Review: Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour

About the Book:

Nina LaCour delivers another emotional knockout with Watch Over Me, the eagerly anticipated follow-up to the Printz Award-winning We Are Okay.

Mila is used to being alone. Maybe that’s why she said yes to the opportunity: living in this remote place, among the flowers and the fog and the crash of waves far below.

But she hadn’t known about the ghosts.

Newly graduated from high school, Mila has aged out of the foster care system. So when she’s offered a job and a place to stay at a farm on an isolated part of the Northern California Coast, she immediately accepts. Maybe she will finally find a new home, a real home. The farm is a refuge, but also haunted by the past traumas its young residents have come to escape. And Mila’s own terrible memories are starting to rise to the surface.

Watch Over Me is another stunner from Printz Award-Winning author Nina LaCour, whose empathetic, lyrical prose is at the heart of this modern ghost story of resilience and rebirth.

Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Wow did this book blow me away. Nina LaCour is slowly becoming one of my all-time favorite authors. Her ability to create such an atmospheric setting is truly unmatched, and I was so hooked on the haunted but healing plot. 

This book follows Mila after she lands a job at a remote cabin teaching a nine-year-old child, cut off from the rest of civilization. Maybe it’s the time I read this (when Nor-Cal is experiencing lots of smoky and apocalypse-orange days), but I was pulled into the isolation and sadness that Mils feels throughout. Watch Over Me takes a haunting route to portray the journey one sojourns in order to heal. There are many flashbacks of Mila’s abusive and manipulative upbringing while she is simultaneously trying to fit in with the family she has just moved in with. Her desperation for a home to belong to was so tangible, and when Mila ached, so did I. I felt her yearning and desperation clear as day. I also fell in love with all the side characters. Lee- the boy she is tasked with teaching- also has struggles of his own, but their unlikely friendship was so innocent and pure that I was left smiling at the most bittersweet moments. Billy and Liz were also interesting to read about, as they bring such comfort to Mila but invoked intense jealousy as well. 

Obviously I can’t gush about the setting and atmosphere enough. The ghosts were a strange but beautiful addition to this story of healing, and I strangely wish we learned a little more about how they came to haunt the cabin and family. The atmosphere made this such an addictive read. If you’re gaining to pick this book up, which I highly recommend, then definitely be prepared to stay up all night to finish it. 

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