book review

Heartstream | Tom Pollock

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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.


I discovered Heartstream through bookstagram. There was a fair bit of hype that I noticed, and with that I found it a book that I needed to read.

Sometimes when a book has hype surrounding it, it might not be as good as you thought, but thank the book gods, I was hooked and read it in a few hours – yes, you read that right.

Heartstream is an app that allows people to feel exactly how you feel, by connecting stick pads to the back of your head. I found this just really weird but that’s also what hooked me in.

We firstly follow Amy, a popular heartstream user and broadcaster, who shares her feelings through the app at her mothers funeral, and suddenly a mass amount of followers show up and its just this huge weird kind of thing, and once she arrives home she has this super fan in her kitchen and things just get even more creepy

We then switch to Cat, a teenage girl who’s secretly dating this superstar boy band member while being a member of their fandom, giving you a look at how hardcore and fandoms in general can be and the effects of social media.

We go back and forth between both Amy and Cat, a past/future, present/present, until we get to the part where you need to hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen – because let me just say, the plot twist in this had me like “oh!” and a possible expletive followed

The only negative I have and I say that very lightly is that I wish the ending had more closure, I felt that it ended suddenly and there was no what happens next. However, since I haven’t read anything from Tom Pollock before, if that is how he usually leaves things then well played sir!

Overall a thrilling and addictive read which will leave you on the edge of your seat until the end.

4/5 stars !

*A huge thank you to Walker Books Aus for sending me a copy of Heartstream to review.


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