Now Following You is a clever, chilling and compelling read, which deals skilfully with relevant issues – most notably, the power social media gives to stalkers and others who intend harm. Jamie Burchell is a digital native – social media comes as naturally to her as breathing. She Instagrams, tweets and Facebooks her every move. Then a stalker starts using social media to track her movements. As his behaviour escalates, so does her fear. But her blog has never been more popular. The fans can’t get enough of reading about her stalker. She is closer than ever to achieving her dream of becoming a writer. Should she take herself offline, or should she refuse to be intimidated? Soon the stalker starts threatening the people she cares about. But now it’s too late for Jamie to go offline – he’s already following her in real life.
The theme of the book, which takes a look into how social media affects our lives and at times our safety, couldn’t have been more relevant to me, given recent events in the mommy blogger community, which you can read about here and given that I myself have been the victim of online trolling and stalking, certainly not to the level that the main character of the book, Jamie, experienced, but mine lasted years and at time left me emotional, scared and second guessing every move I made online.
I really enjoyed the book, which has a little bit of everything, including romance and suspense and because it’s set in Johannesburg, it was fun to be able to identify and picture the places that Jamie mentions in her story.
Through Jamie’s story and experience, the book tackles so many issues relevant to today’s modern life, from cross racial adoption, to the effects of social media on our lives, victim blaming and the claiming of our own lives in spite of what may be happening around us but in a highly entertaining way. It’s a thought provoking, intelligent and entertaining read which sucked me in from the first pages because so much of who Jamie is as a person was very identifiable to me as a blogger and social media addict.
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Disclaimer – I was sent a copy of the book by the author for the purpose of this review.