Review | Follow Me Back by Nicci Cloke

Title | Follow Me Back
Author | Nicci Cloke
Series | N/A
Pages | 336
Publisher | Hot Keys Books
Genre | YA Contemporary Mystery Thriller
Release Date | February 4, 2016

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.

Nicci Cloke is one of my favourite young adult thriller writers, and after reading Follow Me Back, it’s really not hard to see why! The book is gripping, devastating and absolutely relevant to today. It surrounds the mystery disappearance of Lindsey Summersall, and the investigation lead by her friend, past-beau and potential suspect, Aiden Kendrick.

I love me a good mystery book. If you tell me someone has gone missing and the book is ALL about that, then you have one very happy girl and a finished book. I think the main reason this book was so good for me, was because I love the genre so much. I’m biased on that, I’ll admit it.

Admittedly, the characters in this book lack a lot of depth and humility; Aiden was flat as a protagonist, Lindsey was over-dramatic and other characters were pretty damn predictable. It took a while for me to actually get to like Aiden, though this could be down to the tone and pacing of the story. He just didn’t seem to be reliable as our narrator (though, any human narrator would be biased).

“We’ve got to carry on as normal, and hope that she’ll come home. She knows we love her. She knows we’re waiting, doesn’t she?”

If there is one thing I’m slowly coming to dislike in books, however, it is the whole POV thing. One minute we’re in Aiden’s POV, then suddenly we have mystery POVs popped up all over the shop. Sure, it provides a better story as you can see other viewpoints – but it becomes tiresome. Surely there would have been a more fluid way of execution? In addition to this, the book did admittedly have chapters that seemed irrelevant, or clearly were for the purpose of filling the book. They felt unnecessary to the story and acted as a bit of a deterrence.

The plot was probably my favourite thing about the book, as you may have guessed. I was able to guess the ending correctly, though I’m not sure whether this is down to the predictability of the characters, or whether I have no life and just read too many of these things. (My money is on the latter). However, Cloke did add in a few unexpected (but very much welcome) twists and turns which made the story a lot more bearable and allowed me to stick with it for as long as I did.

While I’m pleased that I finished Follow Me Back, I’m not sure whether I’d unarchive it and reread it. The book was perfect for my bus journey however, and made the time fly by rather quickly. Though probably not Cloke’s best books, I do still really like it. Despite all my criticism, I would like to give it a low four – but a four none-the-less. I did enjoy it, I really did.

Alternatively, here are a few fresh perspectives on the book:

Hozzie B @ Hozzie B Writes says “Overall, I guess I would recommend this book to you guys because it did keep me interested from start to finish and it’s nice as a light read. However it’s not particularly groundbreaking or anything. “

Jess @ Bookends and Endings says “If you’re a lover of mystery books, I would definitely recommend giving this book a read.”

Aimee @ My Life in Books says “The ending was left kind of up in the air. I think it’s up to the readers to make up their own minds about what happens next.”

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