Follow Her Home
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Follow Her Home

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  205 ratings  ·  63 reviews
A stunning, edgy debutintroducing Juniper Song, an amateur sleuth taking on the darkness in the veins of L.A. with razor-sharp wit and a breaking heart.

Juniper Song knows secrets–how to keep them and how to search them out. As a girl, noir fiction was her favorite escape, and Philip Marlowe has always been her literary idol. So when her friend Luke asks her to investigate...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 16th 2013 by Minotaur Books
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Jul 20, 2013 Steph rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
This is the best book I've ever written. I hope you guys like it okay and don't judge me for rating my own book. I waited until I had 100 ratings in, like maybe that would make it better? I don't know, man. Social media is hard.
Read my full review:

My opinion: What a fun little read this book was! I had numerous review books going at the same time so it took me a bit longer to get it reviewed, but it wasn't by my choice. I had to force myself to put it down! I loved the main character Juniper Song, who fancied herself a female Phillip Marlowe...that should say it all!! She was sarcastic, but an intelligent sarcasm. The storyline was laid out with a lot of quirky characters that fed beautifully into...more
Patrice Hoffman
This is the debut novel by Steph Cha featuring amateur sleuth Juniper Song. Song is unable to turn down a request from her best friend Luke to investigate whether or not his father has been having an affair on a young, very attractive woman from his firm. Having been a fan of crime mysteries and Philip Marlowe, she's more than happy to put all that she's learned into action. She just wasn't anticipating the action she'd get or how it makes her handle issues with her own past.

Steph Cha did a grea...more
I don't usually read noir fiction--my only experience with that world comes from a film studies class I took on the subject that included "Double Indemnity" and "Sunset Boulevard" along with other classics. I'd always worried that noir would be too grim a journey to take in a novel, but Cha's novel skillfully walks the line between harrowing twists and a sense of gallows humor that actually made me laugh out loud at certain points.

Juniper Song, the protagonist of the tale, is in her mid twentie...more
Follow Her Home by Steph Cha
*Made possible by Netgalley! Thank you very much!

Juniper Song loves the fictional stories of hardboiled noir detective Philip Marlowe, and while not a detective herself, she fancies herself capable of solving a mystery or two. Her friend Luke gives her an investigation-he believes that his father is having an affair-and she applies herself dutifully. Until she is hit on the head during the investigation and she finds the dead body of a stranger in her car. She becom...more
This is a sharply-written detective novel. It's taut and fast moving but Cha never throws in random violence just to move things along. It's engrossing but has been given room to breathe. And the main case dovetails beautifully with the back-story of her main character.

Juniper Song is tough, smart, witty, often disgruntled, but always completely sympathetic. She has something of a bad attitude but you realize it comes from being wounded. And teasing out, chapter by chapter, what exactly makes he...more
Talia Tieman
I received this book as part of the GoodReads Giveaway.

Reading other reviews, I realized that people had several complaints about how the two stories weaved in and out of each other. However, I felt it was appropriate for the story line. Songs life with her sister helped make up the back story as to her emotions and events that were occurring with the current situation she was going through.

My only complaint with the book is that, although it was nice to have the overly described scenarios to g...more
Jim C
I won this book via a goodreads giveaway. Juniper Song, who likes noir fiction characters like Philip Marlowe, is asked to follow her friend's father to see if he is cheating. As a result, Song gets in more trouble than she bargained for. This book has a noir feeling which like I said, the main character favors. It is two short stories woven into one. The case she is working on resembles an important event in her past. The story has plenty of twists and turns and keeps you guessing where it is g...more
Zoe Mark
This book was recommended to me by a family member and so knowing that he would read interesting books I read it. This book is about Juniper Song investigating her friend Luke's dad. He asked her to investigate him wondering if there was an affair going on, but they never expected what they found out. When Juniper goes investigating and gets knocked out she starts to realize that everything is not what it seems with Luke's dad. I found the story slow and uninteresting to read about. There was no...more
I could not put this book down. A friend saw me reading Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep last summer and recommended I check out Steph Cha's book. I kind of enjoyed The Big Sleep, but wasn't over the moon. Although I enjoy P.I. movies, something about Chandler's literary private eye didn't sit right with me -- plus that sort of requisite femme fatale character and Marlowe's fear/hatred of women bothered me.

I hesitated for over six months to pick up Follow Her Home. It was so much more enjoyable...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

Post-modern pulp mystery perhaps? I'm not exactly sure how to describe Steph Cha's debut novel, Follow Her Home. It introduces Juniper Song, a Gen Y, Korean/American with little ambition and an obsession with Raymond Chandler's hard boiled PI, Phillip Marlowe. When her best friend, Luke, asks her to follow the woman he suspects is having an affair with his father home from a party she is eager to emulate her idol's investigative success. But when Song gets too curious during her stakeout she is...more
Aaron Poorman
Follow Her Home is the first offering from L.A. native Steph Cha. Cha quite clearly loves the noir masters like Chandler and Hammett – a love she passes on to her protagonist Juniper Song. By embracing these influences she is able to create a likeable heroine and connect with readers all in the same introductory space and get the story moving quickly. In a way Song's experiences mirror the author's possible apprehensions. Writing a first novel is a lot like having your first case as a private e...more
Jul 30, 2013 Nancy added it
A stunning, edgy debut introducing Juniper Song, an amateur sleuth taking on the darkness in the veins of L.A. with razor-sharp wit and a breaking heart.

