'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 3 January 2020

Review: Heartstream

Heartstream is one of the most compelling thrillers I have read for a long time. Pollock expertly draws the reader into Amy’s world – which is set in the not-too-distant future.

Amy Becker is an internet sensation. Using an app that is actually imaginable with today’s technology, she can tap directly into her own feelings and stream them, raw and unabridged, to her followers. And she has a legion of them, people who can’t get enough of her emotional roller-coaster as she deals with her mother’s terminal illness. 

Her family view it as tawdry, but Amy can’t stop, addicted to the fame. So it’s hardly a surprise when a crazed fan, rigged with explosives shows up and holds Amy hostage in her own home on the day of her mother’s funeral.

Told in parallel is the story of Cat and Evie, two current-day internet sensations, fans of a rock-god. The pair stalk him obsessively and stream almost constant updates on his status and sightings, and share gossip and theories with his other, equally ardent fans.

Pollock expertly juggles the two strands, as the girls’ stories merge into one and past misdeeds catch up with the present. 

There are plenty of twists here – all told credibly. The pace rarely flags and each new reveal keeps the pages turning. I pride myself as a reader on being able to predict the direction a plot will take, but I admit that Pollock’s story took me by surprise.

Overall, this is a story about obsessions, revenge and the devastatingly high price of fame. I will definitely look out for other titles by Pollock. One to watch!

Title: Heartstream
Author: Tom Pollock 
Publisher: Walker, $16.99 
Publication Date: September 1, 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781406378184
For ages: 14+
Type: Young Adult Fiction