I ordered this book after reading this piece in the New York Times and wound up finishing the book in just a day. It’s haunting, to say the least. Anna is a former influencer who started at 19… moving to LA to become an Instagram mode. Now she is 35 years old, working for Sephora (they just say “the black and white store”) and having one big surgery (called Aesthetica) to reverse all the plastic surgery she had when she was young. This is a major surgery, she is essentially risking her life to return to her former self. Alternating between her 19 year old self in 2017 and her 35 year old self in the future, we visit Anna’s past trauma and her relationship with her former manager/boss Jake. We see her slippery slope of plastic surgery and changing herself to fit a certain aesthetic (the book opens with her getting a bikini wax). We meet her mother and examine that relationship (these parts were especially heartbreaking). The book is very dark and moving (and fortunately completely, drastically different from my own “influencer” experience). I couldn’t put it down. It was unsettling and a train wreck at some parts, but ultimately very good.
Author: Allie Rowbottom