Reviews of Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour

Watch Over Me

by Nina LaCour

Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour X
Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2020, 272 pages

    Paperback:
    Jan 2022, 240 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rory L. Aronsky
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About this Book

Book Summary

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

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.

From Nina LaCour the national bestselling author of We Are Okay, Watch Over Me is a modern ghost story about trauma and survival, chosen family and rebirth.

Excerpt
Watch Over Me

had we been telling the truth

On the morning of my interview I slept until eight, went downstairs to the kitchen, and poured myself the last of the coffee. I stood at the counter, watching out the window as I sipped, and then pushed up my sleeves and turned on the water to wash the breakfast dishes that Amy and ­Jonathan had left stacked in the sink.

In just a few days, I would leave them.

Amy had bought a crib and tucked it into the garage. A few days after that, she came home with a bag from a toy store. A stuffed bunny peeked over the side. She asked me how my English final went and I told her that I wrote about the collapse of social mores in a couple of short stories and she said it sounded great. And then she took the bag into their bedroom as though it were nothing.

She was only being kind. I knew that. They hadn't asked me to stay.

The sink was empty. I scrubbed it until it was perfectly white and then I turned off the water. I tried to breathe. I tried ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

There are so many scenes, character moments and descriptions that ache to be reread. Watch Over Me is ultimately a story about courage, explaining through Mila and Lee, Billy and Liz, and Terry and Julia, that what we have suffered in our lives, terrible as it may be, does not have to be all that defines us. It can strengthen us, or we can simply seek to let it go, but there's nothing wrong with us because of it. It's a potent message, and one well-served with Nina LaCour as its deliverer. The YA genre is fortunate to have her infinite heart...continued

Full Review (545 words).

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(Reviewed by Rory L. Aronsky).

Media Reviews

BookPage (starred review)
Richly atmospheric and both haunting and hopeful, Watch Over Me is a rewarding novel about a young woman on the brink of a new life.

The Horn Book Magazine
LaCour’s writing is lyrical and atmospheric, both in capturing the natural setting of the story and in exploring the dark recesses of her characters’ grief, guilt, and psychic pain.... An empowering story of one young woman’s quest to rediscover the part of herself she has left behind and to become independent.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The pacing of the book is excellent...Mila's journey to reclaim herself and find independence is tense and powerful...Gripping; an emotion-packed must-read.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Printz Medalist LaCour's portrait of a young woman yearning to belong and facing her past while navigating the liminal space between childhood and adulthood brims with tender moments and sensory details.

School Library Journal (starred review)
While this feels like a shift from her previous novels, this story goes right to readers' feelings and is still 100% LaCour at its core...Fans of LaCour's previous work will clamor to get their hands on this one. A first purchase for all collections.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Mendocino, California

Mendocino featuring houses overlooking the oceanEven amidst ghosts; a loving, family-centered farm; and the courageous Mila trying to face horrible memories from her past, Nina LaCour's description of Mendocino, California in Watch Over Me stands out when Mila gets her chance to go there as part of a farmer's market:

Mendocino greeted us with its tiny business district, its weathered fences and pristine bed-and-breakfasts, its narrow streets and wildflowers and bluffs overlooking crashing waves.

After Mila's first time working at the farmer's market, flush with her day's pay, she explores the downtown area, which boasts cafés, a toy store, a chocolate shop and a bookshop. As a California resident who mainly knows the northern part of the state as a tourist, these descriptions ...

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