Follow Me Back – Nicci Cloke

2016-03-08 16.18.39Once again, I was lucky enough to be sent this book by Hot Key’s blogger team, and I have to say, from the first page, it gripped me. Seventeen year old Aiden Kendick is our protagonist, trying to find out where former friend Lizzie Summersall has gone when she disappears one day. The blurb says ‘for fans of Gone Girl and We Were Liars’, so I went into this expecting an unreliable narrator and a lot of twists, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Follow Me Back – Nicci Cloke

A thrilling read, for fans of Gone Girl and We Were Liars.

There was no sign of a struggle, they whisper to each other. She took her phone but left her laptop behind.
Apparently, she’d met someone online, they write to each other in class, phones buzzing.
She ran away. She was taken.

The first time Aiden Kendrick hears about Lizzie Summersall’s disappearance is when the police appear at his front door. He and Lizzie used to be friends; they aren’t anymore. And when Aiden finds out that Lizzie had been talking to strangers on Facebook; that the police think she went to meet one of them, he begins to wonder how well he ever really knew her, and Aiden doesn’t know it yet, but with Lizzie’s disappearance his life is about to take a twisted and desperate turn.

I enjoyed this book a lot – the first three quarters of the book was full of mystery and intrigue, as we wondered where Lizzie was gone, why she was gone, who she had been talking to, what had happened to her and, for me personally, what Aiden was hiding, as there was clearly something he wasn’t telling us.

And so I was happy out reading the book, trying to figure out where the twists and turns were, what the story was with Lizzie’s sister Cheska, who seemed more than shady, with the spoiled rich kid Deacon who seemed to have an irrational grudge against Aiden, and the supporting cast. It was trucking along nicely, getting more ominous, as time passed, and the missing girl was missing longer and longer and I was thoroughly creeped out and such.

But then it all seemed to accelerate wildly, and I was overwhelmed by the big reveal at the end as it seemed to come from nowhere. Although there were, looking back, some small clues as to what was going on, I really felt like the last section of the book was massively, massively rushed, and didn’t give the reader any time to absorb one revelation before barrelling on to the next, and it kind of left me finishing the book in a breathless rush – and not in a good way.

It didn’t totally ruin my enjoyment of the book, not at all, but it did mar my enjoyment a little.

Beyond that, though, it was a solid and interesting book, with characters of depth and interest, and well-developed motivations for most characters, as well as lots of twists and turns to keep things interesting throughout. I liked the use of facebook IM conversations to show the relationship between Aiden and Lizzie in the first few years, although at times it was difficult to tell what at which time – there didn’t seem to be any clear way of telling the timestamps on the messages, something which could be easily rectified.

These were little niggles which pushed a really great book down to being a tiny bit disappointing, but I still really liked it!

Four Stars
****

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6 responses to “Follow Me Back – Nicci Cloke

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