Cover Image: Watch Over Me

Watch Over Me

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Member Reviews

An unusual story that felt like it should be a horror story, but never crossed the line.  After graduating from high school and the foster system, Mila takes a position as a tutor at a farm for foster children.  She forms a special bond with her young charge Lee as she helps him begin to learn and grow, but there are mysterious ghosts in the fields at night that evoke some buried memories in Mila.  There is some mystery about the owners of the farm that for me hinted at a more sinister mission, so I found the ending somewhat unexpected because I was expecting a Bad Thing to happen.  Instead, the ending has a warm satisfied feeling, leaving the reader wishing to spend more time at the farm.
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Nina LaCour's writing is brilliant, she absolutely blew me away with this read. The way LaCour creates these deep and beautiful characters and lets the audience step into their head amazes me. LaCour packs such an emotional punch with this story and I cannot wait to read more of her books.
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Nina LaCour's Watch Over Me is exquisite. The setting is so atmospheric and moody, a perfect match for Mila's deep longing for family. Mila's desire to belong and what the farm asks of her are so woven together that there's no escaping the very thing she wants to put behind her. I was so impressed with main character's deep tie to the setting that I used this book as an example for a creative writing exercise with my students.
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We Are Okay by Nina LaCour was one of my favorite books I read this year, and I was so excited when I saw that she was coming out with another book. 

I didn’t know that much about it before reading other than that it had some spooky elements, and I wasn’t expecting ghosts to play such a major role in the book and found that really interesting! 

Nina LaCour’s simplistic writing style worked really well in this book and with the atmosphere of the ghosts and the rest of the story. The writing added a lot to the haunting feeling of the book. 

I enjoyed reading this and can’t wait to read more books by Nina LaCour!
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CW: Abuse

This is a quiet and well told story about grief, trauma, wanting to belong and to be loved that I enjoyed very much. I thought the writing was gorgeous and the ghosts added an unexpected element that I really liked. At times it was hard to tell what was real and what wasn't, but it was done in a way that added to the atmosphere rather than making me feel confused.

Mila was an interesting character to read from and I really liked her voice. Her relationship with Lee put me off at first, but there were cute moments and I appreciated how their relationship specifically wrapped up at the end. The other side characters were fine, but none really jumped off the page for me. I would've liked to see a bit more of Terry and Julia as parental figures as the interaction we saw from them was good, but it just didn't feel like enough.

I also tend to dislike when a character knows that something is being hidden from them and in this case all the characters knew that she knew and how upsetting it was for her to be kept in the dark, but they still refused to tell her for... no reason? I couldn't really understand why they wouldn't tell her and that was frustrating.

I really appreciated the haunting atmosphere and how that added to dealing with Mila's flashbacks of the abuse she endured. I also appreciated how the book dealt with emotional abuse and how that can effect people.

Overall this was a really interesting exploration of grief and abuse. I really liked the main character, the writing, and atmosphere of the book and I'd recommend it.
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Nina LaCour weaves a novel of the supernatural, life and coming of age experiences into a stunning tale.
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This dark, moody and atmospheric novel has faint echoes of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. A perfect read for a wet and dreary day.
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After aging out of the foster care system, Mila is offered a job as one of the teachers on a farm that fosters other children. The farm is a refuge for its young residents but is also haunted by the past traumas of all who have lived there.

I think it’s important to set the right expectations here... this is not some spooky ghost story that’ll have you afraid to turn off the lights. What it is instead is a beautiful exploration of grief and overcoming trauma through the help of found family. The word lovely doesn’t make many appearances in my daily vocab but that’s how I’m feeling compelled to describe this one.

Mila and all the other children display wonderful resiliency after living through incredibly difficult childhoods, and the gratitude and happiness they have for finally having a place to call home is so endearing. While I think it could’ve pushed a bit further emotionally, the last paragraph of this one had me tearing up and I’ll definitely be picking up whatever LaCour writes next.
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Watch Over Me, like LaCour's other books, was a beautiful novel that explored a lot of really important and interesting themes, ranging from grief to family to finding your place in a world that feels otherwise incredibly precarious. This book was at times both heartwrenching-ly sad (again, something I've come to expect from LaCour--she really knows how to pull at the heartstrings) and also uplifting, giving both the characters and the readers hope. 

I loved the main character, but I also loved the side characters and the way that they all functioned together. I absolutely adored the found family aspect of this novel, something which is very close to my heart, and the setting was amazing. I have told multiple people since reading this book that I want to live in this setting. I want to live on the farm, in one of the little cabins, work at the farmer's market, learn the names of the plants, walk down the ocean. It's beautiful both in its description and its function, and I could not get enough of it. I absolutely loved the concept of teaching the children the names of all the plants and having them learn about nature because it helps them understand their place in the world. 

Once again, LaCour does something here that has always made me fall in love with her writing--she takes seemingly simple things, everyday things but describes them in such a way that I am captivated and want to crawl inside her beautiful writing: the glint of the light on a thin gold band, the slicing of a fresh loaf of bread, the warmth of a fireplace on your bare skin. I've always fallen all over myself over LaCour's writing, and this time is no different. 

It seems at first that LaCour is going to depart from her usual MO with the inclusion of a supernatural element here in the form of the farm's ghost. I really liked the way everyone spoke about the ghosts so frankly. There was no big reveal, there was no are they or aren't they, they were just there, and everyone spoke openly about the fact that they were. Are they real, are they metaphorical? That's the best part--it doesn't matter. They are, and they serve the story so well that I never gave another thought to it. 

