• Like Me

  • A Novel
  • By: Hayley Phelan
  • Narrated by: Lauren Ezzo
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (55 ratings)

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Like Me  By  cover art

Like Me

By: Hayley Phelan
Narrated by: Lauren Ezzo
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Publisher's Summary

A seductive psychological thriller about obsession, illusion, and female identity in the digital age.

Though beautiful, cunning, and privileged, nineteen-year-old Mickey finds herself with a stalled modeling 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.

Mickey sees Gemma as a perfected version of herself. Gemma is living a seemingly perfect life: a skyrocketing career, a famous boyfriend, and adoring followers. It’s the life Mickey wants more than anything. Mickey studies every detail Gemma offers through the window of her phone, trying to absorb, mimic, become the object of her growing fascination.

When a chance encounter thrusts Mickey into a world of opportunity, she is met with surprising - and immediate - success. But as her online persona begins to take over, the line between reality and illusion disappears. Then suddenly, so does Gemma.

Engrossing, sharp, and astute, Like Me is a shimmering portrait of infatuation, disconnection, and identity - and a dazzling introduction to a brilliant new voice in contemporary literature.

©2022 Hayley Phelan. (P)2022 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Phelan’s debut is soaked in sin and shame, tracing unreliable narrator Mickey as she navigates this glitzy world. A fast and dizzying read for fans of Ellery Lloyd’s People Like Her (2021), with shades of Kate Elizabeth Russell’s My Dark Vanessa (2020).”Booklist

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What listeners say about Like Me

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Was a good book really. But … no trigger warning in description but in recording there is in addition to other issues below

As always there will be no spoilers in my review
Liked the book but … for starters, I’m not sure if it was a synching issue or if the audio was off in a few places . It seemed to repeat itself at a few places that didn’t fit to where you were. I definitely had heard the content in duplicate a few places.
Secondly… about half way thru , I thought oh they better not do what I think they are gonna . Well they did. Sadly that part was disappointing to say the least. Just wish it had gone in another direction. But all in all it was a decent book. Narration was good. Narrator knew what inflection means and how to properly record an audiobook.
So many books never make it to my desk past the sample. Narration style is EVERYTHING.

One more thing about this book was there was a trigger warning in the first sentence of recording and NOT anywhere in description. Hell of a time to warn someone AFTER they have purchased.


Ever wish you could communicate with other people who have given reviews??? It would be nice to connect through the app in the review section.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Sad Commentary on folks today...

This was SO not my type of book. In spite of that I found myself enjoying it as I listened. This tale is a reflection of how people become so enamored of other people's "perfect unicorn lives" on social media that they actually believe it. They spend time, emotion, money, and energy trying to buy these "Emperor's New Clothes". It illustrates the darkness to which you could descend on your way to achieving what you imagine is your dream.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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NOT A THRILLER - nothing suspenseful or exciting.

This story is about social media, narcissism, & a delusional girl. It’s story is ok at it’s best, but what is most annoying is that it’s described as a thriller/mystery. The story doesn’t even have a climax really. It’s just graphic scenes of s*x against her will & her counting her followers. Total disappointment as far as a thriller. If you want something mindless playing in the background, where missing chapters are no biggie, & a heavy storyline on the negatives of social media - this is the book for you! The only thing that made it tolerable was the narrators voice is pleasant.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Mental Health Awareness

Though lengthy, the storyline of the book and the narration held my interest. I needed to know how it would end. What a twist, never saw it coming.

1 person found this helpful

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You’ll do anything for fame, célebutante

So let me tell you about this book. But first, let me share a tangentially related tidbit from my life.

The other day, I was munching on some blueberries and came across probably the biggest blueberry I’d ever seen. I actually chose this pint because it had unusually large blueberries compared to the others on the display. I snapped a couple pictures of it and shared them with a friend in messenger, whose response encouraged me to do the thing I felt was probably silly and post it for everyone to see. My big ass blueberry made it to my Instagram and FB and I spent the next half hour looking every time I got a comment or a like. And I thought about this book.

"You say you’re a model, it’s evident you’ve never met
A mirror you didn’t love (ooh la la)
You say you’re an angel with your halo and your crown
As you fly up to the sun and melt your wings
It’s not a want, it’s an obsession
You wanna hear the people screaming out your name
Whispers at night in your midnight confessions
You’ll do anything for fame, célebutante, célebutante"
- Megadeth

At the beginning of this month, Megadeth released a new album. One of the catchier tunes is called Celebutante, which felt like a theme song for this book. Every time I hear this song, I think about Mickey and Gemma and this review that I’m finally getting around to writing. I think about these young women and their melted wings.

Like Me, by Hayley Phelan follows the journey of Mickey, a 19 year old aspiring model as she navigates her way to what she considers success. Her career is pretty much stalled and she is getting desperate to get her moment in the spotlight. We get a glimpse of her superficial friendships and lifestyle choices concerning men and excess. We see her carefully composing her social media posts and then comparing herself to popular Instagram model Gemma. She is obsessed with Gemma to the point that she memorizes her photos and tracks her activities. She knows where to find her at any time of any day. She talks about Gemma as if she knows her and eventually her friends call out her obsession, but in a teasing sort of way. It took a bit for anything to really start happening. According to my notes, it took me until around 36% to be fully invested.

At this point I was speculating different paths this story could take. I felt the tension rising as Mickey got deeper into her Gemma fixation. At first, it just seemed like an innocent celebrity crush thing. But will it become more? Mickey seems the type who could easily go full on stalker. I found myself hoping that would happen. The clues continue to point in that direction. One day she runs into Gemma and her photographer boyfriend in public. It is painted as a chance meeting, but is it really? Anyway, the boyfriend comments on the near familial resemblance between Mickey and Gemma and everything starts to spiral from there.

The day the boyfriend calls Mickey to do a photo shoot is the beginning of the end of life as she knows it. He is a major creep, but like many young girls who are desperate to break into modeling, Mickey leans hard into his creepiness. You’ll do anything for fame, célebutante. His photos prove to be wildly popular, and Mickey is still comparing herself to Gemma and seeking validation by means of a like or follow or anything.

"So Gemma goes missing and it’s like Mickey is the only one who notices? Are they actually the same person and this whole story is one of them going through the motions and imagining that they’re watching it happen to someone else? There’s the scene where Mickey is talking to her friends and she keeps mentioning Gemma but they ask her who Gemma is. And the way Benoit and his crew look around awkwardly when she mentions Gemma. Feeling like this whole story is Mickey’s spiraling mental health."
Taken from my notes in Book Lovers Cafe

Solid ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read for me. Lots to unpack. I found it to be quite relevant to today’s social media focused world and highly relatable, even to those of us who just want people to look at our big ass blueberries. I will say this, if you have access to the audiobook, I highly recommend it. Perfectly cast narrator who effectively portrays the main character’s deteriorating mental health throughout the book. I don’t want to give away the whole book, so I won’t answer any of those questions. It kept me guessing and I think the narrator really added to that experience. One of my guesses was correct. Read it and discover it for yourself!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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very drag you into the story

love it .leaves me wondering. It also has me looking at the world a little differently.