Followers gave me some seriously creepy and unsettling feelings. It’s a novel told from various points of view across two timelines: one group of characters lives in New York City in the year 2015, and the other group lives in a futuristic planned community monitored by cameras and streamed to the rest of America in 2051. Think Big Brother live, 23 hours a day, for a person’s entire life…oh plus product placements. Around 2016, there is something called the “spill” that happens and changes the nature of the internet and social media forever. The author does a great job of building suspense and confusion around what happens to our main characters, and how they are all intertwined.
I really enjoyed this book. It was great to be grounded in the familiar 2015 setting, with vapid social media stars, reality TV, and all the creature comforts we all know (or at least we knew until our current pandemic). Then in 2051, it was fascinating to be thrust into a world that is similar, but completely different to our own. Followers made me think about my use of social media, aimless scrolling, and the way I present myself to the world.
This book is an engaging read, and I will recommend it to my friends and others. It is a bit unsettling with “end of the world” undertones which might give a lot of us anxiety right now as we continue to ride out COVID-19 in our isolated homes (at least that is what I am doing, and I hope you are all doing the same). But if you can stomach those feelings, please give this book a try.
Finished on February 15, 2020, took 4 days to read
4 stars on Goodreads
Genre: Fiction, Dystopian Future