Such a Bad Influence

Quirk. Jun. 2024. 336p. ISBN 9781683694014. $24.99. THRILLER
DEBUT Evie Davis has been famous since she was five, when a video of her dancing with her dad (who died hours later in a car crash) went viral. Her mom, Erin, capitalized on the viral video’s success in order to become a mom-fluencer. As Evie ages, her role in her mother’s social media videos grows, and Erin gradually fades into the background and rebrands herself as Evie’s momager. Then, while recording a live video, 18-year-old Evie seemingly vanishes without a trace. The police get involved and her sister Hazel, who was never in favor of Evie’s influencer career, is determined to find her. As Hazel investigates, more family secrets are revealed. With razor-sharp insights and wit, Muenter puts under the microscope parents who monetize and exploit their children for clicks and financial gain. Muenter also critiques the parasocial relationships those who are chronically online build with influencers and podcasters and how hard it is for many to stop scrolling.
VERDICT A smart and intelligent thriller that is a not-to-be-missed page-turner. Buy multiples because this one has the making of a big best seller.
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