Juniper Song knows secrets–how to keep them and how to search them out. As a girl, noir fiction was her favorite escape, and Philip Marlowe has always been her literary idol. So when her friend Luke asks her to investigate a possible affair between his father and a young employee, Lori, Juniper (or "Song" as her friends call her) finds an opport...more
Ray Palen
‘I thought about the word hard-boiled. Marlowe was hard-boiled. Spade was hard-boiled. Was I? Maybe they were scared, too, then, these heroes of mine, scared, but with their fear kept separate and suspended from everything else.’

This is just a sample of the stream-of-consciousness inner monologue that plagues the protagonist of FOLLOW HER HOME. Her name is Juniper Song. Part Korean but all-American she inhabits a persona that is well-read in the classic noir novels of Raymond Chandler and Ross M...more
Starr Reina
“Follow Her Home” by Steph Cha

Cha is a debut author and she kept me reading until the very end. Using literary giant Raymond Chandler’s character Philip Marlowe as her guide, Juniper Song becomes entangled in a mystery that is sordid, harrowing, and very deadly. Song is not an investigator in any way, but having read enough—at least she thinks—of Marlowe’s escapades, she attempts to draw on those situations to finagle staying alive.

Her best friend Luke needs help in finding out if his father is...more
What a pleasant surprise this was! The writer Steph Cha is a second generation Korean-American, and is a recent Yale law graduate. She decided to become a full-time writer instead of being a full-time attorney, and boy did she make the right decision! Considering this is her first published novel and she's only in her mid-20's, this is a marvelous accomplishment for such a young writer.

The protagonist of the story is Juniper Song, a twenty-something recent college graduate who's still struggling...more
A work of art.

Review originally posted at Butterfly-o-Meter Books on MAR 27, 2013:

Yes, you saw that right. This is 2013's first Bomy Award of Excellence and I'm thoroughly delighted to say so. This is one of the first books I've read this year and if my first reads are any indication, 2013 will be a freaking amazing bookish year. But enough about my fangirling, let's get back to the book.

A contemporary mystery, noir and thrilling through and through, the novel features one of the most charismat...more
The review is the result of winning a GoodReads giveaway.

I liked this book. Although the setting and the characters were contemporary, the feel was very noir. The heroine is asked to find out if the client’s father is having an affair with one of the women at work. That’s a pretty basic assignment for a classic hardboiled detective. But Juniper Song isn’t really a detective and it shows. She does manage to uncover what’s going on in the end. But the ending is bittersweet just the way it would be...more
I won this book through goodreads First Reads.

I had two problems with this book. The first was that I kept forgetting that the main character, Juniper Song, was Korean, and apparently that was important to the progression of the book. And by kept forgetting, I mean that I completely forgot after reading the first chapter because I put the book down for two months. That was my bad.

My second problem with the book was that I didn't care. Who is this man that died? Oh, there's a mysterious connectio...more
This is a clever first book from Steph Cha. Since I am not well read in Mystery or Noir, some of this cleverness may have been lost on me, but I could tell it was there, whether in direct references or more subtle ones.I enjoyed the protagonist, Juniper Song, vividly described, and all the things she was written to be: a twenty something Korean American from LA. The details that support this character were some of the best writing, from physical descriptions to background to more random things (...more
PacaLipstick Gramma
Not my kind of book. I like a little more grit and substance. The plot was ok, but pretty easy to figure out early on in the book.

The book was overly descriptive, and all the metaphors were too much. Sometimes they went on for a paragraph. Too, too wordy. Take out all the metaphors and you have half the book. I don't need to have every feeling, action, or words described to me in minute detail ~ after all ~ I can read, and I hope after all these years of living I can deduce my own "feelings" by...more
Robert Fromson
For a first time author, I think this is a very good book. The characters are well drawn and believable, though I found some gaps in expected behavior. Nonetheless, a good read with a female perspective, and a Korean-American one as well. Another attorney turned mystery writer.
Nonsensical Teddybear
This book was slow at first. I found myself having to skip some uninteresting details but as I read more, it started to become more exciting. The narrator wasn't very likeable though I appreciated how courageous she was when facing down villains. She still admits to be scared in certain situations which makes her very real. All the characters weren't very likeable to be honest. The ending was satisfying though.
I definitely enjoyed this first novel by Steph Cha, which is an homage to detective noir w/Philip Marlowe as well as a psychological novel about a sister trying to figure out what went wrong in her relationship with her younger sibling. The book goes back and forth between current timees and her flashbacks with her sister. It's also about how best buddies in college sometimes change or sometimes just are unable to hide who they are (or aren't) the older you get. I enjoyed the smart and spunky (a...more
Lynn Lerch
A debut mystery about a Korean amateur detective named Juniper Song in Los Angeles. Juniper loves noir fiction specially Philip Marlowe. This is a fast paced book that you don't want to end and can't put down. I am looking forward to the next one.
Christine Palau
"I felt it before I heard it. I heard it before I registered it. A dull cotton explosion and the copper taste of blood behind my nose, the memory of a whoosh in the air, footsteps receding in a dream. The chronology of sensation blurred, but it ended in thick, oily, all-consuming black."

Enjoyed this book a lot! And I absolutely loved the above paragraph from page 26. I can totally see the Rian Johnson of Brick (not so much Looper) making a clever, neo-noir movie out of it. Seriously, has this th...more
The first few chapters of Steph Cha's book seemed so superficial and shallow that it was difficult for me to keep going. I have long tired of stories featuring 20-somethings partying. I'm glad I continued reading though. After a slightly rocky start, Cha's writing shifted from a Nancy Drew-style mystery into a solid illustration of noir. Cha addressed issues of family, friendship, and race throughout her novel with great skill and depth. By the conclusion, I wanted to read more by Cha and I am l...more
Channeling Raymond Chandler, Steph Cha at times tries a little too hard to follow noir conventions. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable read.
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