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Written by Tom Pollock

Key Stage 3

LoveReading View on Heartstream

A taut thriller dealing with psychology, social media, the allure of fame and obsession – you won’t put it down!

Cat is in love with a pop star, trying to keep secrets whilst not having the sophistication to cope with all the pressures that brings.  Amy uses an app, Heartstream, to stream her emotions to all her many followers, even streaming live whilst at her mother’s funeral. When Amy gets back home, she finds a strange woman waiting for her – and she has rigged the house to explode if anyone tries to enter. 

What follows is tightly written, a thriller with twists and turns until the final unexpected denouement. Pollock makes you think about fame and how it corrupts; the current growth in use of social media by the young – no doubt we could end up with a Heartstream app in the not too distant future, and how does the morality of that vicarious living feel? A thriller that not only enthrals and excites but asks some very important questions we need to think about today.  Sit down and enjoy this masterclass in suspense and obsession. 

Tricia Adams

Heartstream Synopsis

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.

Heartstream Press Reviews

A chilling tale of the desperate hunt for real connection in a social media-driven world. - Amy McCulloch, author of Jinxed and The Potion Diaries

A deft, clever exploration of what it means to connect and be understood in a world where image and feelings are currency. - Melinda Salisbury

Scary, tense & moving in places, a salutary tale about the perils of our always connected online culture. Shows how easy it is for swathes of people to band together in support of what they perceive to be an injustice. Excellent YA read. - CILIP SLG

Such a riotous rollercoaster of a read - I was completely gripped from start to finish. - Sara Barnard

Set aside plenty of time for the latest page-turner from Tom Pollock - once you're in, you won't be able to stop. HEARTSTREAM is a masterclass in suspense, and poses the chilling question of just how deep obsession can run. - Samantha Shannon

Book Information

ISBN: 9781406378184
Publication date: 4th July 2019
Author: Tom Pollock
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 3

About Tom Pollock

Described as "A powerful new imagination" by The Guardian, Tom Pollock is the author of four novels, and an ambassador for Talklife, the peer support network for youth mental health, for whom he blogs about his experiences with depression, anxiety and bulimia at Inspired by those experiences, White Rabbit/Red Wolf is his first thriller for young adults. He lives and works in London.

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