Publisher: Gallery Pocket Books, Gallery Books
Date of publication: February 25th, 2020
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
From the author of Truth Be Told (formerly titled Are You Sleeping)—now an Apple TV series of the same name—comes a cautionary tale of oversharing in the social media age for fans of Jessica Knoll and Caroline Kepnes’s You.
Everyone wants new followers…until they follow you home.
Audrey Miller has an enviable new job at the Smithsonian, a body by reformer Pilates, an apartment door with a broken lock, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to bear witness to it all. Having just moved to Washington, DC, Audrey busies herself impressing her new boss, interacting with her online fan base, and staving off a creepy upstairs neighbor with the help of the only two people she knows in town: an ex-boyfriend she can’t stay away from and a sorority sister with a high-powered job and a mysterious past.
But Audrey’s faulty door may be the least of her security concerns. Unbeknownst to her, her move has brought her within striking distance of someone who’s obsessively followed her social media presence for years—from her first WordPress blog to her most recent Instagram Story. No longer content to simply follow her carefully curated life from a distance, he consults the dark web for advice on how to make Audrey his and his alone. In his quest to win her heart, nothing is off-limits—and nothing is private.
Everyone on the internet is a liar.Follow Me by Kathleen Barber
I had to take a few minutes to process what I had read when I finished Follow Me. The entire story chilled me. I should have known that the book was going to be creepy when I read the author’s foreword about the RAT’s and the whole secret community that envelopes it. Talk about scary!!
Follow Me had a medium-paced plotline. For the type of book it was, I was expecting the plotline to be a little faster. But, then again, if it did go more quickly, some of the smaller clues (about who “Him” was, Cat’s mental state…etc) would have been passed over.
I liked the flow of the book too. Usually, I don’t like it when there are more than two POVs’ in a book. The flow of the book is often thrown off. Not in this case. The author was able to switch between Cat, Him, and Audrey effortlessly. That made for a better reading experience for me.
I didn’t like Audrey. Her preoccupation with her Instagram, followers, filters, and brand was almost too much at times. She drove away her friends because of that. Even Cat wanted nothing to do with her by the end of the book. But, as much as I didn’t like her, I did feel bad for Audrey. She didn’t deserve what happened to her.
I didn’t know what to think of Cat at first. But, as the book went on, I began to understand her character. In her way, Cat was just as obsessed with Audrey as Him was. Her deteriorating mental state was apparent in the latter half of the book. I do wish that Cat’s secret was discussed earlier in the book. But, I can see why the author held it back until the last half of the book. It made sense.
I loved that the author kept Him’s true identity a secret until almost the end of the book. It made his chapters scarier to read. Him was completely obsessed with Audrey. It sickened me how easy it was for him to track her. He was able to use spyware to watch her at home. He knew everything about her. What scared me even more about Him was that he was unhinged. He imagined killing his family and decorating the house with their intestines. I wish that the author spent more time on that, but at the same time, I am grateful she didn’t.
The suspense/mystery angle of the book was wonderfully written. The author did a great job of keeping Audrey off balance and showing Him and Cat’s deteriorating mental states. She also did a great job of keeping Him’s real identity under wrap until the end of the book. Four people were on my list, and it was the last person I thought it would be.
The end of Follow Me was chilling. I did figure what happened between Him and Audrey was going to happen. Not to the degree, it happened, but I guessed that basic. But I wasn’t expecting Cat to do what she did. That threw me for a loop. But, it was the very end of the book that chilled me to the bone.
I would give Follow Me an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I am on the fence if I would reread Follow Me. I am also on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**