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VINE VOICEon September 2, 2015
Karen Bergreen gives an absurdist mystery in her debut novel Following Polly. After losing her job working at a casting agency run by the quirky Mona Hawkins, Alice Teakle runs into a Harvard classmate, the incredibly popular Polly Dawson. For reasons rooted in her dysfunctional childhood (her father and brother had died in a plane crash, her mother suffered a nervous breakdown, and Alice had to raise herself until her mother met and married Barnes when Alice was an adolescent), Alice starts to follow Polly around New York for obsessive reasons. After Polly is murdered and discovered by Alice, she becomes a prime suspect. Fleeing from police interrogation, Alice, after stalking (there is a theme here), teams up with another classmate, Charlie, with whom she has been infatuated since freshman year.

As Charlie and Alice try to discover the identity of the murderer with help of Alice's best friend Jean, they lurch from one absurd situation to another. One marvel's at Bergreen's clever twists and turns of plot. No normal people would behave this way, which is exactly why we love this story. It is like watching a train wreck of crazy people. You can't pull your eyes away, nor can you believe what they will do next.
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on June 22, 2010
I loved FOLLOWING POLLY from page one. Debut novelist Karen Bergreen creates a daffy protagonist with a heart of gold who made me laugh...and cry. An accidental stalker, Alice Teakle seeks to understand the wiles of a former nemesis, only to be accused of murder and malice. The book's shining charm is Alice's evolution as a confused young woman who comes to terms with her strengths. It's a coming of age novel in the classic sense of the genre, and I plan to recommend it to readers of various ages.

I'm Susan Dormady Eisenberg, arts journalist and aspiring novelist.
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on June 22, 2010
WOW I ADORED THIS BOOK !!! A FUNNY PAGER TURNER ...

that i could not put down. Ms. Bergreen has created a cast of great characters that you will be sad to say good bye too at the end of the novel.

Besides being quirky and hilarious the mystery really grabs you as her main character Alice sinks deeper into murder mystery that threatens to

ruin her life- if she doesn't do that herself first ... Ms Bergreen is clearly New York's female Woody Allen and I hope she is just as prolific .
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on June 23, 2010
If you are looking for a fun summer read "Following Polly" is definitely it. I loved this book! I thought it was much better than "The Nanny Diaries". I just kept following Alice Teakle from one page to the next...I couldn't put this book down. It is a unique and amusing thrill of a read. Kudos to Ms. Bergreen, I can't wait for the movie!
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on August 13, 2012
I laughed... I cried... I fell in love with Alice Teakle!

~~**~~

In her debut novel, Karen Bergreen has created a wonderfully plucky heroine one can't help but fall in love with, Alice Teakle. Alice is a little bit everywoman. I mean that in the sense that there is much in Alice that we can all identify with. Alice isn't perfect... she has her flaws... doesn't always show good judgment and sometimes needs pointed out to her when her moral courage is lacking. Sound like anyone we know? Really? Stand in front of a mirror and ask yourself that question.

Following Polly is delightful romp (ewww, I hate that word!) through the world of a girl and her obsessions. A world this reviewer can identify with to a degree. I am a writer and a people watcher... okay, sometimes, I follow people too. Not quite to the degree of Alice to be sure, but...

Karen has written an original, brilliant and totally believable story in which she has drawn characters that are well defined and absolutely believable (am I the only one who squirmed in discomfort at some of the things her characters did, only because I recognized my own behavior?). And Karen has done it with a humor and verve that make Following Polly one of the most compelling reads I have come across in quite a while.

Sometimes curiosity doesn't kill the cat... but it will get her 25 to life behind bars and the privilege of being some bull dyke's plaything. Unfortunately, Alice doesn't really consider this when she begins stalking Polly Dawson... a woman who snubbed and took advantage of people like Alice probably from her early days in preschool... Polly is just that kind of person.

Alice first meets Polly in college, where Polly does what Polly does best... and Alice doesn't forget. Years later, having just been sacked from a job she didn't particularly like and a boss she liked even less, Alice's neuroses and obsession come full bloom when Polly comes back into her life. And, before her best friend Jean can say "... umm... sweetie, that's a really bad idea!"... Alice is off!

Unfortunately, for Alice anyway - 'Polly was a bitch and bitches get their just desserts' (I'm paraphrasing the author here... *wink*)- things quickly go pear-shaped (it's a UK idiom... Google it) in Alice's stalking... err, I mean, following and Polly Dawson turns up dead. Alice has the extreme bad luck of being the first one to discover the still-warm, but no longer breathing, body.

With all evidence pointing to our plucky heroine, Alice decides that a strategic exit stage right is in order and quickly throws on her invisibility cloak. Or, would if she had one. Oh, and something else...

Someone else comes back into Alice's life as well... will this person turn out to be her savior... or her downfall?

