Hello! Time for a new review! Today we’re diving into something really creepy…
I’d like to thank St Martin’s Press for offering me to read and review this story.
Title: Watch Me
Author: Jody Gehrman
Publisher: St Martin Press
Date of publication: January 23th 2018
Number of pages: 320
Kate Youngblood is disappearing. Muddling through her late 30s as a creative writing professor at Blackwood College, she’s dangerously close to never being noticed again. The follow-up novel to her successful debut tanked. Her husband left her for a woman ten years younger. She’s always been bright, beautiful, independent and a little wild, but now her glow is starting to vanish. She’s heading into an age where her eyes are less blue, her charm worn out, and soon no one will ever truly look at her, want to know her, again.
Sam Grist is Kate’s most promising student. An unflinching writer with razor-sharp clarity who gravitates towards dark themes and sick plots, his raw talent is something Kate wants to nurture into literary success. But he’s not there solely to be the best writer. He’s been watching her. Wanting her. Working his way to her for years.
As Sam slowly makes his way into Kate’s life, they enter a deadly web of dangerous lies and forbidden desire. But how far will his fixation go? And how just far will she allow it?
Lovers of creepy and unsettling can go and get Watch Me right now!
A 30-years-old writer and English teacher stuck in her life and a student with an unhealthy obsession, what could possibly go wrong?
You can feel early on where the story is going to lead you, yet, Watch Me is one of those books you can’t help but cling to and take to bed with you when you should be asleep! The writing hooked me with goosebumps-giving sentences facing normal and boring life, slowly turning into something more dangerous! Words hinted at things I cringed at, the balance between what I knew and what would happen was strong enough for me not to lose interest despite having a good idea of what to expect.
The split narration between Kate, innocent, lost, and in the middle of a lonely life crisis, and Sam, young, full of hope, talented, and greedy, is a mix you don’t want to miss. Like a Bloody Mary, it burns your throat but you can’t help sipping it, as if your hand had its own mind even though you know you shouldn’t drink it.
Long enough to make you understand each character but short enough to ratchet up the tension, each part gives clues to why Kate and Sam reached this point in their lives. I can’t say I felt much for Kate apart from the fear of becoming someone’s everything. Her rejection of what society expects from women in their thirties and the contrast between her and her best friend was a clever and great touch, both because it is time more and more books looked at what life can be without the usual path we ‘must’ take, but also to explain Kate’s loneliness and emotional state. The repulsion yet envy she found herself feeling at times was so spot-on it can talk to every woman. I was not expecting this to be explored in such a book, so points for the nice surprise!
Then comes the creepiness. Because gosh, it oozes from the pages in a mesmerizing way that forbids you to stop reading. You know you shouldn’t, but you do it anyway. The reader is torn, just like the characters, except we get to live without losing a finger or being tracked by someone…
There is not much I can say without spoiling anything so I’ll keep this one short. Watch Me is a forbidden candy. You know what you are getting into, there is a giant “No Entry” sign, but you get in anyway and you kick off a battle for power, for control, for life.
Watch me will be available on January 23rd 2018!
Jody Gehrman has authored ten published novels and numerous plays for stage and screen. Her young-adult novel, Babe in Boyland, won the International Reading Association’s Teen Choice Award and was optioned by the Disney Channel. Jody’s plays have been produced or had staged readings in Ashland, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and L.A. Her newest full-length, Tribal Life in America, won the Ebell Playwrights Prize and will receive a staged reading at the historic Ebell Theater in Los Angeles. She and her partner David Wolf won the New Generation Playwrights Award for their one-act, Jake Savage, Jungle P.I. She holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California and is a professor of Communications at Mendocino College in Northern California.