We’re in the home-stretch for 2020! Here’s what I read last month.
And yes, I know one of my photos above has two books in it that I haven’t quite finished yet. I got a bit too zealous in the photo taking.
- I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
- My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
- The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
- The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth
- The Dilemma by B.A. Paris
- A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight
- Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone
- The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michelle Campbell
- Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks by Eric Saward
- Not That Kind of Guy by Andie J. Christopher
- The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
Audrey Miller is the queen of social media, chronicling her life to millions of followers. Her carefully cultivated on-line person is finally opening doors in the real world, landing her a high-profile job at a Washington museum as the queen-bee of their social media presence.
But Audrey’s huge following and thousands of likes come with a downside — it’s left her vulnerable to an on-line admirer who is willing and ready to cross the line from fan to sinister stalker. Moving to D.C., Audrey finds herself in the orbit of her workaholic friend, Cat, and her ex-boyfriend who she keeps finding her way back into bed with.
Kathleen Barber’s Follow Me is a compulsively readable, grim reminder of just how much of our privacy we can willing give up these days in order to gain followers, likes, or comments. The first half of the book is page-turningly fascinating as we jump from chapters from Audrey, Cat, and the stalker’s perspective. There are times when the story reaches chilling heights and there are multiple suspects as to the real identity of the Audrey’s on-line stalker.
It’s once Follow Me reaches the final third and answers start to be revealed that the book goes a bit off the rails. For one thing, Audrey is so self-absorbed that it becomes harder and harder to feel sympathy for her. It also feels as if the final few pages of the novel try too hard to keep us in the dark as to who the stalker really is — and once we get the reveal, it’s not quite as satisfying as it could or should have been.
By the last third of the novel, the most interesting and honest character of Cat is relegated to the sidelines.
And yet, there is still something sinister in the warnings given here. It may make you re-examine just how much of yourself you’re posting in our new digital world.
As a summer read, this one is breezy and light. It feels a bit like the far better You, without necessarily making us root for the anti-hero stalker at its core.
Back before the Internet was for porn, cat memes, and social media, it was for trading bootleg copies of out of circulation pop culture items. In my case, this consisted of trying to track down a watchable copy of the orphaned Doctor Who episodes or other little goodies related to Who fandom.
One item that was fairly easy to trade was a bootleg copy of the 1993’s radio play, “The Paradise of Death.” Since audio didn’t require any conversion process to be useful on both sides of the pond, all you had to do was track down someone who had the time and inclination to dub the episodes off onto cassette and send them to you.
With Doctor Who being pulled off the air, any bit of new Doctor Who was like an oasis in the desert that was the “wilderness years.” Continue reading