Followed by Millions, Watched by One
To her adoring fans, Emmy Jackson, aka @the_mamabare, is the honest “Instamum” who always tells it like it is.
To her skeptical husband, a washed-up novelist who knows just how creative Emmy can be with the truth, she is a breadwinning powerhouse chillingly brilliant at monetizing the intimate details of their family life. To one of Emmy’s dangerously obsessive followers, she’s the woman that has everything—but deserves none of it.
As Emmy’s marriage begins to crack under the strain of her growing success and her moral compass veers wildly off course, the more vulnerable she becomes to a very real danger circling ever closer to her family.
The book follows an instagram influencer who posts primarily about her family and her life as a mother, but we also get to read from two additional points of view. Her husband who seems to hate instagram but couldn’t support the family without it and a unknown third point of view who follows our main character on instagram.
I enjoyed the combination of the three points of view. I think one of the areas where the book excels is how these points of view intermingle and throw you off the scent of the plot. the writing also surprisingly managed to keep me equally engaged with both parents. They are both difficult characters to like. There were times where I sympathised with each of them and I felt like the parents were written more as real people rather than over the top villian/victim caricature.
I liked the depiction of influencers, especially when the book looked at the running of their accounts as brands. I had never really thought about the way being an influencer would affect your friendship groups, familial relationships and the way you stop enjoying events the way you would if you weren’t using it for social media.
The other points of view were enjoyable to read from. The third, unknown, point of view kept the plot propelling forward. I thought I’d figured out who the character was a few times throughout the book but when the reveal came, I was completely surprised.
I was on the edge the whole way through the book. It kept my glued to the page, updating my other half about plot progressions as I went through them and ranked highly for me in terms of enjoyment. There was a non-linear timeline, sub plots that threw me off the scent of any major twists and overall was an enjoyable experience to read.
My only disappointment was how the ending played out. Reading as an ebook meant I had no idea how many pages there were until the end so I felt like I’d reached the final plot event and was so hooked. It was so shocking and well laid through the reveals the third point of view gave us. Unfortunately instead of leaving the book on a brutal cliffhanger with an open ending, the author chose to come back and tie up loose ends. This did mean that the ending was less shocking and brutal, but I felt it ultimately ruined the effect. If the author was looking to avoid the admittedly harsh ending choices I think it would have better served the book to avoid going in that direction entirely.
Overall, I gave People Like Her four out of five stars.