I was looking forward to reading Follow Me. The author, Sara Shepard is best known for her best-seller series ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and ‘The Lying Game’. I really liked both series – books and TV adaptations alike, so I was over the moon when I received this book for review consideration.
However, where Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game were filled with eye widening twists and giant “aha” moments, Follow Me – the second instalment in the Amateurs series, appeared dull and flat in comparison.
Follow Me – Sara Shepard Blurb
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. Seneca is convinced she knows who killed Helena, and she can’t shake the feeling that the same person has taken Chelsea.
Desperate for answers about the two girls, and the truth behind her mother’s murder, Seneca will stop at nothing to find out if the cases are linked. So when Maddox receives an invitation to the Shore from none other than their primary suspect, the Amateurs begin an intense new investigation.
Full of disturbing secrets, startling twists, and horrifying revelations, the second book in #1 New York Times best-selling author Sara Shepard’s The Amateurs series follows the team down a twisted path—one crafted by a brilliant killer.
Follow Me by Sara Shepard review.
Where Shepard’s other series have well-developed and interesting characters that leave you on the tip of your chair, Follow Me has characters that seem flat and underdeveloped. There are almost no character arcs, no character development, their only use seems to be to drive the story forward. And although I am someone who is a great advocate for “cut the crap that does not move your plot forward”, there is a thin line between making sure your readers won’t put down your book because nothing is happening, and depriving your characters of anything that makes them interesting.
As a big fan of mysteries and procedurals, I enjoy great clues, smart twists and quick thinking. None of this could be found in Follow Me – in fact, I would most definitely recognise my friend when he would be sitting in front of me, acting like a surfer with a pair of sunglasses on his nose.
Overall, this probably is a book 13-year old me might have liked. But even back then I liked intrigue, I liked mystery. And the problem with this book is that it just dumbed down the characters so much that all the intrigue and mystery seems caricaturised.
I give this book a 2.5/5 as I can see that there is a lot of potential in this story, maybe even the series, but when reading it, it just feels like you are walking around in a card-board world: everything is just one-dimensional.