• Theo

Unfollow Me - Book Review

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

Social media allows us a glimpse into people's lives, but when strangers get too close to Violet's life, she disappears leaving her numerous fans wondering what happened to Violet?

Unfollow Me is a thriller novel written by Charlotte Duckworth. The story follows two main viewpoints: Lily's and Yvonne's, two of Violet's fans. Violet shot to social media stardom through her frank videos of postnatal depression, but as with most successful influencers, they succumb to riches. Her seemingly perfect life is scrutinised in order to get some answers.

As well as the two main characters, we also get Henry's viewpoint (Violet's husband) and we see a few taunting emails from an unknown person as well as a few chat forums where people discuss Violet's disappearance.

Unfollow Me gets right into it with Violet missing straight away and ominous emails sent to her, leaving the reader with an opportunity to guess what happened. Did someone hurt Violet? Did someone threaten her family?

As the story progresses, the seemingly random perspectives all slowly intertwine and we learn exactly how the characters are all connected. Initially, it seems that Yvonne and Lily are just two fans of Violet's YouTube channel but about halfway through, we learn more behind past actions and what brought them to Violet.

It's a thriller that I surprisingly enjoyed with a good pace and constant new revelations, even if only small. We learn about each of the characters in a subtle way, which makes you want to keep reading to find out more.

Once I was about a quarter of the way into the book, I lost interest. It felt like the characters weren't that relatable. They were all mothers, or expecting mothers who were interested in family life. That's not really where my interests lie at the moment. However, I'm glad I persevered as the layers were peeling back slowly and it was more about the mystery of Violet's disappearance rather than motherhood.

It's a well-written novel, with a satisfying ending (something that's pretty rare these days). My favourite part is the psyche behind each of the characters. You can clearly hear the different voices (which is a hard thing for any author to do) and the end message is phenomenal. We all have our own motives for doing things, and when we do something bad, we justify it to ourselves but also try to hide it from ourselves too. We want to present the best version of ourselves to those around us. Naturally, as with most thrillers, it is also a tale of obsession but not necessarily in the way you may think.

My only real criticism of the book is that none of the characters are really likeable (although I think that's the point). It just meant that I wasn't really bothered about what happened to any of them. The forums didn't feel that realistic with the usernames and the way people interacted, but that's easy to look past. Especially considering that every social group and generation interact differently online.

I'd recommend it as a good weekend read, especially if you can read through it over a couple of days rather than taking breaks. Leaving long periods of time in between doesn't really do it justice.

My Rating - 7/10

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