Title: I Am Watching You
Author: Teresa Driscoll
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3/5
Publication Date: October 1, 2017
I picked this book up because it was on the Amazon Bestsellers List. I had such high hopes for this book, especially since I’ve been on a nasty reading slump. But no, this book didn’t help me at all. Lesson learned: never trust the Amazon Bestsellers charts ever again. I believe this would be the exact gif that sums up my thoughts about this book:
Here’s How I Would Summarize The Book (Spoiler-Free)
“I Am Watching You” begins with the main protagonist, Ella Longfield, who was on a train where she overhears a couple of teens flirting with one another. What a way to open up a scene, right?
Thanks to Ella’s eavesdropping, we learn that the two girls, Anna Ballard and her best friend whose name I keep forgetting, were on their way to London and that the two guys with them just got out of prison. Not the kind of crowd two teenage girls should be hanging out with.
The next day, Anna Ballard goes missing and Ella drowns in her own guilt for not doing something a concerned grown-up should have done.
The rest of the story basically tells you what life has been like for Ella and for the loved ones of Anna after she went missing… That’s about it. Her best friend is almost always in a hospital. You get the drama between Anna’s families and her best friend’s. And like the cop in this story, you have to deal with all of that AND Ella’s paranoia.
Just wait until you get to the ending though…
What I Liked About This Book
Let’s start with the one good point of this book, shall we? This is going to be a short one. The only redeeming factor about Teresa Driscoll’s “I Am Watching You” is the hook at the end of every chapter. I know, I know – cliffhangers are overused but you can’t deny how effective they are.
Although not all of them contributes to the main plot of the story, I have to give it to the author – she knows how to make a reader want to stay no matter how irrelevant the events are to the plot. It’s kind of like gossiping with your neighbors. It’s pointless and perhaps not even based on the truth, but somehow you still want to listen to the rest of it.
What I Didn’t Like About This Book
I am not a big fan of multiple POV’s. I am one of those readers who would skip a whole chapter that’s revolving around a character I do not care for. Unless a book has a cast of characters whose stories are all worth reading, I do not want to waste my time. Unfortunately, this book had a lot of forgettable characters I even had to Google their names for this review.
As I’ve said, “I Am Watching You” has some pretty bland characters. There wasn’t a lot of significant development with the characters and their stories. In fact, I also think that the story can survive without having to mention some of them at all. You can take away all their chapters and the story would still make a lot of sense.
The resolution was so detached from the storyline I can’t believe I’ve spent so much time and effort getting to know them on each chapter – only to find out that I didn’t have to at the end. And like I said, I hate feeling obligated to read chapters of a character I don’t care for. But what I dislike even more is knowing that my efforts were a waste.
Slow Story Build-Up
Have you ever had an ice cream cone with your favorite flavor at the bottom? But to get there, you need to finish up all the toppings or whatever ice cream flavor sits on top of it? Reading “I Am Watching You” felt like I was eating an endless amount of toppings.
The story was too slow for me. It felt like everything that had happened in between Ella’s encounter on the train to the point where we find out what happened to Anna was nothing but a meaningless journey. I really didn’t have to know all that has happened to those people because it isn’t connected to the ending at all.
It will blow your mind – in a bad way. It’s unexpected, alright. But it felt too rushed and it seems that Driscoll tried way too hard in concealing the identity of the suspect. Perhaps this was the author’s trick to make the readers keep guessing. But of course, people won’t know who it is if you don’t leave any relatable clues! There were simply no dots to connect to one another!
Will You Recommend This To Someone? Maybe. It depends?
Who Will You Recommend It To? Someone who likes drama. Or someone who likes the shock factor/ anyone who welcomes good or bad surprises.