Featured Review: Watch Over Me (Nina LaCour)
About This Book:
Mila is used to being alone.
Maybe that’s why she said yes. Yes to a second chance 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 teaching job and a place to live 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 it’s also haunted by the past. And Mila’s own memories are starting to rise to the surface.
Nina LaCour, the Printz Award–winning author of We Are Okay, delivers another emotional knockout with Watch Over Me about trauma and survival, chosen family and rebirth.
*Review Contributed by Kim Baccellia, Staff Reviewer*
Eighteen-year-old Mila has just graduated from high school and aged out of the foster care program. So when a job prospect to teach on a farm comes up, she's quick to jump at it. Only thing is the farm is isolated and rumor has it that there are ghosts. Mila at first is troubled when she does in fact see ghosts, but soon grows comfortable on the farm and teaching Lee, a young boy. But not all is what it seems. Mila has her own secrets. Secrets that come back to her of the time she spend with her mother and boyfriend. Haunting memories that Mila's been running from.
What worked: Just omg, this book kept me glued to the very end! Quiet, heartwrenching tale of a foster teen who goes to work on a secluded farm and runs into not only figurative ghosts, but literal ones as well.
Mila's voice is one of a teen struggling with a painful secret. A secret that she fears will have others reject her. I really loved how readers see Mila's new simplistic life on a farm hidden away from others. Mila's determination to 'fit' in with the new people in her life is realistic and touching.
At first, I didn't know if the 'ghosts' Mila and the others on the farm saw were in fact real or not. There was times that had me gasping out loud on a reveal. Lots of twists with the plot. Great pacing and quiet tension. More psychological at times, but still hints of horror are hinted at.
One big theme throughout though is loss, grief, and forgiveness. Beautifully crafted. Loved this story so much!
Evocative, haunting story of a girl who tries hard to find a home and in the end learns she has to face her own truths. No matter how painful and hard that might be.
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