As soon as I read the synopsis for Watch Me, I knew that I had to read it. I was in the mood for a psychological thriller, and this one had all of the makings for an intense, creepy story with an added dash of the forbidden.
Watch Me grabbed my attention from the beginning and had my curiosity piqued. I enjoyed how the book was written from both of the character’s perspectives. It not only allowed me a glimpse into Kate’s life, to see how she was dealing with her failed marriage, her struggling writing career, and the impending birth of her best friend’s baby, but it also made me a witness to the deranged thoughts and plans of Sam Grist.
Kate Youngblood’s life was changing. She felt as though she was disappearing, blending into the fading background, losing her luster. Her husband left her for a younger woman, her best friend was starting a family, and Kate was just status quo. It was understandable that her self-esteem had been bruised and that she was feeling down. When one of her talented, handsome, intriguing students begins to show an interest in her, she is drawn to the intensity and the feelings that he evokes in her.
Sam Grist could be any good looking, intelligent student, except he’s not. He has been watching Kate for years, waiting for the perfect time to make his move. The parts that were written from Sam’s perspective were probably my favorite – his thoughts were actually as if he were talking directly to Kate. This just cemented the fact that Sam had some major issues. He had his and Kate’s life all planned out, he just had to make her fall for him and see how good their lives could be. Jody Gehrman created an ideal villain with Sam Grist. He was arrogant, apathetic, cold, calculating, delusional, and violent. He was probably a better actor than he was writer, perfecting his facial expressions and attempting to fit into his surroundings without setting off any alarms. He had his sights set on Kate, and he was determined to make her his.
At about the halfway mark in the book, I found my interest beginning to wane. I think my problem was that I wasn’t feeling a connection to the characters. While I may have felt badly for Kate early on, as the story progressed I found her to be cold and the constant host of the woe is me pity party. I almost began to think that maybe she and Sam should be together. On the other hand, it might be a good thing that I didn’t feel a connection with Sam, but with any villainous character there is usually a reason why they’ve turned out the way they have. Yes, Sam’s upbringing certainly wasn’t idyllic – it was downright awful, but it didn’t matter whether it was a nature versus nurture situation, I just found myself not caring.
With any psychological thriller, I want to grip my e-reader in a death grip, immerse myself in the story, and let the anticipation build. With Watch Me, I was waiting for the pivotal scene, the ta-da moment, the twist in the story that is unexpected and jaw dropping. I never really got it. It was a good story with vivid descriptions that allowed me to visualize the story, it just didn’t hit all of the marks for me.
By Jody Gehrman
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