Title: Follow Me Back
Author: A.V Geiger
Publication: June 1st 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire
Summary from Goodreads:
Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…
Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.
When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…
Hmm… this is one of those books where I scratch my head a bit and I still can’t figure out what I think. It’s not in a bad way, I just have some very mixed opinions and feelings on things. I like the format – it’s told through texts, tweets, and whatnot (like Illuminae), but at the same time, the format felt clunky and like an afterthought. Follow Me Back illustrates the frightening power and grip of social media, and that online fantasy of the perfect dream person. Just imagine your favorite artist, pop star, author, actor/actress giving you the time of day. Think about those fans that take things just a bit too far some times. Follow Me Back delves into that world with a tense mystery, surprising care, and tantalizing clues that draw you in even further.
The highlights of Follow Me Back are simple: the suspense. This book is intense. It’s everything a thriller of this type needed to be. Is someone watching you? Can you trust your friends? Are your friends your friends? This book’s companion is doubt and uncertainty. The feelings that Geiger evokes through the careful writing will not leave your mind till hours, maybe even days, after completion. You can’t trust a single soul in this book, and it is a masterpiece. You think you know Tessa? You’re wrong. You think you have a grip on anything that’s going on? Oh, you are so, so wrong. It was brilliantly laid out.
My problem is this, and it’s not a problem really, but I think the story should have focused more on the thriller mystery aspect rather than the romance. The romance between Tessa and Eric just… didn’t work for me. He was too pushy – in a way that bordered on creepy. It was fine at the start, but by the end I kind of wanted to hit him in the head with a frying pan just to knock some sense into him. Tessa wasn’t much better, but I mostly wanted to give her a hug and shield her from the world.
Overall, Follow Me Back is a fantastically entertaining book that tries too hard on its romance and was better of scaring the sleep right out of you. It could have been even better with an even tighter focus. I do highly recommend this book, I really do. It might not be perfect, but it is certainly one hell of a read.