Thursday, 25 July 2019

Heartstream by Tom Pollock – review

I just wanted to see you. Before the end. A taut psychological thriller about obsession, fame and betrayal, for fans of Black Mirror.

Cat is in love. Always the sensible one, she can’t believe that she’s actually dating, not to mention dating a star. But the fandom can’t know. They would eat her alive. And first at the buffet would definitely be her best friend, Evie. Amy uses Heartstream, a social media app that allows others to feel your emotions. She broadcasted every moment of her mother’s degenerative illness, and her grief following her death. It’s the realest, rawest reality TV imaginable. But on the day of Amy’s mother’s funeral, Amy finds a strange woman in her kitchen. She’s rigged herself and the house with explosives – and she’s been waiting to talk to Amy for a long time. Who is she? A crazed fan? What does she want? Amy and Cat are about to discover how far true obsession can go.

This is a tense, clever thriller with a technological slant that makes it completely unique.

My favourite thing about it is the dual narrative. I loved trying to work out whether the two characters were connected, and each voice was totally distinct. Both characters are really well developed and believable too. 

The plotting in this book is brilliant. It's incredibly tense and builds to a thrilling conclusion, and there are also lighter moments. I predicted a couple of things but mostly had no idea what was going to happen, which I really enjoyed. The technology is really creative and scarily believable, and it added an incredible degree of tension!

This book gripped me from the very beginning and I'd highly recommend it to YA thriller fans. 

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