When I first heard about this book and saw the really pretty cover and the creepy title (that pretty much says a lot about what this book is about), I was excited to read it. While I do find it difficult to come across a good YA thriller, I keep looking, hoping to find one that’s really good! While it wasn’t the best book I’ve read this year, From Where I Watch You definitely had its good parts and the creepy factor was pretty high up there.
When I first started reading this book, I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy it. It didn’t really seem to grab my attention that much, and it started off a little bit slow. But after the first few chapters (which are adorably set up as steps in cooking baking – different and cute), I was hooked.
From Where I Watch You starts off with Kara sitting in her Home Economics class, baking cookies while being stared at by the ghost of her dead sister, Kellen. Yep. That’s right. Sounds like a positive beginning for a book, right? Her Home Ec teacher informs her of a cookie decorating contest being held in San Fransisco, in which first prize is a scholarship to a pastry school that Kara longs to attend (her mother won’t let her go, because she refuses to let Kara go that far away after the death of Kara’s older sister, Kellen). So this competition is Kara’s one shot at getting to go to the school of her dreams.
While Kara is terrified of going to this competition, and even though her mother forbids her from going, she plans on it, anyway. While this is the main story line, there are other things going on in Kara’s world that are hindering her ability to focus on the contest. For one, her crush on a guy from college, Hayden. Another is the return of her old crush, Charlie, who went away for a while and recently returned to the area and got a job in Kara’s mom’s restaurant as a dishwasher. The third? Kara is receiving creepy stalker notes from someone who clearly knows all about her – her work schedule, when she is at home, school, and what she does in her free time. Oh, yeah, and she sees her dead sister everywhere.
So between dealing with boy drama between Hayden and Charlie, she is also trying to figure out who is sending her these creepy notes. She doesn’t want to bring her mom in on the notes, because then she figures her mom will put her foot down about the competition for sure. So she tries to figure it out on her own.
At the end of the chapters, there are flashbacks into parts of Kara’s life – such as what happened to her when she was 13, and also how things were between her and Kellen when they were little girls. These are important to the story, and they really add some depth to it.
Without giving away any spoilers, I have to say that the way that Kara handled some of the things in her life was kind of questionable. The event that occurred when Kara was thirteen, for example, should have been handled differently, in my opinion, but at the same time, I guess I can see why she handled things the way that she did.
The other problem I had with this book was that the ending seemed a little rushed. The entire book was leading up to an ending that should have taken more than one paragraph to play out. But honestly, I didn’t see it coming, so it really surprised me (yay, I love when endings surprise me!).
If you like YA thrillers, then I would recommend this one. It has a lot of interesting elements in the story, and it’s original!
Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.