Wednesday, June 7, 2017

REVIEW: Follow Me Back by A. V. Geiger - 4.5 stars

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 10:00 AM
Title: Follow Me Back
Genre: YA Contemporary Thriller
Author: A. V. Geiger
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication: June 6th 2017
Cover Rating: 5/5

Back in my day(yes, I just said that) we had tons of boy bands that girls went gaga over. Then we had Aaron Carter. He is the only single male singer that jumps out in my mind. I never listened to him but I do know he was pretty big. We also didn't have social media back then, either. So the concept of this book was a little new to me but I have seen enough on social media over the years to understand that somehow, stalking and obsessing over a celebrity is no longer considered illegal. The amount of people who have stalker-fandom accounts is unreal and it is not entirely unrealistic for something like Follow Me Back to happen. 

Plot:
The overall plot of the book is to show exactly what can happen when adoration becomes obsession becomes illegal activity. Tessa experienced something when she was off exploring the world before college. This event landed her with a very serious case of agoraphobic, the inability to go outside due to crippling fear. Because of this, Tessa's life is pretty much strictly online. She is a huge fan of this musician Eric Thorne and she changes her Twitter name to @tessaheartseric and thus begins her spiral into the world of fandoms. 

Eric is living a life of fear. Someone in his industry was recently murdered by "fan" so he is trying to stay away from that crap/ But... the contract he signed and the people he works for won't allow him to stay out of the limelight that is social media. He feels trapped and disgusted by what these fangirls post about him. So, he retaliates in a way that keeps his identity hidden but he still has that outlet to get things off his chest. This is how he ends up meeting Tessa. Their relationship was cute but entirely catfished on Eric's end. 

And then... the shit goes down. The book is a thriller and I really enjoyed that aspect of it. It wasn't just some weird fangirl montage with some of the fangirling going a bit too far. No, it was an actual mystery and it was so good.

The story is told through multi-media forms like text messages, tweets and police interviews.

Characters:
Tessa
Tessa's therapist
Eric
Some internet personalities
Stalker college guy
Cops/Detectives

Tessa was okay enough. I felt bad that she ended up with agoraphobia and her situation made me think a lot about mine. I have horrible, crippling panic attacks. They have no rhyme or reason, they just happen whenever and they are horrible. So I can understand how Tessa feels. I wouldn't wish this lifestyle on anyone.

I liked Eric enough too. He got to live the dream of being this super famous pop star but he wasn't happy and just wanted to live a normal life. He didn't want to tweet half naked pictures to get a bunch of girls all riled up just so the money kept rolling in for the people he was in a contact with. I do not condone what he did with the catfishing crap but then again I know Tessa wouldn't have believed him either way.

The cops played too much good cop/bad cop and they were actually very annoying in the interview portions of the book. 

Stalker college guy... I'm not even sure what to say about him. This book was just FULL of mental health issues.

All these characters created this really awesome, creepy book about what can happen when social media and fame go wrong. 

World Building:
The world that the author created was very informative. I would love to know if she just assumed how the life of a famous person goes or if she actually dug deeper and did her homework and if she did her homework did she talk to anyone to find out real details? The contact Eric was in for his music career had a lot of little clauses that made me question why anyone would want to be famous if that was the case. Then some of the things that went on at his concert and the terms and codes used. I think it is pretty cool to learn about a lifestyle that isn't your own.

We were also in the world of Tessa which mainly consisted of inside her bedroom and Twitter. I would have liked to have had more detail of her bedroom. All I really know is there is a bed, Eric Thorne poster on the ceiling, a beanbag chair her Therapist sat in and a desk, bookshelf, TV holder type set up. Oh, and fluffy bunny slippers. I am not sure what other details I am looking for. All I know is that I felt like I didn't get to know Tessa or her surroundings well enough.

In the end, the book ended on this cliffhanger type ending and I have all of these theories going on in my head as to whether the ending was staged or a real thing. Maybe it was a way to get him out of his contract but maybe she actually is crazy. UGH. I have to wait so long to find out! Hurry up, please.

Also, was the therapist involved in the stalker thing? Or did she just tuck-tail and run because it was her idea for Tessa to be in this situation in the first place? Hmmm.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.





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