Book Review of Tanya Byrne's novel Follow Me Down
written by Molly Looby
“FIRST LOVE. LAST LIE.
When Adamma Okomma has to leave her glossy high school in New York for a dusty English boarding school, she thinks it’s the end of the world – or the end of her social life, at least.
Then she meets the wicked-witted Scarlett Chiltern, who shows her all of Crofton College’s darkest corners, and Adamma realises that there’s much more to her new school than tartan skirts and hockey sticks.
She and Scarlett become inseparable, but when they fall for the same guy, the battle lines are firmly drawn.
Adamma gets the guy but loses her best friend. Then, when Scarlett runs away, Adamma finds herself caught up in something far more sinister than a messy love triangle. Adamma always knew that Scarlett had secrets, but some secrets are too big to keep and this one will change all of their lives forever...”
Follow Me Down certainly surprised me considering I went into the first chapter having no expectations at all. To be honest, the blurb didn’t do it for me, so I was a bit wary. After chapter one, I was no longer wary. Follow Me Down pulls you in with intrigue. I mean, any book that starts with ‘THE DAY AFTER’ is going to have some juicy secrets in it.
The narrative jumps from however many days ‘AFTER’ and ‘BEFORE’ Scarlett runs away, which was a fantastic way to keep me interested and reading. There was a bit of confusion as I tried to piece the timeline together, but I think that’s supposed to be half the fun. Byrne gives away just enough to keep you ooh-ing and ahh-ing, but not too much so that you know what’s going to happen.
The jumping narrative was pretty gripping and intense, meaning I read huge chunks at a time, desperate to know the book’s secrets. It was difficult not to read ahead at all times. I had to read with my hand covering half of the page so my eyes didn’t skim over what was going to happen next. In fact, I wanted to know the secrets so bad, I kept reading and reading.
Follow Me Down had a hint of Looking For Alaska in it, so if you liked the latter, I’m confident in saying you’d like this one too.
One of the only things I didn’t like about this book was the Molly character. My name gets used so infrequently, and I’m always sad when a character called Molly is annoying or nasty or something. Why are Mollys usually painted as horrible people? I’ll never know.
Unfortunately, after all the epic-ness of pretty much the whole book before it, the end did not satisfy me. It’s such a shame because I loved every page until the last ten or so. I wanted this intricate, intense tale to go out with a bang. I expected it based on the rising tension the whole way through, and when I didn’t get it, I felt deflated.
But other than the end, I loved it. And who knows, it might’ve just been me who felt this way :)
Have you read this book?
4 out of 5 Movellas stars
Thanks Molly Looby for reading the book and writing this review!