Title: I Am Watching You
Author: Teresa Driscoll
Genre: Thriller / Suspense
Goodreads Rating: 4.09
When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realizes they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.
A year later, Anna is still missing. Ella is wracked with guilt over what she failed to do, and she’s not the only one who can’t forget. Someone is sending her threatening letters—letters that make her fear for her life.
Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night—and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own.
Someone knows where Anna is—and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ella – Goodreads
Book Review: “I Am Watching You” By Teresa Driscoll
This book was recommended to me on Amazon. It was on Kindle Unlimited so I decided to give it a shot. After reading the synopsis, I was automatically hooked. It took me about a week to finish this novel so it was a fairly easy read.
What I Liked About This Book
1. The Hook On Every Chapter
I’ve recently enrolled in a course by author R.L. Stine. In his course, he talks about using cliffhangers in his novel. It was a simple yet effective device he has used in multiple Goosebumps books. Although some people hate it, cliffhangers undeniably do the trick.
I think this is one of my favorite details of Driscoll’s book. I wanted to know the answers, to find out whatever happened to Anna Ballard and if the two men she met on the train were truly guilty. The cliffhangers were the only thing that kept me motivated to read.
2. Unexpected Twist
If a book can surprise me, I think that it’s doing something right. I like books with a little shock factor only primarily because it teaches me never to make assumptions. As a writer, I think that plot twists are like an unexpected center of a cake, making the cake even more interesting and tastier than it already was. When done right, it adds life to the story.
What I Didn’t Like About This Book
1. Multiple POV’s
If you stick around on this blog a little bit longer, you’d know that multiple POV’s just aren’t my thing. While many people enjoy switching between different characters throughout the story, I only end up getting confused and lost in the storyline.
The one other thing I don’t like about multiple POV’s is the fact that I feel obligated to read the chapter of a character I don’t really feel for. And Teresa Driscoll’s “I Am Watching You” has some pretty depressing characters.
However, if you do enjoy multiple POV’s you’d be pleased to know that “I Am Watching You” is relatively easier to follow than most books with a similar format.
2. Usage of both First Person and Third Person
The shifts between first person and third person point of view were rather dizzying for me. This is not to say that Teresa Driscoll isn’t a good writer. I do think that she uses her words with poise but the transition from first to third wasn’t my cup of tea. It’s hard to focus on what’s going on when I don’t know whose thoughts I’m reading. Later on, I think that it was perhaps a device Driscoll used to introduce another character in the setting.
3. Slow Story Build-Up
Some people may argue that “I Am Watching You” is a well-paced novel. I don’t totally disagree but I would rather describe it as a roller coaster – some parts went by really fast while others were too slow. It’s not that I dislike the slow climb of events, I just think that some scenes were irrelevant. When the story made its drop to the climax, I felt like it was too fast, too short. It didn’t give me enough time to dwell on the thought. Everything just happened so quickly.
4. Lack of Character Building
As I’ve said, “I Am Watching You” has some pretty bland characters. There wasn’t much significant development with the characters. In fact, I think that the story can survive without having to mention some of them.
The ending was so detached from the main cast. 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.
5. The Unexpected Twist
The unexpected twist in this story is the boon and the bane of this novel. While I did appreciate the little shock factor, it wasn’t as mind-blowing as I expected it to be. The experience, for me, was like finding an erotica novel in the children’s section at the library. Scandalous at first but it totally did not make any sense. To top it all off, it was just wrong.
Other Things (Spoilers)
Reading the novel was fairly easy. It was a light read, easy-to-follow and can be quickly finished. The ending may have put me off but I do appreciate the little shock factor at the end.
The one issue I had with it is that it was too random. I know that the identity of the guilty party needed to be concealed until the big reveal. But it just didn’t make any sense to me.
Tim felt like an extra character – a nobody on the sidelines who suddenly became so important towards the end. It felt like Driscoll wrote each of the characters names on pieces of paper, folded them up and placed them in a fishbowl. When it was time to write the ending, she randomly picked one out and there you can find Tim’s name.
This is not to say that Tim did not make any appearances throughout the novel. He did have some cameos here and there. But because the dialogue of The Watcher (a.k.a Tim) was very short and vague, there wasn’t anything special that made me think of him as a possible suspect.
There wasn’t a lot of information about Tim either so it was hard to believe he was capable. I think that rather than being an integral part of this novel, he was made into an accidental villain.