followers by megan angelo
Book Review / Megan Angelo / Reviews with Spoilers

Megan Angelo | Followers

followers by megan angelo

The Book: 

Followers by Megan Angelo, 2020

The Characters: 

Marlow, in the year 2051
Orla and Floss in 2016

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

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.

Click here for book spoilers for Followers
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Followers, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist

Orla is Marlow’s biological mother, not Floss. Floss stole Marlow from Orla for the publicity (it would look good to her followers for her to have a baby on her failing show). I was wondering why the author picked such similar-sounding names, and was pleasantly surprised to see it explained–Floss named her Marlow so that part of Orla would always be with her. 

The Ending:

Marlow leaves Constellation to find Orla after learning she is her real mom. Floss shows up at Orla’s new home and is immediately forgiven.

The Review: 

The premise of this book was so good. It reminded me of something you’d see on Black Mirror (crossed with The Truman Show), but just realistic enough to be terrifying. 

Books about influencers are my not-so-guilty pleasure. This book combined that genre with dystopian future themes, which sounds a little strange but worked so well. I haven’t read a science fiction or futuristic book in a long time, but this novel was the perfect little taste. It’s also not too easy to write a relevant book set 30 years from now, but Megan Angelo pulled it off! 

Throughout the book “The Spill” is continuously mentioned, but you don’t find out exactly what it is until the end. This intrigue made the pages turn quickly, and I was eager to get to the end to figure out how the world had gotten so screwed up. 

My main issue was that the ending was pretty unbelievable. I don’t think instant forgiveness is ever realistic, certainly not in this case. 

Overall, this was a fast-paced, entertaining, and thought-provoking novel. I’m amazed it’s her debut, and can’t wait to see what she does next!

followers by megan angelo
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