When Cricket Lopez, assistant to one of the most notorious celebrity stylists, revamps her old fashion Instagram account on a drunken whim and turns it into a source for celebrity gossip, she never thinks it will become anything. But when the account grows overnight and, even wilder, when she starts getting gossip from fans and insiders—juicy gossip—she has to face facts: her Instagram is now famous. Though no one knows that she is behind the account, its newfound success quickly wreaks havoc on her real life.
... deftly captures how celebrity gossip culture has been completely democratized by armchair commentators, unverified and viral rumors, and eager influencers hinting at conspiracies across platforms like Instagram and TikTok. While the novel serves to give a pulpy retelling of @deuxmoi’s supposed origins, there’s also a smart thematic inflection on anonymity that makes it stick out more than any usual 'novelization' does ... Writing anonymously avails a writer the ability to be incautious and unfiltered. It also gives readers an immediacy and frankness, which the anonymity seemingly affords—these books have hidden their authors because their truths are sometimes too powerful. Even though the key celebrities featured in Anon Pls are fictional, there’s enough mentions of real-life stars, like Sydney Sweeney and the rebooted Gossip Girl cast, to remind us of the real insider trading the real @deuxmoi has about stars to share on the internet.
Evocative if underwhelming ... While the authors examine important themes—sexism, power imbalances, and enabler culture—there’s often too much exposition, and Cricket’s character development feels forced. It offers some insights on what makes an influencer tick, but not much else.