Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 714
intriguing
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
“Follow Me Back” is an engaging YA thriller. Tessa has been diagnosed with anxiety and agoraphobia, delaying college to live with her mother and stay in her room after an event in New Orleans. She only sees her therapist and boyfriend, Scott, and is making slow progress (e.g. sitting in the livingroom for a little while). She has recently become obsessed with a popstar, Eric Thorn, who she has been projecting her anxiety on. However, when we flash to Eric, he has also been experiencing anxiety after the death of another popstar at the hands of an obsessed fan. Eric is wary of his fans and tired of his contract which makes him feel used and unhappy (e.g. the record label wants him to do ads, take his shirt off in campaigns/videos, etc.).

Tessa finds some release in twitter, where a story she wrote plus a hashtag has become viral. Eric’s publicists encourage him to cash in on this hashtag (#EricThornObsessed), but he’s a little too wary. To try to steer the fans in a different direction, he creates an alternate account @EricThornSucks and uses his middle name, Taylor. He begins to engage the fangirl who started it all- Tessa- but they both find more than they bargained for in their DMs.

The story is told with police transcripts from interrogations of Eric and Tessa, interspersed with the past events from each of their point-of-views leading up to the police interventions. This book is part sweet/fangirl type “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton” feel plus part mystery/thriller as both Eric and Tessa are dealing with some big issues/fears plus we know there was something big that happened with the police but don’t know what until the end.

This is a really fast-paced book with enough rom-com elements to separate the thriller, making it such a unique story. It’s also an interesting exploration into mental health and stalking. This was impossible to put down and I ended up reading it in one sitting as a result. The emotions are all over the place on this one- from heartwarming to intriguing to questioning to scary- it’s quite the ride! This blew my expectations out of the water, and I really enjoyed it! I’ve still got some chills.

As a warning, there are some intense stalking/sexual crimes that would make this appropriate only for older teens/audiences. Additionally, the ending is very open and left to the imagination, so this is not the book for people who like closure. I wish there was an epilogue to give us the final answers, but it definitely adds to the mysterious airs of the book to leave it this way.

Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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