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From the first chapter, this book had me straightjacketed It snatched me up and held me rapt until the last word It s just, ugh, there is no word Oh wait, I got itIT S ELECTRIFYING using bad Danny Zuko John Travolta impression slinks away in shame Megan Angelo s writing is top notch.She has flawlessly woven a complex, multilayered and intelligent tale of the current state of social media and the dramatic effects it has on society some thirty years in the future Angelo offers up a masterclass in character development There are a ton of characters in this story but I never once felt lost She fleshed out the three main characters masterfully while simultaneously creating peripheral characters that were real and memorable I really encourage you to read the description before diving into this one but not the reviews The author drops you off right in the middle of the lives of the main characters and reading the description helped me to quickly gain my bearings Just a friendly suggestion Side Note this cover has GOT TO GO It is entirely too uninteresting, especially considering the jewel that lies inside Plus, it reminds me of a trademark graphic for a feminine hygiene product Although Followers doesn t come out until next year, I already know it ll be in my top 10 It s just that damn good I received a complimentary ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. If you told me that Followers would be the debut novel of Megan Angelo, I would ve told you that you were lying I actually had to double check Ms Angelo s Goodreads profile because I actually didn t believe it for a second Followers showcases the dark reality of society s addiction to technology, instant gratification through social media, and the world of the celebrity As it alternates between 2015 16 and 2051, it shows the vast differences between society s role in the aforementioned themes The three main characters, Orla, Floss, and Marlow, all battle with the attention that they ve been given With its perks, comes great responsibility Between the two time periods, society was affected by what has been titled as The Spill an emotional terrorism attack on society that has affected technology profoundly As the three women navigate through this society overpowered by the pheromone of celebrity and influence, it s vastly entertaining I really could not put this book down if I tried and I m sad that it s over It doesn t dab too much into the realm of make believe, so science fiction skeptics can still enjoy it I definitely recommend and I m excited to see what Megan Angelo has up her sleeve next. Followers is a timely debut novel about the power of social media, the internet, and technology It demonstrates the effect it has on our relationships and the damage that can be caused because of its influence Have our friendships and family dynamics changed because of the prominence of social media How has the internet changed us What is the purpose of social media, and who is accountable for what is promoted on our pages feeds society or individuals In Followers, a dystopian atmosphere is painted to show different outcomes that could occur if balance is not reached Chapters alternate between Marlow and Orla Is privacy only an illusion In Marlow s world, in 2051, her life almost seems to be choreographed in order to keep her followers online But, can likes replace loneliness Marlow s world consists of pleasing a tyrannical pharmaceutical company, Hysteryl, who helped create her brand Marlow starts to question the difference between friends and online followers How can her life feel so empty when she has millions who watch her every move When asked to take the next big step in her life in order to pacify the public, Marlow realizes that she amounts to than publicists, branding, and marketing How will she escape when the program can track her, bots can automatically identify anyone in passing, and everyone recognizes her from the media Orla, a struggling writer in 2015, lives in an age promoting endless distractions Until she creates a name for herself, she feels that she must rely on trends and the rich and famous to maintain a prolific workflow in New York as a budding blogger Meanwhile, her new roommate looks for fame and wants to market herself on social media as a career Constantly buried in their devices, how different are they really What is the value of their work, and how does it influence their relationship and those around them Rating explained I really enjoyed this novel and recommend it to readers who enjoy dystopian fiction This was 4 stars for me instead of 5 because there were several subplots that caused the intensity of story line to subside In the end, there was a big moment where I had to suspend belief regarding a city in the future called Atlantis, especially concerning the economics involved Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy Opinions are my own More on this Watch Megan Angelo talk about influencers that provides insight and background for her book.Entertainment Exclusive s article on Followers. Instagram Twitter Facebook Pinterest I have other ARCs that I should have been reading before this one deadlines, yo , but after reading a few pages of this book to sample, I