Review | Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger

Title | Follow Me Back
Author | A.V. Geiger
Genre | Contemporary Romance Mystery
Pages | 300 pages
Publisher | Sourcebooks FIRE
Series | None
Release Date | June 1, 2017

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 murder 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…

b-o-r-d-e-r

A.V. Geiger’s Follow Me Back is a twisted tale of lies, deception and stalking – told through the lives of Eric and Tessa, and multiple police reports. Lemme just admit right now that this book was an emotional roller-coaster. And I’m not talking about tears and stuff, oh no. I’m talking about mild heart attacks with every twist! If I had one word to sum up this novel? Brilliant.

The story is partly told from the point of view of Tessa, a teenage girl who suffers with agoraphobia. Let me just applaud the author right now, for slipping in awareness on phobias and anxiety. Much like A Quiet Kind of Thunder, anxiety awareness is on the rise this year, making Follow Me Back all kinds of relevant in the mental health and general illness bracket. However, it is rare to come across a book that openly discusses phobia. Very few authors encounter it, and it takes a special kind of person to be willing to discuss it. Some people do believe that those with serious phobias such as agoraphobia are just looking for sympathy. In reality, this is not the case. I adored how Follow Me Back shone a light in that direction – something that really puts this book on the map.

Plot wise, this story is original as hell. I have NEVER come across a novel, published or drafted, that has a style like this. It’s unique, it haunting and it had me guessing at every turn. Frequent readers of my blog will understand that this is my kind of book off the bat, and I could not be more proud to have read it in advance. Thank you, SOURCEBOOKS. But seriously, the year has only just kicked off, and while Follow Me Back is not released until June – it is already running for a top spot on the year’s best releases. How is that even possible?!

Major shout-out to the author, who started their writing journey on Wattpad. Yes, much like A Proscriptive Relationship or TextrovertFollow Me Back has received millions of reads online before being approved to be published in real life. That takes major dedication and hard work. And considering the quality of the writing, I only hope that the author has more in the works. Because I’m eager to see more!

A brilliant thing about this story is the mystery element the story has. You have absolutely no idea what is going on or what has happened – but you’re immersed into a world of police reports and hidden meanings. Also, it was brilliant to read a novel that didn’t glamourize fame and fortune. Eric was real in his paranoia, and it really made my heart go out to him. I feel that too much of today’s youth have this idea that with fame comes all these fabulous perks, at the same time you get to avoid responsibility and retreat into your own little private bubble when you want to. Follow Me Back puts this to bed, through a smaller internal story (a cautionary tale of some sorts). It was interesting to read a book that understood both sides of fame, only making me like it even more.

Now I hope for my own sake that there will be a sequel to this in the near future. Everything you discover through-out the novel is thrown into question within the last few chapters, making you feel dazed and confused. My head hurts, my heart hurts and quite frankly, I’m a little angry about the ending. But that doesn’t make it any less brilliant – it makes it even better. I feel I have no other option but to award this story a hot five out of five. When this book hits the shops in June, it is sure to make a killing!

Review | The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

Title | The Similars
Author | Rebecca Hanover
Pages | 352 pages (Kindle)
Genre | YA Science Fiction
Publisher | Sourcebooks FIRE
Series | The Similars, #1
Release Date | Tue 1st Jan, 2019

When six clones join Emmeline’s prestigious boarding school, she must confront the heartbreak of seeing her dead best friend’s face each day in class in this exhilarating and riveting debut by Rebecca Hanover.

Junior year just got a lot more cutthroat.

This fall, six new students are joining the junior class at the elite Darkwood Academy. But they aren’t your regular over-achieving teens. They’re clones. And they’re joining the class alongside their originals.

The Similars are all anyone can talk about: Who are these clones? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? And who is the madman who broke the law against cloning to create them?

Emmaline Chance couldn’t care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and it’s all she can do to get through each day without him.
Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi—Oliver’s exact DNA copy and one of the Similars.

Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, except she keeps getting pulled deeper into their clique. She can’t escape the dark truths about the clones or her prestigious school. No one can be trusted…not even the boy she is falling for with Oliver’s face.

Rebecca Hanover has done the impossible – she’s given me a new appreciation for YA science fiction novels. In all my years of reading, I’ve never quite come across something as wonderful and original as The Similars. It had everything I ever wanted – romance, action, mystery. I was on edge the entire book – I wanted more. Now I have to wait another year for a sequel.

I’ve never come across a story such as this one before – maybe that’s my lack of science fiction coming into play – but this story felt so original, so interesting. I was intrigued from the moment I started reading the book. Hanover had me hooked. I was the rabbit and she was dangling a carrot in front of me for the entire thing. But I was happy. The Similars is so fantastically written that I wasn’t bored at all throughout the entire book.

I absolutely adore Emmaline as a main character, and the way she developed through the plot was really interesting to watch. She made a brilliant protagonist, and can only hope that her development will continue into the next instalment of the series. There were a few plot twists throw in towards the end, which I appreciated, and Emmaline handled them incredibly well. She’s strong and fiesty – brave and loyal to her friends.

Though the book is described as a science fiction, I would have probably dubbed it as a thriller or a mystery myself. The book has a few dark moments, and the tone and pace of the story keep you guessing. I wanted it to continue on long after I’d finished reading.

I will be giving Rebecca Hanover my highest score, five out of five. I haven’t read a book this brilliant in a while, and to day that this is her debut novel is absolutely amazing! I expect big things from Rebecca in the future. Until the next book in the series come out, I’ll have to reread this one.

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