Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Tell Me No Lies by AV Geiger

Tell Me No Lies by AV Geiger
Release Date - June 5, 2018
Publisher Website - Raincoast Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 330 pages
My Rating - 2.5/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Love. Obsession. Jealousy. Murder.

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow.

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she's finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat... That's safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology.
Follow Me Back mixed the dangerous elements of being online, a pop star, romance, and an interesting use of multi storytelling formats to create a intensely readable, if underdeveloped, thriller. I was curious enough to pick up the sequel to see how the story would progress. Sadly, this book ended up being not for me.

A.V. Geiger's writing style is very readable. It is easy to get lulled into the story because her writing is simple and engaging. The use of interrogation transcripts to break up the chapters is a great touch. It lets the story unravel at a measured pace and that keeps the reader's interest. The writing style itself is fine and because of that I would be willing to check out another book by this author if it caught my attention.

The plot is where I struggled. The ultimate answer of who is behind everything that is happening is a logical solution. The motive makes sense for the character but was a little under explored. I wish it had been fleshed out. I feel like we were told the motive instead of shown it. Everything outside of the who and the why did not work for me though. There is the inclusion of plot points that never really go anywhere and are just left as loose ends. There are a couple of plot points that feel entirely unnecessary in the end. They serve no purpose other than to be a 'twist' or 'reveal' of some kind and the story would be the same without them. This plot sort of feels like every twist was just thrown in because it felt like they should be there. They didn't service the story in any tangible way. It is a case of too much happening and none of it really working together to create something cohesive. There were some interesting elements that I wish we would have followed more than we did.

This is a book that is plot driven. Plot driven books can sometimes when when the plot itself is engaging enough. This book needed me to connect with the characters for it to work (at least I needed to connect when them). The character stuff just wasn't strong enough for me. I didn't feel like I learned anything new about them from the first book or that they changed in any tangible way. There are hints that the events of this book changed them towards the end, but we don't see any progression or change until those final moments. It reads, at least for me, like all of the focus was on the plot, and how crazy it could be made, instead of on the characters.

This mentions that it is the conclusion of the Follow Me Back duology and as a result the ending felt unsatisfying to me. This is mainly because it feels unfinished. There are so large plot points that I felt were left dangling that should have been wrapped up in the ending. It ties in to how certain plot points were tossed in without ever being really fleshed out. It simply made the story feel unresolved in a way that would work better if the series were to continue with another book.

I predict many will love this more than I did. It's a wild, twisty, over the top ride that may work for readers who are only interested in for that reason. I think might work better for readers who like a more plot driven novel. I just didn't connect with the story, found the plot of this out too disjointed, and wish it had been a little more tightly pulled together. 

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