It’s Monday! Time for another book review my friends! Today, I’ll be reviewing Watching You by Lisa Jewell. This was a slow but exciting read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the last 40 percent. Let’s get right into the review!
Book: Watching You
Author: Lisa Scottoline
Summary: Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.
As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.
One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.
Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…
Quote: “Because that’s the thing with getting what you want: all that yearning and dreaming and fantasizing leaves a great big hole that can only be filled with more yearning and dreaming and fantasizing.”
*Mystery. At the beginning of the book, we were introduced to the crime scene and we weren’t told who was killed. As the story progressed, I created my own theories and tried to find out who the person was and why they were killed. I was proven wrong at the end, but I still enjoyed the mystery.
*Jenna. I liked Jenna’s POV a lot more than I did Freddie’s or Joey’s. I was more interested to see what was happening to her and her friend Beth and to really understand Mr. Fitzwilliam’s true behavior. It was through her POV that I grew to distrust him and realize that he may have worse motives than I originally thought.
*Mrs. Tripp. Even though she seemed to have some mental issues, I liked her very much and wished that people would listen to her. I felt very protective of her like Jenna and understood Jenna’s plight in wanting to stay with her mom even though she needed help.
*Secrets. There were a lot of secrets that kept exploding through-out the story. It was also disgusting but enthralling to read about all the twisted stuff some of the characters did.
*Ending. I liked the ending and how everything was wrapped up. It wasn’t spectacular, but I understood the motive and I actually sympathized with the murderer.
*Cozy. This isn’t necessarily a cozy mystery, but it wasn’t a blood-pounding thriller and it was something nice to read. I really liked it because it wasn’t too heavily gory or overall nasty.
Quote: “We’re all different.”
*Men. Honestly, all the men/boys in this book are repulsive, except for Alfie and Jack. Tom was awful. And so is his son. They were both the only two main male characters, and they were both really disgusting creepy guys. Freddie, I felt somewhat sorry for, but every-time I remember what he did and does, I hated him all over again. They were both very revolting.
*Joey. At first I liked Joey and I felt sorry that she was in such a rough patch. And then she grew infatuated with Tom and it took all I had to not scream at her to use some of her senses. At the end, I also felt bad for her, but not very much.
*Word of warning. There are a lot of characters in the book, so it might take a while for you to get everything straight! I was also confused by the time-line at the beginning.
Quote: “Like I might be about to do something really, really stupid. And knowing I’m going to do it isn’t going to stop it from happening.”
I really enjoyed this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it! I’ve been waiting for this book for a while and it was one of my most anticipated releases for December of last year and it didn’t disappoint.
One sentence summary: A great mystery with twisted characters and a satisfying end.
Overall, 4.5 stars rounded to 5
Have you read Watching You by Lisa Jewell? What did you think? Let’s chat in the comments!