Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: 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 he’s speaking directly to her…
Eric Thorne 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 of them 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.
Told through tweets, direct messages and police transcripts, this thriller for the online generation will keep you guessing right up to the shocking end.
Follow Me Back has so much going for it. A main character with agoraphobia, a story that’s told partly through tweets, and a murder mystery featuring an unknown obsessive fan. I have to admit though I was a little disappointed.
The only character I connected with was Tessa. She was very likeable and sympathetic and my heart ached for her because of the indifferent and callous treatment she received from her boyfriend and mother. She also has a completely ineffectual therapist who left me wondering where the heck she got her degree. Because of her agoraphobia and PTSD which resulted from a previous incident, it was perfectly understandable that she would become part of the online fandom worshipping Eric Thorne. As far as Eric goes, I tried to to sympathize with his travails with being a star and all of the problems that go with fame, but I just couldn’t. I had the sense that he pretty much looked down on his fans and couldn’t care less about the people who made him a celebrity. Thanks to his communication with Tess, I do think he showed some growth through the story. I’ve got to say also that fandom itself isn’t portrayed in a positive light in this book. Yes, there are some bad apples out there, but from what I’ve seen, most fans are pretty respectful of the celebrities they admire.
Despite my issues with Eric, I did think the developing romance between him and Tess was very sweet. Given that for the majority of the book they converse through direct messages via Twitter, and occasionally over the phone, their relationship progressed in a believable manner and kept me engaged. But what truly saved the story for me, was the murder mystery involving the sinister stalker. It kept me turning the pages, and the ending was a huge surprise that I didn’t see coming.
Overall I found Follow Me Back, to be a quick read with many enjoyable aspects. I guarantee that it will hold wide appeal to teen readers. The cliffhanger ending has guaranteed that I will definitely be picking up the sequel when it comes out.