When I was a kid and I couldn’t sleep, my father would tell me it was because someone was dreaming about me. I know now that isn’t true – it’s just one of those things he used to tell me to make me feel better – but for a long time, I believed him.
Pages – 458
Published by Headline in May 2013
When sixteen-year old Adamma Okonma, a Nigerian diplomat's daughter, arrives at exclusive Croften College in Wiltshire, she is immediately drawn to beautiful, impetuous, unpredictable Scarlett Milton. Adamma and Scarlett become inseparable - until Adamma falls for Scarlett's boyfriend Dominic. 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. As Adamma begins to uncover a series of ugly scandals at the school, she realises there was more than one person who wanted Scarlett to disappear and indeed that Croften has its own disturbing secrets to hide...
Oh my goodness! I always worry when debut authors bring out their second book. Will it be as stunning and as addictive as their first novel? Will I want to read it? Well I definitely shouldn’t have worried when it came to Tanya Byrne. Follow Me Down was just as addictive as Heart-Shaped Bruise. In fact I felt like it was completely different to Heart-Shaped Bruise. Heart-Shaped Bruise rubbed my emotions raw, Follow Me Down had me straining to hold back from turning to the last page to find out who was responsible.
Adamma is a brilliant character. The change in her attitude from the beginning to the end of the book is quite dramatic. In the beginning, she appears very calm, studious and young for her age, by the end of the book she has transformed into a strong yet at times reckless young woman. She puts everything she has worked so hard for on the line for the sake of love. Her friendship with Scarlett was always going to be a dangerous one. Yet even when it appears unrepairable, Adamma adopts a Nancy Drew style attitude to discover the truth. She is well aware that justice needs to be served; even if Scarlett had become one of the most disliked characters in the book, Adamma could still remember the good times that she shared with her.
Scarlett is the type of enigmatic character that fills a room even when she isn’t in it. Everyone will always talk about her or envy her in some way. She reminded me of Daphne’ Du Maurier’s Rebecca. She was like a fragile doll that would break at any minute. The male characters within the book are quite grey in colour and detail but I felt that had been done on purpose to increase the attention and limelight on Adamma and Scarlett who really are the main stars of the show.
The book jumps backwards and forwards in time to before and after the event that propels the story on. It was easy to keep track of what was happening and I found myself struggling to put the book down.
There are two mysteries within the book – what happens to Scarlett and who is Adamma romantically involved in. Up until the last couple of chapters you have no idea of what the answer is to either question. I thought I would explode if I didn’t find out and I was so tempted to turn to the end to find out and I haven’t done that since I was a child!
The book is set in a boarding school and will appeal to fans of CJ Daugherty’s Night School series as well as Paige Harrison’s New Girl. Also if you loved Sister by Rosamund Lupton, then this will definitely appeal to you. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to young adults looking for a brilliant contemporary thriller. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tanya Byrne gets shortlisted for even more awards this year.