#ATBR2020 – Follow Me by Kathleen Barber

Releasing the end of this month!

Thanks to Gallery Books for the free early copies in exchange for our honest reviews

FOLLOW ME – Kathleen Barber (Releasing February 25th, 2020)

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Book Description:

From the author of Are You Sleeping—soon to be an Apple TV series—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.

With “compelling, suspenseful” (Liz Nugent) prose, Kathleen Barber’s electrifying new thriller will have you scrambling to cover your webcam and digital footprints.

Chandra’s Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars

Stalker stories are forever going to be compared to You and if I’m going to do any comparison, I’d say this is a bit like You on a diet – You Light, if you will.  Told in three different POVs, we get to follow this story through Aubrey, Cat and ‘His’ eyes.  Aubrey is a huge social media influencer and a character I loved to hate.  She is so shallow and it seems everyone falls immediately in smitten with her, which I found fascinating as she lacks depth.  Cat is annoying with her constant paranoia and continuous low self esteem.  It was painful at times to be inside her head… and yet I found her the most fascinating of all the characters.  And… I always love being inside the head of the villain – it just gives that added oomph to a story.

Social media, with all its perks, is also absolutely terrifying.  The opening author’s note sent chills down my spine and I love how she got the idea for this book.  I just wish I got those same chills as I read this crazy ass story.  Believe you me, I am now putting little stickers over the cameras of all my things and side eyeing anything and everything around me.  It’s a weird feeling to think that you’re probably being filmed in some capacity at all times.  To think that someone out there may or may not be watching your every move… **shiver** and that people in the dark places of the web may be selling you like a slave.. UGH GOD WHY IS THIS IS REAL THING?!

I binge read this one on my flight yesterday and it’s an absolute insane story that will suck you right in.  Will it stop you from using social media? Probably not.  Will it make you more wary of your surroundings and what you may or may not put out there? Maybe for a few days… *wink*  but it definitely will make your skin crawl in the realness of it all.  The only thing that I didn’t care for was the ending.  WHAT – I appreciated the crazy but the epilogue … no. Sorry, it didn’t sit well with me but I’m zipping the lip because no spoilers here. 

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

From the Author’s Note until the end I was hooked. Stalker thriller AND a social media component – the perfect kind of combination to give this a realistic feel. When I saw it compared to YOU by Caroline Kepnes I was a little apprehensive but this one was SO GOOD. A binge worthy read with short chapters and multiple POVs.

Audrey has taken a new job in Washington D.C. working at the Smithsonian to do social media coverage for them. Considering her current following on Instagram, hundreds of thousands of followers, and her blog, she already has most of her life out there. She reconnects with an old sorority sister that also lives in D.C. Little does she know, she has a cyber-stalker that is following her every move. Someone that will stop at nothing and go to any lengths necessary to make her his.

Another great thriller that makes the reader think about their presence on social media. The over-sharing and the image we so carefully create for our followers. Like the author says, everyone lies on the internet. Even if it’s just small lies to make our personas more interesting or look better. It also brings to question the privacy, or lack there of, that we have online. I mean, I won’t complain because it’s our choice what we put out there, but it’s amazing the information people can find when they really try.

I highly recommend this one and I thought it was really creepy. Just the thought of how easily someone could be stalking you online and then have it translate into real life is a terrifying reality for some people out there. I can’t wait to see what Barber comes up with next!

 

 

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