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Heartstream

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  181 ratings  ·  73 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 4th 2019 by Walker Books
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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  181 ratings  ·  73 reviews


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Kai
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, queer
"People could hurt each other without being monsters. And they could love each other without being saints."

What black mirror nightmare was that??

This is my second Tom Pollock novel. And by now I'm convinced that he's either genius or wicked. Or both. They're not exactly mutually exclusive. Tom is a great storyteller with a distinctive sense for suspense. He knows how to construct a thrilling and breathtaking plot. He doesn't give away too much, but if you read closely you might see where the boo
...more
Whispering Stories
Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com

On the day of her mother’s funeral, Amy is broadcasting her emotions via pads attached to her head. She promised she wouldn’t use the ‘Heartstring’ app but the lure of her social media followers was too much. After upsetting her family she travels home alone in a taxi. Upon entering her house she discovers a woman in her kitchen wearing a bomb vest and she wants to talk.

Teenager Cat is in love with Rick from the most famous band on the planet. They have
...more
C.G. Drews
This was utterly twisty and disturbingly addictive. It's a story full of unreliable narrators and convoluted secrets and the lengths people will go to get what they want. I think the takeaway is that, humans are terrifying. And true, tbh. It's definitely the type of story you don't put down because you need answers and you need them now.

// it's a split timeline tale, following the narrators, Cat vs Amy
Amy's storyline is in the near-future, and starts at her mother's funeral and introduces us to
...more
Charlotte May
Jul 24, 2019 marked it as library-loans
Library copy available for pick up

This looks awesome! Can't wait!
Elizabeth Sagan
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't put it down. It reminded me of Nerve (the idea behind it, not the execution. Heartstream is much better), Social Creature (obsession with social media) and Ready Player One (crazy technology). I really loved it and it has one big plot twist you'll so not see coming. Recommend.
Abbie (boneseasonofglass)
3.75

I wasn't sure about this when i first started reading it, and was close to DNFing it at around 50 pages, but I decided to carry on and give it a chance, and i'm glad i did!

I read the majority of the book in one evening and it was so weird and thrilling and so many twists
Bex
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-s, reviews
Much like Tom Pollock's previous novel White Rabbit, Red Wolf (recently re-named to This Book Is A Lie), Heartstream is a book designed to confuse you, deliberately, with unreliable narrators and a twisty plot. I really loved White Rabbit, Red Wolf for this reason and Heartstream does this pretty well also, but something was definitely missing for me.

Heartstream is told via a dual narrative and opens with Amy, a girl who spends a lot of time streaming her life for her viewers on Heartstream, an
...more
Kell Cowley
After loving 'White Rabbit, Red Wolf' I was thrilled to get hold of this early proof copy of 'Heartstream'. Definitely a novel that will appeal to fans of 'Black Mirror', the most powerful aspect of its story being its depiction of the obsessive, invasive and often abusive culture that's sprung up around social media, internet celebrity and shipping fandom. The linking theme in both Amy and Cat's narratives is that people are now emotionally feeding on those who they follow online and consequent ...more
Bookread2day
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wouldn't call this a psychological thriller, but it's definitely raw, heartbreaking and full of surprises with scenes that you wouldn't expect to happen.

I decided to do a different review, taking my reading review to the very beginning of the first few pages, as the beginning unsettled me in that big way that grabbed my full attention.

The story starts with Amy Becker's mothers funeral. The most saddest thing is that Amy didn't shed a tear at her own mothers funeral. I expected her to feel so
...more
Samantha Sim
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i initially requested for this arc because the premise intrigued me (more on that later), but after seeing one of my favourite authors talk about it, i was even more pumped to get started on it. and trust me, it definitely did not disappoint.

heartstream is a psychological thriller centered around social media, fame and the obsessive, toxic culture that fandoms are infamously known for. the fandom culture in this book is grossly exaggerated, though — and this is what scared me the most — not to
...more
Mirelle
3.5 stars
Bev
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tom Pollock's writing just gets better and better in my opinion, I was completely gripped by Heartstream. Scary, tense and moving in places, it's a salutary tale about the perils of our always connected online culture and the effect it has on people. It shows how easy it is for swathes of people to band together in support of what they perceive to be an injustice and the bullying behaviour that comes from this. An excellent YA read.
Joanne
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rep: Lesbian MC, male secondary character who wears make-up.

Trigger and content warnings under the spoilers.
(view spoiler)

Having absolutely loved Tom Pollock's debut YA, White Rabbit, R
...more
Artemis
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I admit to picking this book up in the shop simply because it was a signed copy and of course hat meant I had to buy it. From the blurb, this book sounded quite innocent, and a somewhat traditional mediocre read. However, last year I had the joy of reading White Rabbit Red Wolf, also by Tom Pollock, so decided to not judge the blurb for these things, in the hope the book would surprise me.

I’m sorry you had to read through all that - I finished the book just over 10 minutes ago and my mind is st
...more
Annette
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookbox-books
Wow...I closed this book about an hour ago and I'm still a little speechless and emotional. This was such an emotional and amazing read! These kind of books are the reason I have a Book Box Club Subscription. I think I wouldn't have picked this book up if it hadn't been in that box and that really would have been a pity, because I wouldn't have wanted to miss this read.

