Turning the Pages: Follow Me Back by AV Geiger

It is an exciting time for the Wattpad community when one of their own gets a book deal. The evidence that publish worthy writers are on the forum, and that online writing is a valid launching pad for any literary goal is solidified with each deal coming to light. Further proving the belief that #wattpadbooksarerealbookstoo.

It is even more exciting when you finally get that amazing printed copy in your hands.

When I came home that cold winter morning to find the little brown package on my step, I was excited. I had no idea that inside would be one of the biggest books I would read this year, the printed version of AV Geigers Follow Me Back. Of course, I squeed, fangirled and couldn’t wait to dive in. And when I finally did sit down to read, I was consumed to the point of finishing the entire book in one day.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, here is the blurb.

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

In a world where social media is rampant, celebrities are adored to the point of fanatical by the very people who say they admire them, this story hits home in this new millennial age. Insight into the mindset of celebrity in this age of social media and keyboard warriors is unlike anything Ive ever read before. It pulls you in with his realism and relatable thought of the characters.
You find yourself wondering what it is that happened to Tessa to bring her to the point of crippling agoraphobia. Small snips of clues are given throughout, but never enough to form a complete understanding of what happened to her. But it is because of her fears that she is so relatable to Eric, a fan weary and wary pop star who is struggling to come to terms with the murder (by a fan) of a fellow singer. You take a trip through both their minds, seeing the impacts of celebrity on the young psyche, and the way adoration of such celebrities has change with the effects of social media. Tessa focuses on Eric in particular with a sense of projection, seeing her own fears in him. Only she doesn’t realize just how right she is.
You watch as Eric, posing as Taylor with the initial intention of finally being able to say exactly how to feels about the insanity of fandom to Tessa as his outlet, slowly comes to learn of her. And in that, they become what neither of them had before…a true friend, and someone who understands.
But it is the ending, the unexpected twist of an ‘epilogue’ that left me reeling. It was well passed midnight when I got to this point, and after a little screaming, and little impulsivity of throwing the book across the room, I bombarded the author with my own version of fangirl hysteria. And Im not even sorry.

Celebrities are more and more at our finger tips, but with that, the sense of ownership, of relationship between fan and star that used to have a strong wall of separation is no longer as solid. Just take a look at the replies to any tween by your favorite stars. No longer is it merely wishing them well. Now, it is frantic, pandemonium, and in some cases, stomach rolling vulgarity.

The GOOD

The way this story is told, through Twitter DMs and police transcripts, gives it a unique feel unlike anything I have read before. You follow Eric and Tessa in the typical love story with trials, but it is the transcripts that throw you time after time, always leaving you at a cliffhanger. You say just one more chapter, but I dare you to actually follow through. Lord knows I couldn’t.

The BAD

Honestly, I couldn’t find anything I really didn’t like. But as I have to write something here, I will admit this is a personal thing and complete nit picking. The final scene (before the bombshell ending) finds Tessa and Eric together, where he sings to her. Some girls may swoon with the thought of their favorite singer serenading them with a private moment, but for me, it was a little bit of cheese. Excellent, well aged, cheese, but still cheese.

The RATING

9.5/10

The COMMENT

It is rare for me to be so completely enveloped in a book the way I was with this one. Only a handful of stories before this had held my attention start to finish with such smooth strength, unique hook and plot, and is relatable. This is a story that young adults and even their parents will love, showing the depths of fandom in an age where it seems that social media knows no limit. Absolutely excellent read, and I cant wait for more from this author!

Kristi

1D and Wattpad fandom super spy

RN, writer, artist, blogger, 1D fangirl extraordinaire. Twitter: @unrealismbooks | Wattpad: @kristimcm | Ask.fm: kristimcm

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