Cover Image: Watch Over Me

Watch Over Me

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Member Reviews

I really liked this book. It's a ghost story, and is also a story of acceptance for ones life and choices, as well as acceptance by others. Mila has been alone for much of the past four years. She had a beautiful childhood with her mother and maternal grandparents, until one day her mother breaks ties with her grandparents and she and Mila move into a "skeleton" house with her mothers new boyfriend. What happens there haunts Mila, and even after she is placed in the child welfare system, continues to do so. As she makes her way into the world, an interesting offer comes to go live at a farm far upstate on California's Mendocino coast. Mila wants desperately to be accepted and to belong, so she is forced to look at the truth of her memories.

Beautifully written, this book will appeal to YA readers, but as an adult reading it, I can also very much appreciate the value and charm of the story.
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Nina Lacour's last young adult novel, "We Are Okay", is one of my favorite realistic fiction titles for teens, so I was very much looking forward to this new novel in 2020. I was also drawn to this because the foster experience and characters in foster care are still rare in YA, and Lacour is an author I trust to sensitively represent the experience for not just her main characters but the other teens and children who Mila meets on her journey. All that plus the promise of ghosts and suspense immediately hooked me; plus the cover is absolutely gorgeous. 

"Watch Over Me" delivered on everything I expected. As with "We Are Okay", Lacour brings weight and richness to her story with her skill with sensory detail and atmosphere (like, I wanted to eat every meal prepared in this book). She is also an expert at depicting adolescent loneliness, doubt, and the myriad of other emotions brought on by coming of age while haunted by trauma. The puzzle of the plot (what is up with these ghosts? Can we trust Mila? Can we trust this family in the middle of nowhere?) was unpredictable and satisfying; I could not put this book down. 

I will definitely be purchasing this for my collection and recommending it widely. Belongs in every library serving teens, as does "We Are Okay".
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As with Nina Lacour’s other beautiful work, Watch Over Me is a short but stunning portrait of loneliness and healing from one’s past trauma. Although there are some “gothic” elements, this book is primarily a story about grief and healing, with ghosts acting as a metaphor for those themes. The writing is astonishing and gripping and it will absolutely deliver for readers who loved “We Are Okay.” There really isn’t much of a romance element at all but it isn’t something that I came away missing at all. I loved this book and will be buying it for my YA collection.
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