In her new cutting-edge YA thriller, Charlotte Seager brings the dark and sinister side of social media to the forefront and I devoured it in one addictive sitting.
Adopting a dual narrative, Follow Me, Like Me skilfully alternates between the lives of two sixteen-year-old protagonists whose online existences seamlessly blur into their real lives with terrifying consequences.
Chloe, who appears popular and confident, relies heavily on social media and the frenzy of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ to maintain her sought-after status. But when a seemingly innocent conversation with a gorgeous stranger takes a nightmarish turn, Chloe becomes a victim of cyberstalking, sexual assault and emotional manipulation in a fight to reveal the scary truth behind the user. Amber, on the other hand, finds herself exploiting the power of social media to harbour the truth behind her online crush but by doing so exposes her own unsettling and obsessive traits.
Both individually complex yet innocently flawed, Seager has created two distinct and well fleshed out characters in the form of Chloe and Amber. Stripping back the connotations associated with each stereotype, a raw and realistic representation of young girls and their relationship with social media has been portrayed, and it was enough for me to sit back in fear at the severity of social media and how effortlessly our private lives can be manipulated against us.
Sensitively unpicking timely discussions on cyberstalking, obsession and the male gaze, Seager’s writing was weighty as it was quick and I applaud her for creating such a vital story for today’s readers.