Get An Exclusive First Look At Deuxmoi’s New Book
The novel follows a girl who starts a celebrity gossip account.
Deuxmoi’s debut novel, Anon Pls., hits bookstores on Nov. 8 — but before then, Bustle is running an exclusive sneak peek. The book, co-written with author Jessica Goodman, follows a young assistant to a notorious stylist who starts an anonymous celebrity gossip account. Though she thinks it’ll be harmless fun, she soon finds herself in over her head, as the excerpt below details.
By Monday morning, my neck aches from leaning over my phone the whole day before, and my fingers are cramping from swiping and typing more than I ever have. As I brush my teeth, my eyes never leave my screen. It’s the first time in years that I've deviated from my morning weekday routine, which, before today, included a 6:30 a.m. alarm and a 7:15 a.m. barre class before getting to work around 9:00.
Now, I'm bleary-eyed in my bathroom at 8:30, ditching my blow-dryer so I can have a few extra minutes of posting time before rushing off to meet Sasha outside the office.
The account has gained another few thousand followers overnight, thanks to the fact that I spent all of Sunday on the couch, sharing more tips and stories as they came through my inbox.
After a few hours, it became obvious what the people wanted: small pieces of info that feel intimate and real, like how someone treated waitstaff or where stars were dining over the weekend. Like, when I posted that a bunch of the Euphoria cast members were spotted having drinks at the Bowery Hotel, followers wanted to know how much PDA two newly-in-love cast members were putting on. Or when I shared that Nate Clyburn popped by the Smile for breakfast, everyone was curious about his order and if he was with a certain petite brunette he’s rumored to be dating. Based on the number of tongues and water droplets in my DMs, it seems like the people are fiending for him. I’ll have to remember to post anything about him that comes through. He even slid into my DMs with a bunch of laughing emojis, so at least I know he’s down to play along.
I spit out my toothpaste just as a message comes through from someone verified. Kelsey Holleran. I don’t recognize the name at first, but when I pull up her profile, I remember she's an influencer and actress with her own line of graphic tees, married to the star of some old action movie that was popular when I was in high school.
I rack my brain trying to think why she might be popping up in my inbox, but then I remember I posted a tip about her last night. It said something like:
Kelsey Holleran is known in the beauty world to be the biggest mooch, which to me is similar to starfucking. She sucks up to brands via Insta/DM to get free products in exchange for posting. Does it so much. It’s gross.
And now she’s hitting me up.
I open the message and see text fill the screen. It takes three full scrolls to get to the top. My heart beats fast, and I’m almost scared to see what she has to say. But as I start reading, my fear turns to amusement.
Saw your post about me and would love to know who said this! I’ve never asked for any products so it’s a blatant lie.
I take a look at her feed and see that every other post is a close-up of a new bottle of face serum. I gnaw on my toothbrush as I type out a response.
Babe, you know I can’t reveal my sources. I’d lose all credibility! But I asked which brand she was talking about and she named a pretty popular one. Happy to take the post down if it’s false.
She reads it immediately and writes back.
Weird. I would NEVER do that!! Can you please take it down??
Oddly, I feel a burst of boldness, knowing she has no idea who she's speaking with. I could say anything, including how I really feel for once, but I choose to try to squash that urge because I can tell she's obviously upset. Part of me feels for her — I wouldn’t want to be in her position and read something about myself that isn’t true, but it’s hard for me to believe that since she’s legitimately an influencer that she’s never asked for anything for free.
It’s gone, I write. People are going to think I’m weak for taking it down, though.
I don’t want that.
Haha I know
Do u want to call me?
I shake my head. She wants to talk... on the phone? I contemplate it for a minute but quickly decide that would be a horrible idea. I’d be one step closer to giving up my anonymity.
Girl, this account is just a hobby. I don’t think anyone takes it seriously. Can I just post that we DMed and cleared up the situation?
I can give you every beauty person I’ve worked w for reference.
I shake my head and gargle some mouthwash before rushing back into the bedroom to finish getting ready.
I pour myself into another all-black outfit and grab my bag, heading for the door. But then I see she’s posted a bunch of stories to her own account and — oh god — when I watch them, I see they’re about this whole debacle. And that my DMs are blowing up.
This is ridiculous.
I believe u, I write to her in a DM. Feel free to send me something on the record to repost.
I hold back a laugh. On the record? Who the fuck do I think I am?
The clock is ticking down, and I know I need to keep dealing with this on my way to work. I’ll never make it if I walk like I usually do. I bite my lip and try to figure out my next move. But then I decide to take a page out of Victoria’s old PR job playbook and — fuck it — order an Uber that I’ll add to my expense list at the end of the month. I do have a box of costume jewelry that was delivered to my apartment instead of the office by mistake, so if I bring it with me, the ride is kind of legit. Plus, that way, I'll be able to check deuxmoi in the privacy of the back seat.
I call a car and stuff my phone in my pocket as I head out into the world and down to the street. When I’m safely inside the nondescript sedan, I decide to respond to Kelsey.
But then I see an enormous block of text from her, giving me a whole diatribe about how it’s probably this one company that was going to give her a discount but then didn’t and that made her upset.
Then I see she’s sent a few voice notes, one that spans nearly a minute. I pop in my headphones and listen to her speak in a hurried voice about how this whole story is ridiculous and she can't imagine who would say such a thing. “I get paid to post things on Insta. I don't ask for things for free.”
Another message comes in. You must think I’m nuts to care so deeply about this, she writes.
If you get paid to do things on IG I don’t think ur nuts, I reply. But maybe people are sensitive to all your spon con, ya know sometimes it rubs people the wrong way if that’s all you’re posting.
I get paid by juvederm! Not this small stuff!
A selfie appears of her sitting in an all-mirrored bathroom, the camera close on her face. If she had fillers, she must have a great doctor, because I can't tell.
I’m almost at Sasha’s office, so I really need to nip this in the bud. I check my DMs and see that so many people have written in about what I perceive to be an extremely silly, very small moment. It’s truly beyond me why people seem to care, but I start to wonder if I'm underreacting to these situations. Either way, I decide to be real with her.
Just be honest, I write. I don’t think that someone saying you ask for free makeup or whatever is that big of a deal based on what you have going on.
She starts typing but then the bubble goes away. It reappears once more, then disappears, before finally, she writes, I’m just sad about the comment. I had to unfollow u not out of disrespect but just to protect my feelings. Hope u understand.
I look up and see I’m right outside Styling by Sasha, with only a minute left to spare.
Do what you need to do! I write before stashing my phone in my bag, my head spinning, wondering if every single tip will lead to mind-boggling interactions with celebs like this.
Excerpted from the book ANON PLS.: A Novel by DeuxMoi. Copyright © 2022 by DeuxMoi, LLC. From William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.