Review: Follow Me by Kathleen Barber

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

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

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. 

Follow Me will available February 25, 2020. 

If there is one thing that freaks me out more than anything else, it is the thought of someone watching me. I’ve always been that person that closes the blinds as soon as it gets dark (if I open them at all). I refuse to buy any of those Alexa type of devices, even though I know my phone listens to me all the time anyways. It was only in the last couple years that I even turned the location services on on my phone and that’s only because I need to use the GPS so often. As a blogger, there’s definitely a balancing act between wanting to share some personal details, while not sharing too much.

That’s definitely not a balancing act that Audrey Miller cares about, though. In her desire to be an “authentic” Instagram influencer, she has no problem sharing the intimate details of her life to her million followers – in a curated, aesthetically pleasing way, of course. When she gets a new job and moves to DC, she comes within striking distance to one of her biggest fans. He does things like follow her around town, peep in her windows, and download scary, spyware on her computer. Though Audrey does become paranoid and frightened, the thought to chill out on Instagram never really seems to cross her mind.

I found the writing pretty addictive. It’s told through three POVs – Audrey, her friend Cat, and the mysterious “Him”. I thought the multiple POVs were used well and it helped move the story along, from an otherwise kind of slow pace. Audrey is completely self-absorbed and not the most likable person, but I found her kind of compelling to read about. Cat was the straight man to Audrey’s craziness and for awhile I found her kind of relatable. She did frustrate me, though, with how obsessed she was with Audrey’s friendship. She was a successful lawyer with a promising career, but she let herself get caught up in Aundrey’s whims and drama. She has a shady past alluded to a lot that she’s desperate to keep hidden from everyone, but when it was finally revealed, it didn’t really seem like that big of a deal to me. It’s something she didn’t really get in trouble for before, so it would have been easy for her to spin as an adult. The Him POV showed how truly crazy the stalker was and I enjoyed his chapters. I think that Barber did a pretty good job of giving us several characters to suspect. While I did figure out his identity awhile before it was revealed, I debated between him and another character for several chapters and I liked that it wasn’t completely obvious from the start.

Overall, I enjoyed Follow Me. Though I expected it to be a little creepier and suspenseful than it was, the subject matter alone was enough to creep me out. I wish the pacing had been a little faster, but the writing was addictive enough that it kept my attention the whole time. I definitely am interested in checking out more from this author.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

5 thoughts on “Review: Follow Me by Kathleen Barber

  1. I would love to read this, Stephanie. The issues of invasion of privacy/hacking/stalking that come with social media are things most people don’t care about. I don’t have Alexa – that is where I draw the line. Who want someone listening like that? When we had baby monitors, 15 years ago, we sometimes picked up our neighbor’s monitor and heard them talking – that was scary!

  2. Pingback: February 2020 Recap | Stephanie's Book Reviews

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