Pretty much every book about modern influencer culture gives me a rash these days (as in, is horrifying to read but compelling) but this one….this one made me want to hide the kids I don’t even have in a bunker. People Like Her was a December BOTM club pick that had been on my radar for a bit–but like with so many books I’ve read, I remember the title and not really what it was about until I pick it up to binge it that day.But wow…it wasn’t the quickest read. It’s a lot more British than I realized/remembered, but it was powerful because now my children are never allowed out of the house and they haven’t even been conceived yet.
Emmy and Dan Jackson are a mostly happily married couple of two kids, Coco (almost 4) and Bear (newborn) but they’re not your typical British family because Emmy runs a carefully curated messy-but-not Instagram account called “mamabare” where she has become a top Instamum and social media influencer. It’s like mommyblogging but on crack, because Instagram, right? She and Dan, a novelist trying to find his second book, are often at odds over her job, but it pays the bills. Until…things start to get a little out of hand. Emmy’s starting to be worn down by the constant need to respond to DMs, so she hires an assistant. Dan loses Coco in the mall one day and even though he finds her, he can’t shake what he saw. Then there’s a burglary, a weird instagram fan account, a trip to the hospital, the offer of a television show, and a test that Emmy and Dan may not be able to survive.
But while Emmy may have a million followers online, there’s only one person her following around her hometown, watching everything she and her family does. And taking notes, because she’s going to get her revenge.
This book…dang. The first 150 pages are pretty slow–a lot of “instamum” worldbuilding, which is mentally exhausting but kind of interesting. Party planning, shopping, household photo shoots, that work, but then things really kick into high gear. I like that you hear from Emmy and Dan and the “third person” who I won’t reveal. But then things start to kick into insanity and it escalates quickly–the book is less than 275 pages–and at the end I was like “ahhh what the heck” and now I’m scared of Instagram, so…a good book all around? 4 stars?