THERE WILL BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW!!!
I can’t review this one and NOT TALK ABOUT THAT ENDING!
Wow. Just wow. I bought this book because a couple of my fellow bloggers in the twitterverse/blogosphere were going crazy about it. I finally read the synopsis and decided I would check it out for myself, and man, was I sucked in to this story. I got home from work around 5:30 last Thursday evening – this lovely was waiting for me on my front porch – I started reading it around 6:00 (once I got settled) and I was finished by 8:30p.m. I just could not/did not want to put this down.
Tessa Hart is confined to her room after a traumatic event happens (though we don’t discover what happens until near the very end of the book) while attending some sort of program out of state. After this trauma she becomes agoraphobic. She is terrified to venture out of her own room, much less her house. Her mother has to adapt to her daughter’s odd behavior, her boyfriend continues to visit her though he slowly becomes more and more disengaged and Tessa turns to Twitter for her social interactions. Especially once her account blows up after publishing some fan fiction about Eric Thorn, superstar musician, and her very own hashtag #EricThornObsessed skyrockets her to internet infamy.
Eric, on the other hand, has a very hard time dealing with fame. He is super freaked out about a stalking incident that led to the death of a famous musician colleague, Dorian Cromwell. One of Dorian’s fans got it in to her head that he was actually really in love with her and ended up slitting his throat and killing him because teenaged girls are scary and dumb (though in this case I believe the fan did have mental health issues, and people with mental health issues, while sometimes scary, are not dumb). Gruesome and totally not rational. Eric just doesn’t understand how all of his fans can claim to love him so much when they know nothing about him. And disenchanted as he is with his fame, he decides to lash out at these blind (in the sense that they don’t know anything about him – not actually blind – though some of them may be) followers of his. Tessa becomes the target of his scorn and despite his attempt to knock her down a few pegs, they become fast friends. Tessa struggles at various instances with their friendship because her agoraphobia comes with a major distrust of people in the outside world., but these two become each others’ confidantes. Eric finds in Tessa a normal life. Tessa doesn’t know that Taylor (the display name of Eric’s fake twitter handle @EricThornSucks) is actually her celebrity crush and thus he can confide in her all of his struggles with his fame, without having to deal with a squealing little girl. Tessa finds in Taylor a friend, when everything in her life seems to be falling apart. Someone that she can talk to and is helping her cope with her newfound phobias.
Alas, as MC’s are wont to do in YA, Eric finds himself in love with Tessa and designed a contest just so he can meet her in person so that he can tell her that he’s really Eric Thorn and that yes, THE Eric Thorn is in love with Tessa and then they can prance off in to the sunset together (or so he hopes). What girl wouldn’t fall all over herself if she found out her celebrity crush was actually in love with her too?
Before I get to the spoilers, so if you’re still reading and you don’t want the ending spoiled for you – NOW IS THE TIME TO TURN AWAY!
Things that I really liked about this novel:
- The exploration of the origination of weird online obsessions with celebrities
- The very very brief commentary on the difference of men obsessing over female celebrities compared to females obsessing over male celebrities – which I think society really kind of ignores in today’s day and age
- How engaging the plot line was – seriously, I could not put this one down
Things that I really struggled with in this novel:
- The idiocy of Eric Thorn’s password choice for his @EricThornSucks account, c’mon….really!?!?
- The fact that Tessa does not learn that the real Eric Thorn is behind Taylor until they are in the police station (though man was I gratified when she slapped him) but then seemingly falls right in to the “Sure, you’re a stranger, and you’ve only been lying to me for 4 months, and even though this is the first time I’m meeting you in person and I was almost killed by the stalker that gave me the agoraphobia in the first place, I’ll let you take me home. And I won’t even make you jump through that many hoops before I kiss you.” <- the realest struggle for me. This girl was so terrified of people for the past 4 months that she DID NOT LEAVE HER HOUSE. This was a little unbelievable for me.
- HER THERAPIST LEFT HER ALONE WITH A COMPLETE STRANGER AFTER HER FIRST OUTING IN FOUR MONTHS!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Also, the fact that her therapist even went to the concert with her. Really, how much is she paying this woman?
Alright, I’ve warned you, and at this point you’re doing it to yourself….
But Geiger, on top of this immediate turnabout that we see in Tessa, adds a little something else to throw her readers off. The chapters in this book are interspersed with interview transcripts from the police station when Tessa and Eric are interviewed right after Tessa was attacked by Blair and Eric finds them both at her house. They are interwoven in such a way that they don’t give away the story, but add just a little bit of mystery as you go along, until the last one. The last transcript (or “Official Memorandum”) is of the FBI interviewing the local police about the whole situation because – GET THIS – they found a bloody knife in Tessa’s house, the blood is a preliminary match for Eric Thorn and Tessa has disappeared with her last known location being the border to Mexico. WHAT. THE. HELL!
Again, what a CLIFFHANGER!
My thoughts in no particular order about what could have happened….
- Tessa killed Eric and fled to Mexico
- Eric killed Tessa, faked his own death and fled to Mexico
- They both faked Eric’s death and fled to Mexico together
- Both of them were killed and someone drove Eric’s car to the Mexican border…
I just, can’t even fathom all of the possibilities.
At the end though, this was a GREAT read that I could not put down and I am so so glad that I picked this one up. I will have my eye out for the sequel because I just don’t know how Geiger is going to top this one. Highly recommend!
If you read this one too, please please please weigh in on the ending below… I need to commiserate.