People to Follow by Olivia Worley
Published: November 2nd 2023 by Hodder Children’s Books
Rating: ★★★★ (4 stars)
Genres: Young Adult // Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery
Quick Thoughts: Fresh, smart and had a final reveal I didn’t see coming. Takes the tropes and gives it a Gen-Z, modern twist that livens up the stranded-on-an-Island cliché and breathes new life into it.
I was gifted this book via the Publisher and will give it a fair and unbiased review. There was no obligation to post/give this book a certain rating. I remain entirely impartial.
About This Book:
Ten influencers. Ten secrets. One dead body. A pacy, page-turning thriller perfect for fans of We Were Liars, The Inheritance Games and One Of Us Is Lying.
They’re used to being followed. But not like this . . .
Ten social media stars think they’re about to join the cast of a hot new reality show. But the production crew never shows up, and the influencers find themselves stranded on a deserted Caribbean island with no contact with the outside world – except for messages from the mysterious ‘Sponsor’, who is threatening to expose their darkest secrets. When one of them winds up dead, things start to get more real than they bargained for . . .
With the body count rising, the influencers must figure out who is trying to get them cancelled – like, literally – before their number one follower strikes again.
‘Tis the season for a murder mystery? I am such a mood reader, and whenever it’s cold out it’s either a cosy romance, festive read, or thriller, of which the latter happened to find me just when I was in the mood for something in the absence of missing Big Brother and I’m A Celeb style shows, just with a very fictional touch of murder.
For ten social media stars that are used to massive followings and being watched constantly online, life is about to kick up a whole other notch into dangerous territory. Offered to join the cast of a new reality show where they’ll be the stars, the teens quickly arrive onto a deserted Caribbean island and hand over their phones to properly disconnect for the show, which is hard for the attached-at-the-hand teens who are constantly posting updates. Waiting for their production crew to turn up turns into someone turning up dead—and it’s clear they’re not the only ones with a fateful end predicted.
Despite no phones to post their updates, they’re able to receive messages from their illusive sponsor, who just so happens to have very ulterior motives and begins to threaten revealing all of their deepest, darkest secrets. With no clues behind their places there and a body count that’s steadily rising on their secluded island, trapped, the influencers begin trying to piece together who is behind this entire scheme as their number-one-fan before it’s too late. Whoever it is knows them so well—too well—but this is one superfan you don’t want at a meet-and-greet, not when they’re cancelling people out of living…
Overall, People To Follow was fresh, smart and had a final reveal I didn’t see coming, which is extremely hard to do in the setting of a well-done trope of teens stranded on an island. Reminiscent of Ten by Gretchen O’Neil and of course And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, Olivia’s book takes the inspired plot and gives it a Gen-Z, modern twist that livens up the cliché and breathes new life into it. I didn’t connect with some of the voices/POVs of the influencers, but meshed with Kira the quickest and most consistently of them all. This was an impressive and firecracker of a debut, and I can’t wait to read more from Olivia.
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