Title: Follow Me Down
Author: Tanya Byrne
Published: 8 May 2013 by Headline
Length: 368 pages
Warnings: tw-rape, also drinking
Other info: Tanya’s debut novel is called Heart-Shaped Bruise
Summary : When sixteen-year-old Adamma Okomma, a Nigerian diplomat's daughter, arrives at exclusive Crofton College in Wiltshire, she is immediately drawn to beautiful, tempestuous, unpredictable Scarlett Chiltern. Adamma and Scarlett become inseparable - until they fall for the same guy. Soon the battle lines are drawn and Adamma is shunned by Scarlett and her privileged peers. But then Scarlett goes missing and everything takes a darker turn. Adamma always knew that Scarlett had her secrets, but some secrets are too big to keep and this one will change all of their lives forever.
Review: Adamma Okomma is sent to Crofton Collage when her parents, one of which is a Nigerian diplomat, move to England. After New York, Adamma isn’t expecting much from this bording school. That all changes when she makes friends with Scarlett Chilton, who rules the school and shows her all the secrets. Some of which are very dark indeed.
I really enjoyed Heart Shaped Bruise (no review yet, might reread and review one day) and so I was really excited to read this. The blurb makes you think it’ll just be a messy love triangle and a simple disappearance. Tanya’s other book makes you think it’ll be a lot more than that. When you read it, you find that it definitely is.
From the start, you’re pulled into the mystery with the use of the “before” and “after” timelines, told in alternate chapters. Before and after what? Also, these headings mean keeping track of time is so much easier-very useful.
All the characters are wonderfully different and unique. And so very very real. It’s the complex relationships between them with all the different, varying dynamics, that really make this book though.
It brings up a lot of things-how friendships survive, rape culture, testing boundaries; things that teenagers have to deal with, and the varying ways that they do.
The mysterie takes a lot of twists and turns and wanders down lots of different paths. I had my suspicions about the culprit of the disappearance from about halfway, but when it was revealed, it was using a different name to the one we’d met them as, and I had to re-skim it all and make sure I’d read it right. The other mystery, who Adamma’s getting involved with, was a complete surprise.
The writing was amazing. The timeskipping was really effective, as was the fact that for all of Adamma’s romantic scenes, we just get told it’s “him”. Everything gets revealed weaves together at just the right time and it works.
Overall: Strength 4 tea to an amazingly written, intriguing thriller.