People to Follow

People to Follow
Age Range
Release Date
October 31, 2023
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In Olivia Worley's pitch-perfect debut, People to Follow, ten teen influencers come to a remote island to star in a reality show, but when one of them winds up dead, they realize that this time, the price of getting “cancelled” could be their lives.

A reality show on a remote Caribbean island. Ten teen influencers. One dead body.

Welcome to “In Real Life,” the hot new reality show that forces social media’s reigning kings and queens to unplug for three weeks and “go live” without any filters. IRL is supposed to be the opportunity of a lifetime, watched closely by legions of loyal followers. But for these rising stars--including Elody, an Instagram model with an impulsive streak; Kira, a child star turned fitness influencer; Logan, a disgraced TikTok celeb with a secret; and Max, a YouTuber famous for exposés on his fellow creators--it’s about to turn into a nightmare.

When the production crew fails to show up and one of their own meets a violent end, these social media moguls find themselves stranded with a dead body and no way to reach the outside world. When they start receiving messages from a mysterious Sponsor threatening to expose their darkest secrets, they realize that they’ve been lured into a deadly game…and one of them might be pulling the strings.

With the body count rising and cameras tracking their every move, the creators must figure out who is trying to get them canceled--like, literally--before their #1 follower strikes again.

Editor review

1 review
consuming thriller/murder mystery
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PEOPLE TO FOLLOW is a thrilling and drama-filled YA murder-mystery. 10 influencers have arrived on a remote island to participate in a new reality series called IRL (in real life). As part of the experience, they are leaving the rest of the world behind, including their phones. Their illusive sponsor has sent them with Tilly who gives them a tour and then informs them that production will not arrive until the following day, leaving them alone on the island for the night.

The influencers soon learn that they are actually playing a dangerous and deadly game with the outcome being their cancellation - exposure on social media of their darkest secrets... and in this case, possibly murder. As dead bodies begin to accumulate, the influencers left on the island will have to keep their wits about them and decide who to trust with their survival on the line.

What I loved: Though at first it seemed like a lot of perspectives in the first person, the flow of the story began to feel seamless between the influencers whose points-of-view the reader gets. There is Max, whose parents are famous and launched his social media career making expose documentaries, Kira, who was a child star on a dancing show turned fitness influencer, Elody, who came from nothing and now is an influencer based on her looks, and Logan, who had a lifestyle platform before she joined the influencer group Bounce House - and then messily and publicly separated from them. In addition to the key people whose perspectives we read, there are the three members of Bounce House (Graham, McKayleigh, and Zane), Corinne, who is a gaming influencer, Cole, who was already cancelled for his prejudiced viewpoints, and Aaron, a child TV star whose life went off the rails.

Each person is hiding their own secrets, though the biggest secrets seem to be around what happened with Bounce House and why Logan separated from them. These secrets appear to be deadly, as they find a body fairly quickly and others are not far behind. The intrigue increases as the drama between them all unfolds and it becomes clear that the Sponsor of IRL has a vendetta against them all. How they are all connected and what their secrets are keep the story moving forward.

This ended up being even more intense than I anticipated with the deadly game that has them all hoping for survival. With the isolation trope, the suspense only increases with not knowing who to trust and not knowing how they could escape. The drama was also really strong here with plenty of disagreements and reality TV-style fights that added to the plot and questioned who had it out for whom the most. Readers who enjoy a lot of drama and surprise reveals will definitely get into this story.

Themes around abuse, secrets, survival, social media, consequences or lack thereof, nepotism, and trust/betrayal were also really strong. There is a lot to pick apart in this book and explore beyond the main thriller/murder mystery plot. The reveals really wrapped things up well, and I also appreciated the way the story ended, giving readers good closure.

What left me wanting more: As a small thing, the buildup to the reveals was stronger than some of the reveals themselves. Even after it all, some of the reasons/secrets of some of the characters (being vague to avoid spoilers) were a bit weak and felt like a let down. It would have helped to have these be stronger for all the characters (there is one in particular that left question marks as the links seemed a bit weak). It also ended up being pretty convoluted in terms of everything that led up to it all, so the reveal felt like an info dump in a way - but it was all wrapped up well and was satisfying enough.

Final verdict: PEOPLE TO FOLLOW is a consuming and drama-filled YA thriller/murder mystery that will keep readers on the edges of their seats as secrets are revealed.
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