From the author of Truth Be Told (formerly titled Are You Sleeping)—now an Apple TV+ series of the same name—comes “a thriller for the Instagram age” (Amy Gentry, author of Good as Gone) for fans of Jessica Knoll and Caroline Kepnes.
Everyone wants new followers…until they follow you home.
Audrey Miller has an enviable new job at the Smithsonian, a body by 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 with 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 has 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.
Kathleen Barber’s new novel of suspense, hailed as “gripping, chilling” by Robyn Harding, author of The Perfect Family, is an electrifying new thriller that will have you scrambling to cover your webcam and digital footprints.
Social media star Audrey, the vivacious narrator of Barber's so-so sophomore outing (after 2017's Are You Sleeping), revels in the attention she receives from her stream of Instagram updates to her legion of followers. Though most admirers simply offer their thoughts about Audrey's photos, one fan wants far more from her. When Audrey posts that she's leaving New York City for an exciting job in Washington, D.C., as a social media manager, her stalker is delighted: Audrey is now within his reach. Audrey dazzles everyone she encounters in D.C., including her boss and Cat, the socially awkward college friend she reconnects with. The drawbacks of her new life a dark basement apartment and a creepy upstairs neighbor are small irritants, but they make good fodder for her posts. But when her apartment is trashed and she finds frightening photos of herself on a friend's computer, Audrey's nightmare has just begun, because her stalker knows every move she makes. The outcome will surprise no one. The fast-paced and au courant plot compensates in part for the stock characters and unlikely coincidences. As Barber's first thriller showed, she's capable of better.
Spine-tingling chills from start to finish! Follow Me is more than a be careful what you wish for story, it's more like be careful what you share experience! In this day and age, it's easy to get lost in social media, constantly checking to make sure we didn't miss that notification or that DM. We want to share our meals, our kids' accomplishments, and our every waking movement. What we often fail to realize is that our underlying need to feel liked and followed, as shallow as it may seem, might ultimately lead to our downfall.
What if your follower indeed follows you home...
Kathleen Barber goes well above and beyond the call of an author, submerging the reader into the life of a social media influencer. Follow Me was, without a doubt, a five-star read for me, heading straight into my top reads of 2020! Mostly, and quite honestly, the absolute realness and the awareness that this an actual and relatable fear had me second-guessing everything! Do I share too much? That's a question we must each ask ourselves... especially after reading this stand-out novel!!
Audrey Miller personifies today's influencer, going live several times a day, offering up way too many personally identifiable tidbits about locations, likes, favorites, and more. After her move from NY to D.C., she finds herself stalked while settling into her new apartment and job. Luckily she has her ex-boyfriend and college best friend to look out for her, though with a stalker at large, who can you really trust?
Barber sets you up for a suspenseful interaction at every turn, leaving you unsure of everyone. There were a few times I wanted to rip through the pages and tell her not to be so naive. Still, really how can you blame her - she's trying to be that independent, take no crap, carefree personality that everyone seems to love - she often forgets to let herself just be Audrey. The supporting characters got on my nerves a few times, but what's a good story without some variety? That ending, though, WOW!
I wish Audrey the best and hope she's actually learned from her struggles! I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, especially social media influencers!
Thank you to NetGalley, the publishers at Gallery Books (A Division of Simon & Schuster), and the author Kathleen Barber for providing me with a complimentary copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.
Do not waste your time
Awful. Like, not even a little good. Please don’t waste your time or money.