corporate machine behind reality celebs and sponsored products.

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This engrossing debut novel felt uncomfortably timely. The celebrity and online culture aspects were both cringe-inducing and hard to look away from, maybe because it mirrors where we are as a society so closely. It was a joy to read and, days later, I'm still thinking about it.

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Just finished this last night and it was *so good*. Exactly the kind of summer read I was in the mood for. Followers is told in alternating time frames- 2016 and 2051 between two characters Orla and Marlow. It’s a story of celebrity obsession, social media (especially the idea of doing things for clicks), and probably most importantly, our own privacy. The two stories begin intersecting pretty quickly and it’s clear there’s a connection between the two. One of the main focuses on this story is “The Spill” i.e. when the internet as we know it stopped working and privacy became a thing of the past. This is a solid 4.5 stars for me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The ending was too rushed for me to give it a full 5 stars. Thank you to @netgalley for the advanced copy of this book, which is set to release January 2020. You won’t want to miss this one when it comes out!

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Followers is a book unlike any I normally read and I loved it!!! Set in dual timelines, 2016 with Orla and Floss and in 2051 with Marlow. At first it is a tad confusing keeping the storylines straight, but quickly you understand what is going on in both timelines. The characters are amazing. They are flawed but real. I loved the sci-fi part of the book and it makes you wonder are we as a culture over sharing our lives? I received an advanced readers copy and all opinions are my own.

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