book review: follow me back by a.v. geiger

***an eARC of this was provided to me by sourcebooks fire via netgalley in exhange for an honest review

follow me back.jpg

expected release date: june 6th 2017

goodreads summary:

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…

my thoughts:

wow. just wow. i finished this book yesterday, and my mind has been reeling ever since then.  between the super intense police transcripts, & the twists and turns interspersed throughout the story, it didn’t take me long to become completely immersed in what what was happening.  the fact that the beginning did admittedly lag for a little bit was quickly overshadowed by the suspenseful build up of events.

this story is told from the perspectives of two characters, eric thorn & tessa hart. both of these characters are living two very different lives yet they are also very similar in a sense, & their similiarties bring them together in a very compelling way. tessa is a teen suffering from agoraphobia, made worse after suffering a traumatic event in her life, while eric is a pop star who, on the surface, seems to have it all but is suffering from demons of his own. as someone who is an introvert battling severe anxiety & depression, i found myself sympathetic towards these characters, particularly tessa, due to the extreme anxiety she suffers stemming from her agoraphobia.

both of these characters use twitter as an outlet for the stress in their lives, which eventually leads to their paths intertwining.  the story of two these characters is a great testament to the fact that you never know what is going on beneath the surface of a person, & the twitter perspective just goes to to show that you never know who you may be talking to on the other side of a computer screen.

i found eric’s story to be particularly enthralling, as it gives a glimpse into the dark side of fame. although he is a famous pop star that is adored by millions & living the kind of life that most people can only dream of, it’s clear that he is uncomfortable with his lavish lifestyle.  not only does he feel trapped by the image that his label has created for him, as he is unhappy with the fact that his fame seems to center more on his looks than his actual music, he is also haunted by the recent murder of a fellow musician at the hands of an unhinged fan, which causes him a great deal of paranoia and stress. it is all too easy to look at glamorous photos of celebrities on the glossy pages of magazines and forget that they too, have their own insecurities and may be secretly battling demons of their own.

one aspect of this story that i did find to be problematic was the portrayal of fandoms.  pretty much every fangirl within the story was painted in a pretty unflattering light, & depicted as being extremely shallow.

i don’t want to say much more about the story, & how it unwinds, but i will say that i was completely sitting on the edge of my seat the closer i got to the ending.  & THAT ENDING. i was completely blown away by the cliff-hanger to end all cliff-hangers, & i am now left very eagerly anticipating the next book.

my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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