Follow Me by Sara Shepard is the second installment in The Amateurs, a YA thriller series about a team of NA-aged investigators tracking a serial killer.
Read my review of Follow Me by Sara Shepard and find out!
by Sara Shepard
To be published on November 7, 2017 by Freeform. I received an eARC for review.
Synopsis adapted from Goodreads: It was the perfect night for a party. That is, until twenty-one-year-old Chelsea Dawson disappeared. The social media star was last seen enjoying a beautiful summer night at the Jersey Shore with her friends. But after an explosive fight with her ex-boyfriend, she vanished without a trace. When Seneca, Maddox, Aerin, and Madison hear about the suspected kidnapping, they notice a jarring detail about the victim. She looks exactly like Aerin’s sister, Helena, who was killed five years earlier. Desperate for answers, the group will stop at nothing to find out if the cases are linked.
Review: Follow Me by Sara Shepard
Did you read the first book in this series, The Amateurs? While I think this second book feels even flimsier than that one, this series does about a team of serial-killer tracking college students has a page-turning quality that should appeal to Pretty Little Liars fans.
First, a brief, spoiler-free recap of The Amateurs, book one. You can skip ahead if you want…
A group of college-aged kids who frequent the online message board “Case Not Closed” join together IRL to solve the disappearance of a missing girl. The gang of mystery-solvers includes Seneca, who has a cold case of her own in her past; Brett, another message board regular; Madison and her step-brother Maddox; and Aerin, the sister of the missing girl.
The best part of The Amateurs was the wtf ending. So huge thanks to the publisher for keeping the synopsis of Follow Me spoiler-free!
Follow Me begins as the person that the gang received a taunting message from the person they suspect of murder about a second missing girl, an aspiring social media influencer who walks around with a motorized selfie stick. (Me: is this an thing? Google: yes!) The gang springs into action to shut him down, this time on the Jersey shore. The police have their eye on a suspect, but the Case Not Closed group wants to prove them wrong. Surely the culprit has to be their nemesis. But can they prove it?
What I did like:
Okay, I’ll be honest. These books are WAY on the fluffy/cheesy (would that be Cheez-Whizzy?) end of the thriller spectrum. They don’t have much to offer in the way of character development or atmospheric writing. But they are fast-paced and fun, perfect for a beach bag or plane ride. In fact, I read this on a 90 minute flight that turned into a multi-hour ordeal – and it was the perfect mindless distraction.
The twists and angsty romantic plots in this series are reminiscent of Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars. In fact, by this second book, we do have a sort of tricky, taunting “A” character that the gang is chasing. As with The Amateurs, Follow Me ends with a dramatic cliffhanger ending, so if you decide to pick this up, be ready for that!
What could be better:
Um, the cover, first of all. I think it’s weird and drab and does nothing to convey what the story is about.
While I think an ensemble cast works great in a TV show, I often felt like there were too many generic people crowded into this story. There are four main characters, plus two additional love interests. (One love interest carries over from the first book and there’s new guy who creates a triangle-y feel in Seneca and Maddox’s slowly developing attraction.) Thrillers depend on the reader’s investment in the well-being of the characters and (for me) it was hard to worry much about these glossy cardboard cutouts with their oh-so-trendy names (Maddox, Madison, Aerin, and Seneca).
If you’re looking for a twisty, entertaining book that’s not too creepy or graphic, The Amateurs series could definitely be for you!