Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Heartstream by Tom Pollock July Book of the Month

As a Walker YA blogger I get to read and review some fantastic new releases and I was so happy to receive a copy of Tom Pollock's latest novel Heartstream, so much so that I couldn't help but make it my July book of the month, a decision that my eldest daughter highly agreed with!

heartstream-tom-pollock

I just wanted to see you. Before the end. 

A taut psychological thriller about obsession, fame and betrayal, for fans of Black Mirror. Cat is in love. Always the sensible one, she can't believe that she's actually dating, not to mention dating a star. But the fandom can't know. They would eat her alive. And first at the buffet would definitely be her best friend, Evie. 

Amy uses Heartstream, a social media app that allows others to feel your emotions. She broadcasted every moment of her mother's degenerative illness, and her grief following her death. It's the realest, rawest reality TV imaginable. But on the day of Amy's mother's funeral, Amy finds a strange woman in her kitchen. She's rigged herself and the house with explosives - and she's been waiting to talk to Amy for a long time. 

Who is she? A crazed fan? What does she want? Amy and Cat are about to discover how far true obsession can go. 

This book is cleverly written.

Told from two points of view. We are introduced to the characters of Amy and Cat. Two different people who at the beginning appear to have nothing to do with one other so what is the connection, why are both their stories being told?

It took me a fair amount of time to figure out and when I had that moment of clarity I want to applaud the author on what they had managed to create.

Described as a good book for fans of Black Mirror, I have to say I agree entirely because I am a fan of said programme and this story definitely gives off those vibes.

Amy is a struggling young adult who uses an app called Heartstream to share her life, her emotions. It gives a raw insight to how she feels and what is going on in her life. When activated, the stream essentially broadcasts your emotions to those who want to hear them and apparently thousands do because now she's a celebrity in her own right.

Cat on the other hand doesn't appear to be so open. She is secretly dating an extremely super famous lead singer of a legendary boy band but she's not willing to let others know fearing the wrath of fans who think the singer is actually in a gay relationship with his band mate.

The common factor is the online factor. And I think we all know just how much social media and the internet have been taking over our lives in recent years.

Now the only way I can describe honestly this novel is intense!

We know from the blurb that Amy finds a stranger in her house, who she later discovers to have a bomb attached to her, but the biggest question in my opinion isn't will she survive, it's why is this woman in my house?

But it isn't just Amy in an unpredictable situation because Cat finds herself in an impossible place in life (I won't spoil that part for you.)

Things just don't seem to be going right for either of them but what is it that brings them together and can it ever lead to a happy ending?

This book was truly terrifying at times purely because of the idea that what was happening could easily become a reality, utterly chilling when you think about it.

Tom Pollock is an extraordinary writer , what he puts onto paper is unique, interesting and manages to keep the reader engaged from start to finish. A testament to this is the fact that my eldest daughter read the book in a few hours all in one day and this is something that she has never done before.

Having never read anything from this author before I now feel compelled to read his previous book White Rabbit, Red Wolf. 

Heartsteam is a story that will have you hooked from start to finish, with a storyline that will spark an adequate amount of curiosity and almost an obsession with needing to know the answers to questions you didn't even know you needed answers to.

A must read for this generation.

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