“… that was when I knew. When I knew that I had been lying to myself… That I had not forgiven you, could never forgive you. That was when I knew what I was going to do. All I had to work out was how and where and when.”People Like Her – Ellery Lloyd
In Summary of People Like Her
In this co-authored debut novel, Emmy Jackson has risen to the top of the social media influencer kingdom with her seemingly relatable mom-stagram persona. However, her reality is that she isn’t all that relatable to the average mom based on her privileged circumstances, but she will do anything to hide this fact on her platform. All of this is taking a toll on her marriage to her husband, a writer, who has not managed to find much success in the limelight like his wife; the quality of her relationship with her children is based on shallow interactions and even some resentment. Meanwhile, a vengeful follower lurks nearby observing their lives and plotting her retribution. What will happen to Emmy, her marriage and family, and the stalker in the process?
Warning: Topics of abortion, infant death, and stalking are present
|Insight into the culturally relevant world of social media influencers||A few plot elements that move the stalker’s scheme along seem unlikely or not-well-formulated|
|Thought on the role social media has on relationships||All characters are unlikeable|
|Switching narrative perspectives each chapter keeps things interesting||Only focuses on the negatives of social media influencing; perhaps reflects biased intent|
“You see, with a bit of research, social media makes understanding what people all over the world connect with very simple indeed… So you can adjust your lipstick, your living room, your family life, your filter accordingly.”
Despite the negatives mentioned, I could not put this book down. The writing is easy to read and understand, so I could just fly through it. Additionally, I enjoyed the premise of the novel.
Many reviews heavily critique the book for not having any likeable characters to root for. However, I’m going to be honest… this made it more interesting for me. The couple that co-authored this novel (aka Ellery Lloyd) clearly have their feelings about the dangers of social media and the influencer lifestyle; their creation of highly unlikable characters was purposely done to highlight their viewpoints on these topics. Overall, I feel it worked. If anything, I felt myself egging on the stalker to get her revenge on the protagonist (eek – I promise I’m not a sociopath! She is just so unpalatable!).
Whether we like it or not, social media influencers are “a thing” right now and will continue to be around indefinitely. This is the nature of mixing modern technology with a consumerist world and the human desire to connect. I have found this world intriguing (really, though… how does one suddenly start getting free, sponsored trips to the Caribbean to make her husband take pictures of her holding a glass of wine next to an infinity pool overlooking the ocean with baby seals playfully barking in the background? *Ahem* Just asking for a friend).
Although Emmy and her husband are unwholesome humans, I feel like the portrayal of their lives provides some interesting tidbits of what life might look like behind the scenes. There were aspects I had never previously considered – like paying for “bots” to count as followers, the turmoil that excessive sponsorship gifts can have on the household, planning events just for the pictures, etcetera. Additionally, showing this world through the alternating perspectives of Emmy and her husband (who, I might add, is just as guilty of giving in to this world in his own way as a struggling author) keeps things moving.
The stalker has an interesting story that seems a bit far-fetched from the beginning until the end, but I did enjoy trying to put together the pieces to figure out who she was. However, I felt like the author duo was trying to grasp at elements to weave together into this character and her part of the plotline; it works, but could’ve been better developed. I don’t want to give too much away about this aspect of the novel, so I will stop myself here and let you decide for yourself.
Overall, I recommend this read for a different perspective, the social relevance of the main topic, and the ease of reading. Although I wouldn’t classify this as a strong thriller, it will keep you guessing and it can work well as an introduction to the genre. By the end, you will question the morality of certain tech use and society’s glorification of influencing.
But please don’t take this as a negative critique of influencing and consumerism… send a book my way and I will gladly accept it and review. 😉
People Like Her Book Information
- Published: 2021 (I read Book of the Month’s 2020 Early Release)
- ISBN: 9780062997395
- Format I Read: Hardback