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Ratings and Book Reviews (5 26 star ratings
5 reviews
)

Overall rating

3.9 out of 5
26
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

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    Incredibly poignant and deeply relevant

    Incredibly poignant and deeply relevant, Followers tackles the boundless impact of social media, and the effect it has on our lives. Set in modern-day New York and futuristic California, it follows Orla, Floss, and Marlow. Orla is a struggling writer whose roommate Florence, “Floss”, is desperate to become famous. Together, the two hatch a plan to launch Floss to stardom, at all costs. Thirty-five years in the future, Marlow is an actress in the reality TV town Constellation, California, where stars are watched 24/7 and fans around the country can follow them online. As the two plots converge around a secret that impacts all three women, the dark truth of it all is slowly revealed. Deeply imaginative and well thought out, Followers revolves around the influence of fame and the importance and fragility of privacy. It imagines a future that is equal parts terrifying and intriguing. After a catastrophic event known as “the Spill”, the government takes control of the internet. Smartphones are a thing of the past, replaced by “devices”, a chip implanted in the arm that connects directly to the brain. Privacy no longer truly exists, the government now has limitless access to your location and data. At times funny, and others deeply dark and disturbing, Followers is a wild ride. It calls into question the influence of social media and the internet, the potential for problems, and the cost of fame. Thank you to BookishFirst and Graydon House for my review copy!
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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    A disturbing tale of a social media dystopia

    I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but was hooked from the moment I started reading it. The main characters are Orla, Floss and Marlow and how their lives are driven and interconnected by social media. The characters are initially, not that likeable, but they do have some waking up and growing up to do. There are two time periods: 2016 and 2051. It is a disturbing and interesting story, as all we have to do is look around us at people glued to their phones, counting their followers and watching ridiculous reality tv shows, to realize that the future in Followers is eerily possible. The dystopian future portrayed is quite chilling. I enjoyed the conclusion as the characters connected at the end. Very difficult to put down and highly readable.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Weird

    Weird story - the parts from 2051 were a bit bizarre. It was interesting how the author finally tied in Floss and Marlowe.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Really, really good

    Followers is only one of two books that I have read this year that I feel deserves a five star rating! This book was a lot deeper than I thought it was going to be. It forced me to reflect upon our society's constant use of screen time and social media and possible effects of that usage. There are two time periods in this book: 2016 and 2051. The 2016 time period is much like today and included the character Floss. Although I don't know anyone personally who is famous due to social media presence, I could see Floss' "anything for fame" attitude being realistic for those people. She didn't care if it was negative or positive attention, she just thrived on being in the limelight. The 2051 time period was really interesting to read about. Instead of cellphones, people have devices that speak to them. I don't think those devices are extremely far fetched either after watching an Elon Musk interview about technology a few months ago. Not only was this a book about technology, but it also included very human themes of belonging, morality, love, and what is important in life. I highly recommend this book!
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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    It's the future people!

    Many thanks to NetGalley, Harlequin Graydon House Books and Megan Angelo for an ARC in exchange for an honest book review of Followers. My thoughts and opinions are 100% my own and independent of receiving an advance copy. For the next thirty years we, as a society, continue along our path of indulgent social media behaviour trying to procure followers. This leads to an event that causes a break in society so severe that the government has taken over the internet. This way they can “protect” its citizens’ information. Now there is a town dedicated to technology, for people whom the government chooses and puts them on social media. With cameras watching them 24-7, they have a chip implanted in their heads and chips in their fingertips. The feedback from your followers is instant and you must make adjustments or you’ll be out. Marlow has grown up with this implant that provides a feed to her whole life. She was targeted as a young girl who needed anti-depression medication. She has millions of followers. Her whole life is geared to promoting products and the government controls all aspects of her life. It’s not just what she promotes, what she wears but also who she marries and when she’ll have kids. I mean every part of her life and she can’t take it anymore. She is not happy. She wonders what it would be like to be free of it all. This book is set in two different time periods with alternating chapters. The time is now and it is a couple of years before the big event. Orla is living in New York writing for a rag of a publication about what the latest influencer is doing. Think TMZ for bloggers. She came thinking she would fulfill her dreams of being a writer but can’t seem to break free of the rut she’s in. She hasn’t even been able to work on her novel. Along comes Florence who rents a room from Orla. Floss, as she likes to be known is trying to break into the biz and become an Instagram sensation. She is a constant partier and a bit of a troublemaker. Orla has never seen anyone with such confidence. Soon the two of them figure out that they can help each other. Orla can make Floss’s dreams come true and Floss can then help Orla get her novel published. There is obviously a connection between the two time periods, but you don’t find it out for quite a while. It was about 20% of the way through before I could relax, realized that I wouldn’t know until I knew, and started to latch onto the two stories. I was really confused about Marlow’s time period because I didn’t understand how the world worked. It is an easy read and for the most part, I enjoyed this story. It is a cautionary tale about technology, what we place importance on and what will happen if we continue down the road. At times it got a bit preachy, like, yes I get it, we are all doomed but I never appreciate being hit over the head with what the author is trying to say. The story does it well enough on its own. But overall, I enjoyed it. Funny thing happened. I finished the book and I was feeling like, boy, this is really way out there. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love books that ask what if and what will the future be like but I felt like it was overkill. Two days later I was listening to the news about this new app causing all kinds of problems. It’s an app that looks at your face and then will scour the internet for every piece of information about you. Not just the stuff you post but what other people post, crowd shots, your business photo. Then, from all that, it can figure out where you work, your personal information like driver's license and social security number. The government was looking into shutting the app down, or taking it over because it was violating all kinds of privacy issues for individuals. So I felt like, hmmm, maybe this book isn’t that far out there after all…
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