Wednesday 7 July 2021


Finished July 4
Followers by Raziel Reid

This is definitely a type of book I don't normally read. This teen novel is set around a group of teenagers who are on a reality television show in Beverly Hills. Most of them have either money or the illusion of money, and most of their parents are also part of the show. The novel moves from character to character and the chapters are structured to begin with Instagram posts on the character that is the focus of that chapter. They are titled with the Instagram profile name and give the number of followers, and then a few comments that appeared on that profile. 
It begins with one of the young stars Hailey Paley reached the point of a million followers, which she decides to have a party to celebrate this achievement. 
Then we have her cousin Lily enter the story. Lily lives with her mom in a trailer in the Valley and she's just had a bad date, one where she ended up in jail charged with a crime. Hailey's mom has decided this event and her being taken in by the Paley family for a time will help ratings. So Lily is bombarded by paparazzi, met by a team from the show, taken to the Paley house in Beverly Hills and installed in the pool house. Cameras are rolling almost all the time, and Lily must figure out what is real and what is staged, and how she feels about it all. It takes a little ways into the book for Lily to get an Instagram account of her own, and some time for her to find her feet. But she's used to relying on no one but herself, and has a summer job as a lifeguard on one of the beaches, and she has a good head on her shoulders.
Getting immersed into a world of status, money, alcohol, and drugs is a big change, and decoding the terminology of this generation and their social media took me a while. This is a very dysfunctional environment and that becomes obvious through some of the behaviour that we see. A window into another world.

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