Bites

Published: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
Author: Website
Info: Goodreads

To tweet or not to tweet . . . what a deadly question.

When Briana loses out on a starring role in the school’s production of Hamlet, she reluctantly agrees to be the drama department’s “social media director” and starts tweeting half-hearted updates. She barely has any followers, so when someone hacks her twitter account, Briana can’t muster the energy to stop it. After all, tweets like “Something’s rotten in the state of Denmark . . . and a body’s rotting in the theater” are obviously a joke.

But then a body IS discovered in the theater: Briana’s rival. Suddenly, what seemed like a prank turns deadly serious. To everyone’s horror, the grisly tweets continue . . . and the body count starts to rise.

There’s no other explanation; someone is live-tweeting murders on campus.

With the school in chaos and the police unable to find the culprit, it’s up to Briana to unmask the psycho-tweeter before the carnage reaches Shakespearian proportions . . . or she becomes the next victim. (goodreads.com)

FOLLOWERS actually has a full point lower rating than DEFRIENDED on Goodreads, however, I think this is the better of two books. At least FOLLOWERS has actual tension and the author doesn’t act like the readers like dolts when it comes to technology. Although she is rather insistent that her characters can’t live without their phones, which I found a little annoying. And I’m not sure what the creepy ten-year-olds with yellow eyes have anything to do with anything. I guess yellow eyes are mentioned once, but that’s it.

This book, I think, was a little more reminiscent of the older Point Horror books. It’s kind of campy, kind of kooky, people die in weird ways. It’s more of what I would expect of an old school reboot. It’s harkening back to those older YA horror novels. But it’s still trying pretty hard to fit into the current technological climate. It does a far better job of it than DEFRIENDED did, but it still kind of misses the mark with how Twitter is used. The entire premise focuses on this one account called Hamlet’s Ghost that’s seemingly following Bree around and her only followers seem to be her schoolmates. On Twitter. Like Twitter is a silo for only school people to know about. No.

The a ha moment at the end of the book seemed a little out of nowhere despite its subtle build-up. It’s just that one moment when Bree put all the pieces together, after everything, seemed kind of hackneyed. I wasn’t thrilled with it. There’s also not a whole lot of character development going on and a lot of suspension of disbelief that I have to go through in order to get on board with the plot. Like Forsythe students being allowed to come in and audition for a play at a private school. Yeah, no. Totally contrived. There is no outreach in something like that. Parents are paying for their children to go to this performing arts school yet they’re okay with their opportunities being shanghaied by locals who get it for free? Yeah, that school would have a lot of angry parents to contend with on that one. Not to mention one student dying under mysterious circumstances would shut down the school, let alone two, let alone continuing with a stupid play.

So yeah, while it’s a better book than DEFRIENDED, FOLLOWERS still has its own hurdles to get over. It just gets more points with me because it actually had some semblance of tension in the story. I can appreciate that.

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