Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. – meaning I may get a commission if you decide to purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you.
A social media crisis? Check!
Revenge thriller? Check!
Wait, cute babies? Check!
I really wanted to understand how People Like Her captured all of these themes together. And, I surely was not disappointed! Let’s jump right into the review.
People Like Her
Author: Ellery Llyod
Publish date: Jan 21, 2021
Publisher: Pan Macmillan (Imprint: Mantle)
Category: General Fiction (Adult) | Mystery & Thrillers
Is it possible to be totally consumed by a book? I think so! People Like Her had me initially smiling and nodding. And then it hit me in my gut. Its ending, oh my gosh. Ahhh! What can I say I was a bundle of nerves by the end.
I recommend this book wholeheartedly to everyone who is on social media, especially Instagram. It gets you to re-evaluate whether we should all share as much as we do across platforms.
It is a revenge thriller but it also does a great job of educating you about the time, effort and planning (including pretence!) that goes into becoming an influencer.
Worthy of being your next read!
The book is essentially about this very social media-friendly family – in particular the mother who is an ‘Instamum’.
In typical social media fashion, she shares her life and that of her family via beautifully lit photos and cute captions.
However, some things aren’t always as good as they seem to be. Are these photos showing you the true picture? Are comments harmless? Should you respond to a DM (direct message)? What about followers? Do they really listen or care?
As the plot unravels you hear the versions of the truth from three narrators. The couple, Emily and Dan, each has their own vantage point and take you through their trials and tribulations. There is a third mysterious narrator who moves the story along. This person is deeply hurt, but we don’t know exactly who this is or their motivations.
You soon realise how half-truths are spun in the name of content. And that’s when things will go terribly awry. Clearly, the limelight has its share of troubles. Including things you just couldn’t have imagined.
The author, Ellery Llyod, makes a connection. Despite all the social media drama /diatribe, her theme rings scarily true!
The three narrators enable us to see the different viewpoints. I quite liked how the stories intertwined and the vantage point provided by this narrative style.
Personally, the author had me chuckling when talking about the craziness cum cuteness that accompanies being a new parent. Also, the whole working-from-home but no-one-believes-you-work attitude – so very true!
Indeed the author has taken great pains to explain the apparent inner workings of the Instagram world. We learn of the pressures of being a mini Instagram celebrity, and what it does to people both within and outside their circle.
I appreciate the perspective even though I would hope the world isn’t so crazy, yet!
Of course, the story did give me a jolt towards the end. Perhaps a bit extreme, but possible!
I think people who practically live via these sharing apps must remember who they impact. The plot serves as a lesson for netizens.
People Like Her is a story that will be hard to forget.
How To Buy The Book:
This book is slated for an early 2021 release!
Lucky us, we can pre-order this here (Amazon external link) and it will be with you Jan 21, 2021 🙂
More About The Authors:
Ellery Lloyd is the pseudonym for London-based husband-and-wife writing team Collette Lyons and Paul Vlitos.
Collette is a journalist and editor who has worked across the UK, Australia and the Middle East. She has worked extensively with fashion magazines.
She was with Stylist as their features editor, was the acting content editor at Elle, and as editorial director at Soho House & Co. She has also worked with Grazia.
Collette has contributed to newspapers including The Guardian, The Telegraph, and The Sunday Times. She also has two travel books to her credit. At present, Collette works in retail placement with a firm called Churchill Husband.
Academically speaking, she is an MA in Theology and Art History from the University of Cambridge.
Paul is the author of two previous novels, Welcome to the Working Week and Every Day is Like Sunday. He also has to his credit a series featuring a witty detective, Alex Blizard. There are at present three books in this series.
He also has penned literary critiques. Most recently, Eating and Identity in Postcolonial Fiction: Consuming Passions, Unpalatable Truths.
His writing has usually been described as sharply witty. Something he has seems to have brought to his latest novel too!
Academically, Paul is an English Literature student. He studied at the University of Bristol before undertaking graduate study at University College London and the University of Cambridge.
He has also taught English Literature and Creative Writing at various Universities. These include the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Goldsmiths and Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. He is at present the Programme Director for English Literature with Creative Writing at the University of Surrey, UK.
People Like Her is their first novel – and honestly, the backgrounds of the two central protagonists are quite similar to these two co-authors! Also, what I know is that film and TV rights to this book have also been optioned. Also, the duo has already been pre-booked for another book. Woohoo!
Questions for the Book Club
IMP: SPOILER ALERT, visit this section only after you’ve read the book:
- Does Emily crave adulation and attention because of her rather absent parents during her childhood?
- There is an observation that Emily makes: When a man does even the very basics of childcare, however awkwardly, ineptly or begrudgingly, he gets applauded for it. Whereas when a woman walks down the street with a baby the only time anyone notices is if they think she is doing something wrong. What are your thoughts on this subject?
- Is Emily’s Instagram persona i.e @mamabare a fake? Or do you believe it is reflective of our times?
- Emily quotes her father’s philosophy: “Better to lie and be liked than hated go telling the truth”. Most of us resort to white lies to avoid conflict. What do you think – are lies a slippery slope and to be avoided OR truth is anyway too painful and often hurts people.
- Do you believe that Emily’s Instagram persona i.e @mamabare provides a “public service”? Is her non-judgemental attitude and her #greydays offline meet-up groups the right outlet for mothers to support each other? Or is this only a gimmick?
- Do you think Dan is secretly jealous of Emily’s social media celebrity status? Is this why he happily jumps into Instagram in the end?
- What impact does fame, albeit on social media, have on the lives of the children once they grow up? Do you believe a parent has the moral right to share their child’s life for public consumption and, hence, scrutiny? Do you think a child should have the right to ask for privacy?
- Are mothers pressured to conform to a certain behaviour – both about the highs and lows of being a parent? Is this only a mom thing?
- There is an assumption that the only limit to your success is how much value you place on your privacy. Do you think social media following, likes, shares etc type of metrics force people to overshare?
Disclaimer: Thanks to #NetGalley #MantleBooks @ElleryLlyod_author for a copy of #PeopleLikeHer in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Akansha is a former business journalist and a seasoned communications professional. She is the founder of TheBookBuff, an avid storyteller, and a lifelong biblophile! Check out her profile page to know more about Akansha.