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“Allie Rowbottom is a ruthless, incisive, and painfully human chronicler of how modern technology mediates every interaction, and throws up invisible walls to connection, amplifying and dulling every desire, and every harm. Never have I read a book like hers, that captures so perfectly the feeling that our phones have become an extra limb, and tracks their emotional consequences so acutely through such a universal story. This novel is a feminist communique written on the edge of almost-oblivion—in emojis, stitches, and pills—for every woman who's tried to save another, wishing she could force love into her. It's written like a psychological thriller. My heart was beating in my throat on every page.”
“Much will be made of how perfectly Aesthetica captures influencer culture, but the genius of this novel is how far it extends past our current moment. In biting yet empathetic prose, Allie Rowbottom explores the ethos of American image making—from the early aughts, to the Instagram face era, and even trend forecasting what's to come. She gives it to you filter-free, making the book entirely unputdownable.”
—Samantha Leach, Bustle's Entertainment Editor-at-Large
"I'm an Instagram model with a verified account and 273K followers and yet I have never seen my occupation explored creatively from a non-judgmental, nuanced, researched perspective. Allie is putting words to the very real world of LA hot girls, Instagram, plastic surgery, private planes and private parties, not to mention the ongoing lists of procedures, filters, angles, and abusive managers that are integral to most Instagram model's lives. In a world where seventy percent of young and impressionable people aspire to become "insta-famous," Allie is revealing the influences behind the influencers. I can't wait to share her work with all my followers."
"Propulsive, poetic, and addictive as hell, AESTHETICA is a wholly original look not only into the world of social media influencers, but into the lives beyond the squares that are devastatingly rich in heart, depth, and ultimately, redemption. Allie Rowbottom writes like a wizard and I kept asking myself, how is she doing it? By the end, I knew only this: No one could write this book without staring down the world, really seeing it, all of it, the ugly and the strange, the blinding and gorgeous bits, and not once looking away. This book doesn't look away. It doesn't flinch. I'll remember it forever."
"Allie Rowbottom's AESTHETICA is a sharp and exhilarating portrait of girlhood through the distorted prism of Los Angeles and influencer culture. Her writing is alive and urgent; bravely exploring the tormented self-surveillance and unrelenting scrutiny that girls, aching to be seen, so readily subject themselves to. She deftly captures the emotional whiplash of toggling between a public and a private self, when neither feel entirely yours. Reading AESTHETICA was like an incantation: each wry observation conjured visceral memories of my own girlhood I’d long since locked away: like the smell of Acqua di Gio, spray tans, calorie-counting frozen Lean Cuisines and endless Diet Coke. Like life itself, moments of horror are cut with unexpected humor and tenderness. Rowbottom accomplishes the great magic trick of powerful fiction: she reveals those secret parts of ourselves we’d long buried or forgotten that wait for us, aching to be seen."
"A gothic twist on the contemporary woman's life. Immersive, wicked, and so much fun. Allie Rowbottom is the only writer that should be writing on this era of Instagram and Influencers."
author of Happy Hour