First of all I really love the writing style of this book. It feels young, realistic, fresh and it really fits the narrating cha
...more
Jenny (Bookbookowl)
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 ba
...more
Luna
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
#Heartstream took a little longer to get into than I anticipated, especially given the blurb. However it's worth it. There last third had me turning the pages without a thought for what was going on around me.

Narrated by Amy and Cat the story follows two timelines that converge. Set a little in the future when livestreaming has a new meaning. The first chapter ends with Amy finding a woman in her house with a bomb strapped to herself. Meanwhile Cat's story is more teen romance in the beginning
...more
beverley
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reads
*3.75 stars maybe ??

this was supeeerrrr weird and creepy, I picked this up on a whim in the book shop after the blurb and the first few pages pulled me in. I’m glad I read it my mind right now is just trying to comprehend what the hell I read and what just happened lol. Plot was super interesting and I sped through it as I wanted more and more answers, I feel like with the plot twist if I connected the dots more I could’ve worked it out but I didn’t see it coming I will be honest. I think it des
...more
Sarah Ann
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartstream is a psychological thriller with the main theme of how social media affects mental health, communication, the invasive culture surrounding it and how obsession can take on a whole new level. In the story, Tom has given readers a deeper insight on how dangerous it can be when one overshares on the platform. I wouldn’t call this a true blue psychological thriller because it wasn’t typically chilling. It was however, very unique. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story quite like this one. ...more
Maddie Browse
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tom Pollock has come through again with another fantastically clever thriller that I just couldn't put down! I absolutely loved this!
Steph
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My god that was intense. Absolutely brilliant. Proper page turner. Fascinating plot. I would love more from this story!
Alicia
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sadly not at all as good as his previous title - I tried explaining this plot to a friend and it's absolutely mad!!
Karen Barber
I should have expected the bleakness after my previous encounter with a Tom Pollock novel, but this was a book to be recommended with caution.
We have what seems to be a fairly standard split narrative. We assume they’ll link in some way, but exactly how isn’t revealed until a lot later...and it really did turn some of my thoughts completely over. The less said about it the better, but my goodness did the revelation fill me with despair.
One of our narrators is Amy. She uses a seemingly innocuous
...more
Moon
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Didn't disappoint, kept me wondering what was the truth and why (though my main theory was right, there were things I was like "woah!").
Daniella
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
IT DID NOT JUST END LIKE THAT DAFUQ??????
Motherbooker
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Heartstream is a book that centres on the duality of technology. It has the ability to bring people together and tear them apart. Social media can help you feel part of something but, when things go wrong, it is one of the loneliest places in the world. Something that the two main characters of Tom Pollock's novel come to realise. There is Cat, a naive teenager who finds the community she lacks in real life within her fandom. She is part of a group of fans of one of the biggest bands in the UK w ...more
Laura Altmann (laurabookish)
Heartstream tells two intersecting stories set in the not-too-distant future, narrated by teenage girls Amy and Cat.

Amy is a social media star who has found success by literallybroadcasting her emotions to the world through the Heartstream app. Her legions of followers have shared in Amy's pain as she's watched her mother slowly die of cancer. On the day of her mothers' funeral, Amy arrives home to find a stranger in her kitchen with a bomb. What does this stranger want? And how is she connected
...more
Nikki
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am seriously struggling to review this. There are part of it, around the story and the writing, that are seriously amazing. I love an unreliable narrator and secrets and suspense and all this was so well engineered here. Amy’s story is hard as I don’t feel too bad for here. Cat’s I connected with a little better but honestly I struggled with the cringe factor of what she was doing.

And this is where the conflict comes in - I found some of the character’s actions to be cringey, largely around C
...more
Insert Name Here
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Cat's dating a member of the hottest boyband around...maybe. And Amy's the hottest streamer on Heartstream, the app that lets other people literally feel your emotions. Both think they've experienced the dark side of fandom. But they haven't seen anything yet.


Where to start with this one? First of all, it does not have the tear your hair out ending that White Rabbit, Red Wolf had, so rest easy on that. Not everything is tied up by the end, but it's enough.

Second, I like this view of fandom; that
...more
Matthew
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, arc, favorites
“I remember the first time someone from the Internet scared me.”

Ok. It’s confirmed. Tom Pollock is now one of my favourite authors. Much like White Rabbit, Red Wolf I could not put this book down. Heartstream is told from two POVs. Cat, a superfan of one of the biggest boybands in the UK who is secretly dating the lead singer and Amy an influencer on an app called HeartStream that allows other users to feel her emotions through patches connected to the head. She has been broadcasting her emotio
...more
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Tom is a long-time fan of science fiction and fantasy, and has failed spectacularly to grow out of his obsession with things that don’t, in the strictest sense of the word, exist. He studied Philosophy and Economics at Edinburgh University. He now lives and works in London helping to build very big ships. The City’s Son is his first novel.
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