Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Heartstream by Tom Pollock – ARC Review


My Rating ~ Five stars


RELEASE DATE:  September 2019

Publisher: Walker Books

Format: Paperback

Pages: 347



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.





Thank you so much to Walker Books for providing me with a copy of Heartstream in exchange for an honest review.


The minute this book arrived in the mail and I saw the words “for fans of Black Mirror”, I opened it and started to read.  Then kept reading until I finished it, because I couldn’t put it down!

Heartstream is told from two points of view.  There’s Cat, who is secretly dating a pop star, but is deep in the fandom for the band – a fandom who lives for the idea that the two guys in the band are an item…Cat can’t reveal her secret to anyone, especially her best friend.  Then there’s Amy, who has thousands of followers tapping in to her ‘heartstream’, a social media app that streams your emotions to your followers. She has just come from her mum’s funeral, where she live streamed her grief, even though she promised she wouldn’t, when she discovers a lady in her kitchen…with a bomb strapped around her waist.

This was such a heart stopping, intense and frantic read, filled with crazed fans and scary obsession. The unsettling premise of the story, coupled with deception and unreliable narrators made this quite the ride!  Anyone who’s spent five minutes on Facebook or Twitter could attest to the mob fan mentality, described in the book, being set firmly in reality. A fact that made this book that bit scarier.  The plot twists were fantastic and left me reeling at the end.  Every time I thought I knew where it was headed, there was another surprise around the corner.  I don’t want to say too much more because you need to experience the twists unfolding without spoilers!

This was the first Tom Pollock book I’ve read, but I’m now going to hunt down his previous YA novel!






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