River Heights Book Review

The books you'll want to read.

FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU by Shannon Grogan

from where i watch youFROM WHERE I WATCH YOU by Shannon Grogan
Soho Teen
August 4, 2015

At sixteen years old, Kara has just been entered into a baking contest to showcase her amazing cookies. The grand prize? A scholarship to the pastry school of her dreams. But convincing her mother to let her fly to San Francisco to participate in the national contest is a whole other problem. Since Kara’s older sister Kellen died and their dad left, her mother quit her job as an attorney and opened a café selling soup for Jesus. If it sounds insane, that’s because she is. And she is not about to let Kara out of her sight, even though she is more interested in the café patrons than her own daughter’s life. At the same time Kara is seeing her dead sister everywhere, which is incredibly annoying because her older sister was pretty terrible. And to top it all off Kara keeps getting creepy notes from someone who is obviously watching her every move—and the notes are getting increasingly more frightening the closer Kara gets to her old flame Charlie.

FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU is compulsively readable and emotionally wrenching. From the outset it’s obvious that Kara’s family situation is nothing short of awful. Her mother is a crazy holy roller now, and is simultaneously smothering Kara while paying absolutely no attention to her. It’s also apparent that when her sister Kellen was alive, Kellen was the family favorite, despite being something of a bad girl, leaving Kara on the outside. To make matters worse Kara has only one friend at school…who is frankly pretty awful too. But Kara doesn’t have a lot of options left in the friend department since she pushed her friends away after an awful summer when she was thirteen. That summer a horrifying thing happened to Kara, and is one of the main reasons she hates her older sister—with good reason, frankly. It’s revealed slowly as flashback chapters sprinkled throughout the main storyline.

While it may sound grim, Kara is a character that garners empathy and turns her readers into a cheering section. Despite the odds stacked against her, she just soldiers on, trying to make her dreams happen on her own. The love interest is cute (although she keeps screwing that up, which is frustrating) and while I figured out the stalker’s identity, that situation comes to a head in a very scary and suspenseful way. This is a multi-layered and complex story, well worth spending time with.

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This entry was posted on August 4, 2015 by in Reviews, YA and tagged , , , .
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