Follow Me by Kathleen Barber, 4.5 Stars

I read in the description for Follow Me by Kathleen Barber that it’s for fans of You. And I usually take that with a grain of salt. Because a lot of times they just use a really good book to draw you in, because of course you will want to read a book like that all over again.

On the flip side, sometimes the book actually totally seems like a rip-off of the other author’s work. And that can be annoying too. Although imitation is supposed to be the most sincere form of flattery, right? Said the copy-cat.

Still I really loved You by Carolyn Kepnes. And they always say the book is better than the movie. But I’m not sure if the book is always better than the series. Because Lifetime did an ah-mazing job producing that series. I loved every second of the first two seasons!

And you know what else? I loved Follow Me. It was just enough like You that I truly felt the parallels, but not so much like it that I felt it was a copy. It was truly the perfect book for someone who loved You. And it actually was kind of less creepy, which is neither here nor there.

From the Publisher:

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.

My Review:

I loved this one. So there, right off the bat you know this is going to be a gratuitously positive review. When we first meet Audrey, she’s just the perfect girl. Perfect in the way that she has some faults – like a slight snaggle tooth. But it seems like she has just the perfect amount of faults to make her even more relatable and adorable to her thousands of followers – and one totally psycho stalker.

She’s an influencer. And it’s isn’t even her job, although I’m sure she must do pretty well from it. But she is also a social media manager for the Smithsonian. So she spends every waking hour on social media, whether its for her career or for sport (or her ego!)

Audrey is one of those adorable people who you either completely love, or completely loathe. But lucky for her, most people love her. It’s just the people closest to her who may harbor those negative feelings. And as she has just moved to D.C., the town where her stalker lives, everyone is a suspect.

Barber does a great job creating characters who are all just a little bit sketchy so it’s really hard to figure out which of the people in her life is her stalker. But isn’t the reality – we’re all a little bit sketchy in our own ways. And Audrey is one of those people who is so adorably clueless, she doesn’t even see how vapid and surface her own life really is.

That last paragraph sounded a little negative though. And I’m not trying to be. This book was amazing. But just goes to show you don’t have to love a main character to love the book. Huge thank you to Netgalley and Gallery Pocket Books for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out February 25. Pre-order your copy:

Indiebound

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