ended up not being able to put it down I picked up FOLLOWERS because it sounded a little like Dave Eggers THE CIRCLE, only without the terrible sex scenes and unrealistic protagonist that made THE CIRCLE seem like a social media version of RED SPARROW i.e exploitative and bad.FOLLOWERS is coming out in January 2020, which is really the perfect time, since it s the time of new years, new resolutions, and FOLLOWERS is all about people who will do anything to tap into that idealized version of ourselves we all wish we could be and then becoming famous There are two different narrators, set in two different timelines In the present day, there s Orla, a wannabe writer who lives with a wannabe starlet One day the two of them hatch a scheme that ends up catapulting them both to fame with disastrous results The second plotline takes place in the future and is about a woman named Marlow who s famous for being famous, but having an existential crisis because of it.Both Orla and Marlow are great heroines because they re heavily flawed and make a lot of bad choices, and the book explores the effects of those choices and the possibility of redemption The dystopian aspect of it explores the superficiality and vapidness of listicles and famous for being famous celebrities of the Now, and a Truman Show esque like post social media future, where technology and psychology have merged to the point that everyone can tune in via brainwave and everything and anyone can be filmed and viewed for one s voyeuristic pleasure.I think the messages of FOLLOWERS and THE CIRCLE are both very similar, in that they both take a social media is bad approach Social media is not inherently bad in my opinion, but it does act as a magnifying glass acts of good become hyper focused, but so do acts of bad, and sometimes with disastrous consequences The cataclysmic event in this book that ends up causing the rift between our Now and Marlow s Future capitalizes on this nature of bad, by showing that a lot of us are a bit too cavalier with what we choose to share online, and that the internet really isn t as durable or secure as we d like it to be it s far from being compartmentalized, and we should be careful in how we use it.The reason I m not giving it a five is because I didn t really like the ending it felt too easy I also feel like, for a dystopian, this book really didn t do the best job painting the future as horrific and doom laden, which I look for in books of this nature I was kind of hoping for a social media version of Brave New World or 1984, and while I sort of got that, I also sort of got a book that felt like chick lit, in that the focus was on mid life crises, family, and finding yourself And that s totally fine and it was done pretty well here, but I don t think it s what people reading this are signing up for.Overall, though, this was a pleasure to read, and I think it will be a hot item for book clubs and might even become a movie although hopefully, a better movie than THE CIRCLE ended up being If you enjoy thoughtful, speculative fiction and would like a gentler dystopian novel with mid 2000s chick lit vibes and flawed heroines and some pretty on point jabs on social media and click bait, this will be a great book for you It even gets in some laughs at Donald Trump s expense, which I support Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review 4 to 4.5 stars 3.5 The very definition of an addictive read I ll just read a bit of this and see what it s like I ll just read maybe 30 pages and before I knew it, I was setting aside a whole Sunday night to power through the second half.In 2051, we follow Marlow, one of the inhabitants of Constellation, an entirely artificial town where everyone is a reality show star their lives are streamed to the world 24 7 Marlow has grown up in Constellation and is the face of an emotion suppressing medication but now, at 35, she s starting to doubt her place in this fishbowl world The alternating chapters set in 2015 seem, at first, to be unconnected In New York City, Orla, who writes for a BuzzFeed Jezebel style website but dreams of being an author, meets fame hungry Floss The two become roommates and make a deal Orla will use her online platform to help Floss become a star, and Floss will share the spoils of fame and, Orla hopes, get her a literary agent The plan works rather too well when Floss lands her own show, Orla becomes a minor celebrity too.In this story s reality, a disastrous event in 2016 the Spill brought down both the internet and the USA s power grid Life gradually went back to something approximating normal Marlow s Truman Show esque existence is the most dystopian thing in the novel It s a smart way to engineer a near future setting, and surprisingly believable too a huge data spill is a pretty plausible type of cataclysm, and I liked the fact that a couple of generations later, people have already forgotten why being careless with their data was such a bad thing in the first place.Followers doesn t just feature reality shows, it mirrors their appeal It s soapy, fast moving, and almost every chapter ends on a cliffhanger It s easy to miss that you re slowly becoming emotionally invested in the characters, until the very end, when the narrative suddenly grabs hold of you And then it