‘Follow Me Back’ – Nicci Cloke

Follow Me Back

Described as ‘Gone Girl’ for teen readers, this was never likely to be a book that I was going to really love though it’s an entertaining enough read.

‘Follow Me Back is on the Carnegie 2017 Nominations list, and the cover hints heavily at the role social media and text messages will play in the story. For this reason it surprised me that the author hadn’t insisted on the presentation of these aspects of the story being more realistic.

The story itself is quite interesting. Lizzie Summersall has gone missing, but she has left her laptop behind. She is known to have become friendly with someone online, and there are fears that she might have been groomed. The first Aidan – an old friend of Lizzie’s – hears about this is when the police arrive at his door asking him to answer some questions about Lizzie’s online activities.

We are quickly immersed in a shadowy world where nobody is quite what they seem, and we are encouraged to doubt the motivation behind everyone we might come into contact with online. At times, the story surrounding Aidan and Lizzie became rather far-fetched and felt like deliberate scaremongering. However, if it encourages just one person to rethink their on-line activity then I suppose it’s a good thing.