Buckle. Up. Your butts. This story is a euthanasia coaster of twists and turns.
It starts with a man, Phil Stamper, who found it odd that a brand new publisher got an unheard of book to the top of the NYT Bestseller List. He decided to look into it, and found himself tumbling down a rabbit hole of young adult novel scandal.
Handbook for Mortals by Lani Sarem had very little in terms of press upon its release. The publisher, GeekNation, has never before published a book, nor is Lani Sarem a well established writer. Still, that's not enough to accuse someone of a scam. But Phil Stamper did a little digging, and found that not only was it out of stock on Amazon, but no Barns and Nobles stores in his area offered physical copies of the book, an unusual occurrence for bestsellers.
As it turns out there's already an IMDB page for an "in development" movie based on this book nobody's heard of. And guess who's starring as the main character, "Zade?" That's right, the author! And who else? Nobody... except some dude named Thomas, who is also starring and producing, but whose name bears no significance. That is, until you find out that he is alleged to be the mystery caller ordering bulk books from stores. Bam. The penny is drop-kicked into orbit. In fact, that penny is now careening towards the cold outreaches of the solar system. Because according to the book sellers, every time this guy called a bulk order of Handbook, he made sure the bookstore reported their sales to the New York Times.
But perhaps despite these alleged shady tactics, the book is actually very good and worthy of its spot on the list, and by now you probably realize I'm being smugly facetious. The excerpts from Handbook for Mortals follow the life of "Zade" and how she's special and has a music career, and she meets a lot of hot dudes who are just too hot for her taste, because she likes guys of a medium hotness, and she dives into a stage that turns into a pool somehow and... I can't keep going because I think I can feel the blood vessels in my brain throttling themselves. This Twitter thread dives bravely into the text, venture if you dare.