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A propulsive psychological thriller that follows an aspiring model down a social media-fueled rabbit hole of obsession, narcissism, and self-destruction.
For 19-year-old Mickey, Instagram offers a tantalizing portal into the world she wishes she inhabited. Though beautiful, cunning, and privileged, Mickey finds herself with a stalled modelling career, an escalating drinking problem, few friends, and next to nothing in the bank. To numb her growing despair, she spends her days frantically refreshing her Instagram feed, obsessively tracking the movements of Insta-famous model Gemma Anton.
Gemma is a perfected version of Mickey, living a seemingly perfect life: a skyrocketing career, a famous photographer boyfriend, and adoring followers - the life Mickey wants more than anything for herself. She studies every detail Gemma offers through the window of her phone, trying to absorb, learn, mimic, become the object of her growing fascination.
Then, a chance encounter thrusts Mickey into a world of opportunity, and she is met with surprising, and immediate, success. But as her online persona begins to take over her life, Mickey finds it increasingly difficult to separate reality from the façade of Instagram.
Engrossing, sharp and astute, Like Me is a shimmering portrait of infatuation, disconnection, and identity in the digital age - and a dazzling introduction to a brilliant new voice in contemporary literature.
What the critics say
"Hayley Phelan's captivating debut Like Me, with its glittery influencers and Instagram stars, captures the way some now live their lives online. But her unforgettable heroine, Mickey Jones, suffers from the age old abuses of women whose only weapons are youth and beauty - and a steadfast resolve not to die." (Helen Schulman, New York Times best-selling author of Come with Me)
"Like Me by Hayley Phelan reads like both a harrowing portrayal of addiction and a smart, razor-sharp portrait of the Instagram age. Completely absorbing, deeply uncomfortable, and impressively original, Phalen's poignant novel of obsession, desperation, sexuality, and identity will change how you think of the time we're living in." (Ashley Audrain, New York Times best-selling author of The Push)
"Hayley Phelan's Like Me is a raw and electrifying study of the mind, the body and what can happen when one loses control over the other. It is a fever dream - a horror story - that sits far too comfortably in our reality." (An Yu)