I hate spoilers and I don't much care for reviews that are little more than chapter and verse synopses of the book, so I will stop here. I don't think I've revealed anymore than the back cover of the book does. Anyone who has read my reviews knows I don't simply write down the plot points. My goal is to get you to read the book, so I will give you a few little teasers and my take on the story, but if you want to know whodunit or do the ill-fated lovers finally overcome all odds and live happily ever after or is justice truly served... you will have to read the book.

In closing, Karen Bergreen's wicked sense of humor truly shines in Following Polly. This is definitely a must-read and I can recommend it without hesitation.

Thank you, Karen, for a wonderful read. Even though I bawled through the last twenty pages. I can't help it... I'm just a hopeless romantic, I guess.

"I love you, Alice Teakle!"

Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
Cannon Beach, Oregon
12 August 2012
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on August 3, 2013
I found out about this book because I am friends with the author's brother on Facebook (don't actually know the guy) and he posted an ad asking people to read the book, which was on sale. I figured, why not? I was not expecting much considering how I came across this. I was very pleasantly surprised! The main character starts following someone named Polly and becomes tangled up in a murder mystery (I usually do not like mysteries, but thoroughly enjoyed this one, although I would not classify this as a mystery book). Somehow Bergreen makes all of things that the main character do so natural and believable that I could really picture myself doing the odd things she was doing. This one kept me up past my bedtime since I just wanted to see the next thing that happened, then what happened after that... I just bought her other book.
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THIS HAS GOT TO BE THE BEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ, I BELIEVE IT TO BE A MODERN CLASSIC A Who Dunnit WITH MANY TWISTS AND TURNS, A LOT OF CRIME WORK FOR THE CSI FANS AND A BIT OF ROMANCE FOR THE ADORING WIVES WHO OTHER WISE MAY NOT LIKE Who Dunnit'S ! THE LIST OF CHARACTORS IS DEEP ENOUGH TO KEEP YOU GUESSING, THE LOCALS ARE ALL MODERN IN THERE PLACEMENTS, IF YOUR A NEW YORKER YOU MAY FIND YOURSELF TAKING AN ADVENTURE TO FOLLOW POLLY'S TRACKS, MORE OVER THE MAIN CHARACTOR, RUNING FROM BOTH MURDERERS, AND THE LAW! HIGHLY RECCOMMENDED, A PAGE BURNER WHO'S FIRE WILL DELIGHT THE READER!
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0058M5MVC/ref=cm_cr_rev_prod_imgFollowing Polly: A Novel
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on January 14, 2012
It's been so long since I've wanted to give a Chick Lit five stars! If 'Following Polly' doesn't deserve the five stars, I don't know which one does!

Alice Teakle has issues. Sure, she's totally sane, but add a dysfunctional childhood to the picture, it's no surprise that she has developed a not-so-healthy obsession - Stalking.

Alice has recently lost her job for being honest and she's not worried. Probably because she's as fickle as they get but anyway, her mother sends her to therapy, hoping it'd do her some good. Things start looking good till the day Alice runs into Polly, her classmate from Harvard who had it all.

Alice's obsession returns.

Alice reminded me of an adult version of Mia Thermopolis (from the Princess Diaries) - she was funny, funny, funny! Karen Bergreen had me eating up every word and I was unable to remove my eyes from the pages! Amusing, entertaining and extremely humorous, Alice's priceless!

Humor, Mystery, Love - this book has it all! 'Following Polly' isn't emotional or serious, not really. It is however, a thoroughly enjoyable, light and delightful read! I don't know what more to say except that if you're a happy person who likes a unique character, just go out and get this. You will love it!
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on July 20, 2011
This book is so-o-o-o much fun and entertaining. Be forewarned: If you have projects or tasks you need to get out of the way, do them before you start this book. After I'd gotten so far into the story, I couldn't put the book down until I knew what happened to the characters and how everything was resolved. Just when you think you know where the story is going -- ha! a new twist. A great read -- Should make a great movie. Karen Bergreen has an amazing creative mind and sense of humor. What a treat!
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on August 26, 2012
Following Polly has many funny passages, including an especially funny Manhattan party crashing scene that is up to the level of Woody Allen's New Yorker pieces. I thought Following Polly was merely going to be a breezy chick-lit diversion. However, it is a fine novel with an intriguing murder mystery and hilarious comic turns. It is chick lit with an unexpected emphasis on the "lit." What elevates Following Polly is its treatment of the down side of life in Manhattan, when it feels lonely and loveless and cashless to boot. Manhattan is almost a character here (also like Woody) as Polly tries to clear herself of a murder charge while evading the police and finding herself. She is dogged by the highly inconvenient fact that she was sort of stalking the murder victim, a former college classmate who is prettier and much more successful than Polly, and was never very nice to her, at the time she is found dead. This also turns out to be a love story, and of course love solves all. Read this book!
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