Such a Bad Influence

A wicked debut with a twist to make readers' heads spin, Olivia Muenter's Such a Bad Influence strikes at the unsteady scaffolding of the influencer economy, where personalities--and entire childhoods--are optimized for the algorithmic gold rush.

In the book's opening pages, Evelyn "Evie" Davis, one of the world's most-followed social media influencers who has been a walking, talking brand since she was a kid, launches an Instagram Live from the front seat of her car. That's nothing out of the ordinary for such an in-demand creator, but when the broadcast cuts out suddenly and Evie vanishes, it's her much older (and much less online) sister, Hazel, who suspects foul play. Hazel is convinced that she--and only she--really understands her little sister, who's been a pawn in their mother's financial machinations for years. And so begins Hazel's desperate bid to uncover what has really become of Evie, with or without police cooperation. But doing so will require Hazel to dig into the history of @evelyn, and that story is far more complicated than Hazel ever wanted to imagine. Using snippets of text threads, Reddit forums, newsletter archives, and podcast transcripts to accompany Hazel's first-person narrative, Muenter builds an of-the-moment read that avoids becoming on the nose. With Such a Bad Influence, the writer and Bad on Paper podcast cohost makes a compelling case for why we can never really know someone--even, and perhaps especially, those whom we most yearn to know. --Lauren Puckett-Pope

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