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.
In Worley's tense debut thriller, 10 teen social media influencers agree to ditch their phones to film a reality show on a secluded tropical island, only to realize they're stranded with a killer on the loose. Upon her arrival, wellness enthusiast Kira encounters her frenemy McKayleigh, whom she met at a reality dance competition and who is a founding member of the hugely successful TikTok creator group Bounce House. While former Bounce House member Logan is livid to see McKayleigh, documentarian Max is eager to film what he assumes will be rivalry-fueled chaos among the other influencers, who were all given smart watches to communicate with the show's crew. The vibes turn sinister, however, when the production team fails to arrive and an unknown sponsor informs the group via their watches that they must reveal past secrets or risk media exposure. When one of the attendees turns up dead, the teens turn on one another in a race to escape the island. Somewhat formulaic chapters are buoyed by lighting-quick pacing and savvy twists, and through four shifting perspectives, Worley notably considers social media fame's impact on both the content creator and their following. Most characters read as white. Ages 13–up.