becomes clear what it s all really been about family and fulfilment and ambition and disappointment Like the best trashy TV, it tells a bigger story.It s been a while since I finished a book with tears streaming down my face, but the last chapter of Followers did that to me Up until the ending I had some reservations it s too long, the subplot about Honey could ve been cut, some scenes and sequences are confusing but the way things were wrapped up, particularly for Marlow, raised my opinion of the whole book You might not expect it from the high concept premise and candy coloured cover, but this book has the most beautiful and surprising ending.I received an advance review copy of Followers from the publisher through NetGalley.TinyLetter Twitter Instagram Tumblr This story follows two friends, Floss and Orla, in two alternating timelines The first timeline starts on 2015, in which Orla helps Floss become Instagram famous The second timeline takes place 35 years later in an exclusive village where the residents are recorded and streamed for entertainment Sort of a futuristic Truman show but with government involvement.I was intrigued by the premise, the novel has elements of scifi and explores social media, privacy rights, connectivity, and female friendships Although it started strong for me, it felt a bit long in some sections Still, I liked it and think the story feels relevant and relatable to issues we face today Overall, I recommend it to readers of contemporary and speculative fiction ARC provided by Publisher via Netgalley I m so torn over this book I really really loved it Then I got to the end, and my love faded to a muted simmer I still love it, but I feel like this story deserved a stronger ending.It s set in a really cool future world where there has been a digital crisis and everything is kind of turned upside down in terms of technology and privacy The book jumps between present and future, and it s a bit of a mystery which I love in figuring out how the two worlds interact.I d definitely recommend this title and am so impressed that it s a debut Absolutely grab it when it releases. Fans of Black Mirror, or at least those attentive to the techno sociological implications of the near future, will thoroughly enjoy this well paced tale of social media obsession and reality showboating Dual timelines 2015 and 2051 tell the story of the defining event called the Spill and its aftermath, which divided the two eras Clues are prudently dropped as the story unfurls on both sides of the Spill the crisis that dramatically separate and connect both timelines The harrowing part I didn t have to suspend much disbelief Megan Angelo s vividly imaginative story is rife with the human passions, flaws, and misguided desires that blind an Instagram infatuated and celebrity hooked culture Moreover, she impeccably measures out the menace and dread of a civilization that has lost its way When people unwittingly trade authentic lives for ten million likes, the price of celebrity is a bargain bin fame farm, at the cost of free choice and humanity The benefactors and benefiters shell it out cannily to those most willing to sell their souls.I don t want spoil or, em spill the page and image turning plot, but even the most jaded reader will be awed by the author s chilling new world setting Designer lives and designer pills are dispensed with cunning extortion a picture perfect vista underscores a vast veneer of dystopian engineering A cat and mouse escape story will lead you down a path of heroine resistance, as one woman fights off her gilded prison for her family s extant truth.This novel should get a million likes. An Electrifying Story Of Two Ambitious Friends, The Dark Choices They Make And The Profound Moment That Changes The Meaning Of Privacy ForeverOrla 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 SuccessThirty 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 RisksFollowers 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 Now that I have had a day to think about this one, I have decided that I did not love Followers nor did I hate it In fact I really loved the premise of the story itself It s what encouraged me to read the book in the first place as well as the cover When it was all said and done, I felt like what I had read was two episodes of Black Mirror crammed into one book The mediocre ones Followers was lengthy and wordy There I said it It was I think the words in this one took over and at some point s you don t even know what is going on because the author gets so long winded I had to start paragraphs over multiple times But maybe that was just me.I think the ending really killed this one for me That s all I will say about that Moving onHOWEVER, with me saying all of the above, I really loved the concept of this story and the way it was laid out I think for me, it was a very realistic story that fits into the world we live in today For an author to write that out, it was fascinating to me.Thus concluding I believe it s definitely possible to enjoy Followers and not be annoyed by what annoyed me There were some great elements and like I said above, the premise of the book as a whole was so interesting I just wished the writing flowed a little better for me And about 2000 words were removed.