Kirsty's Reviews

Forever reading books

Book Review: Follow Me Back, by A.V. Geiger

32470611I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.

This is a YA contemporary novel which also has a thriller vibe during the second half of the book. The narrative is told through a variety of mediums, from police interviews, to tweets, to multiple perspectives from the characters. In this story you follow a teenager named Tessa, who has gone through some sort of traumatic experience which has led to her suffering from anxiety and agoraphobia. She doesn’t have many people to speak to in real life, however her Twitter account has recently blown up and she has over thirty thousand followers due to some fan fiction she had written about her favourite musician, Eric Thorn. You also get to see his perspective on things, how he feels trapped in his career and his every move is controlled. This leads to him making a second, secret Twitter account, which he suddenly decides to use to message Tessa secretly, as he wants revenge on her for creating a hashtag with her fan fiction. From here the story develops as they get involved in a secret friendship online, and Tessa is totally oblivious that she is chatting to her idol.

I thought this was such an exciting concept for a book, and I’d been so eager to give this one a read. This is the sort of story you can settle into and read in one sitting, which can be achieved with relative ease as this is such a quick read. It only took me about four hours to devour this book, and trying to put it down was a serious challenge.

I found that I was able to identify with parts of this story far too much. I like many other people, have a favourite band who I “stalk” on Twitter, I get notifications for all their tweets, I tweet them regularly, try to get them to follow me, and fangirl like crazy when I get a reply off one of them. This subject is discussed at length in this book in such an insightful way. At what point do you stop becoming a fangirl and start becoming something more sinister? It is definitely a fine line.

I also loved how you got the perspective of the trapped musician experience. The conflict with management, just to be able to still keep some sort of level of choice in some of the decisions that are made. The invasion of privacy, both physically and also mentally, was also something that I thought the author did a great job at portraying. I may not be famous, but I’m sure that all of this must have had some sort of level of truth to it, and it felt believable.

I loved the characters in this book, I felt so much admiration for Tessa. Although she could be frustrating at times, you could tell that there was a genuine reason for her being as scared as she was, and that she just needed help and support. Her real life support network is shocking, and I didn’t really like anyone else who she knew in person. Eric, starts off as not particularly likeable, but the more I got to know him, the more I fell for him. Both main characters definitely go on a whirlwind of character development, and it’s astounding to think how much they have both changed by the end of the book. By the way, that ending? I can’t even grasp what that ending means, though I’m very excited to read the sequel to this the very moment it is available.

I think the real reason I loved this book so much, despite all the above, is that this just touched upon my own real life dream. I’m sure many people can attest to wishing their favourite celebrity crush was secretly talking to them on Twitter. This is the modern day equivalent of dreaming to be a princess. I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here, and I can’t wait to read more by this author. I really can’t recommend this book highly enough.

5 stars out of 5

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