This is an amazing read, I've already recommended it to quite a few people. It is at times heartwarming and heartbreaking, and weaves a beautiful of tale of family, friendship, and moving on to a kind and welcoming future. An easy five out of five. Anyone and everyone should read this!
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the writing in this book is gorgeous, and Nina LaCour never fails to disappoint when it comes to themes of grief and trauma in her books. this is a really beautiful story, but i also felt like something was missing. maybe it's because of the short length, or maybe i was expecting the ending to be more emotionally impactful to me than it was - i'm not sure. i also felt like i was so distant from the characters in this story. that could just be a "me" thing, but i never quite bridged the gap toward feeling connected with Mila and Lee and everyone else. 

the story is gripping and the prose is gorgeous, though, so i would definitely still recommend this to people!
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The writing in this story is a beautiful story that is full of love, loss, and found family. It's perfectly spooky considering it's Halloween. The story is a slow build that is haunting and full of ghosts.
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I want to begin by stating that this is my favorite Nina LaCour book. It is deep and intense but the main character deals with trauma, which is something that should be written about more.

It is slower pace, much like her other books, but it is worth sticking with. I can also see some young adults being confused by the ghost story aspect of this book. I wish it had been elaborated on a bit better.  I also want to point out that if a reader is looking for diverse characters, this is not the book for that. I personally love diverse books as I can relate to them better. With that said, this book is written beautifully and I would recommended it for those teens that like more literary fiction books.
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As always, a copy of this book was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. 

Nina LaCour is truly one of my favourite authors of all time. With every novel, the more she solidifies her place as such. Watch Over Me is the perfect example of that--and one of her best, most unforgettable releases to date. Due to how enchanting and intriguing it is, it is safe to say this book is unlike anything I've read this year.

Watch Over Me takes on a life of its own as we get lost in its lyrical prose. LaCour takes readers on an emotionally complex journey of confronting our pasts and the many things that haunt us. It embraces readers with its tone and keeps us firmly in place. As always, her writing comes across as honest and charismatic in a way that establishes intimacy between the story and its readers. 

This is exactly the kind of ghost story readers should be reaching for. At its best moments, Watch Over Me is achingly poignant and emotional. LaCour takes us on a journey that proves to be impossible to put down.

Although the novel itself is incredibly short, there's no shortage of impactful moments that prove to be both memorable and easy to connect with. Watch Over Me is full of the ghostly complexities that is life, urging us to confront the past as it was so we can find our futures. 

LaCour takes us to new heights and moves us with this story of grief, found-families, and ultimately leaves us with a sense of hope. Watch Over Me is truly a standout in her backlist.
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This book is so beautifully written, and it doesn’t hurt that it takes place along the picturesque cliffs of Mendocino, CA. The main character, Mila, has been in the foster care system since she was young, and when she finally gets a chance to make a home of her own on a farm in Mendocino, CA, she takes it. ⁣
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Mila accepts a position to intern at a farm, teaching math, English, science, and history to a young boy named Lee. She is overwhelmed by the hospitality but can’t help but notice the dancing ghosts that haunt her as she walks back to her cabin at night. I found Mila’s story to be a moving read that provides a young, yet mature perspective on longing for a place to belong. I read Watch Over Me in just a few short hours, yet Mila’s story still stays with me to this day.⁣
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After leaving the foster system, Mila moves to a remote commune in search of a sense of belonging.  Here, she meets characters whose questionable behaviors mirror a blurred world of the real and the spectral.  As Mila confronts her ghosts, past and present, her grasping for someone to watch over her keeps the book engaging and suspenseful.
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A stunning treatise on accepting grief, finding love, finding family...with ghosts. Also music and nature and FOOD. Mila's story about learning to trust herself again and heal is unforgettable. And the cover is as beautiful as Lacour's writing.
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A story of healing from trauma. I enjoyed the way Nina LaCour chose to incorporate the paranormal aspect with this story, i don’t think I’ve seen it done like this before. I loved the ambience of the farm house, but i do wish we’d gotten to know some of the characters a bit more.
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This book brought me in from the very first page. The voice of the main character was so strong and so vivid, that I felt like she was talking directly to me. It's a beautiful and haunting story that highlights the vulnerability of children as well as their resilience.
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Absolutely gorgeous! I can see this flying off my library shelves. LaCour just keeps getting better and better.
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Does your reading get spookier in October?
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If you want a book on theme, but you’re not into scary or gory, this story could be for you.
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I recently finished Nina Lacour’s Watch Over Me about a teenager who ages out of the foster care system and goes to live on a remote farm as an intern, helping to care for the many adopted children of a generous couple.
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On her first night there, she sees one of many ghosts who also live on the farm. No big deal. There are so many other odd things happening that the ghosts sort of fade into the background and feel normal.
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There are hints of something not quite right sprinkled throughout the pages, but you can never quite put your finger on it. And all these bad childhood memories start coming back to the main character, Mila.
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This is a quiet story with a slow build, and it feels a lot like the song, Someone to Watch Over Me, from which we get the book title.
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Everything came together beautifully at the end. I also loved the vivid images of ghosts lit up in the night and dancing on the farm. These images will stay with me.
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Thank you @penguinteen for the gifted book.
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