Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’ we have a new book review for y’all! Today’s review is about a Young Adult mystery novel called ‘Watch You Burn’ by Amanda Searcy, which was provided for review by Delacorte Press (a division of Random House Children’s Books), and will be released tomorrow October 23rd, 2018. As always this is a spoiler-free review, however I do want to issue trigger warnings for the following: bullying, death, & drug/alcohol abuse. We definitely have a lot to talk about with this one so let’s get to the post. Ready? Ok, let’s go!!!
‘Watch You Burn’ is about a 17 year old girl named Jenny who is hiding a deep secret, she’s an arsonist. Jenny is forced to move from her hometown in Ohio, to Albuquerque, New Mexico to live with her estranged father while his construction company works on the renovation of a luxury motel. Once she arrives in Albuquerque Jenny gets the same familiar “itch” she’s always had to start fires however, she knows that doing so would reveal other deep secrets she has hidden. When Jenny meets friends who may be hiding even deeper & darker secrets than she is, Jenny must decide how far she’s willing to go in order to keep her new life from going up in flames.
I want to start off by saying that I have a lot of feeling about this book. I don’t normally read mystery books, however I was really intrigued by Jenny’s character description in the synopsis. Based off of how Jenny is described you imagine that she is a complex, interesting character that has many layers you need to uncover as the book continues, and honestly this is exactly what Jenny is. She’s not a perfect character by any means, Jenny has a lot of issues as a person and does some really questionable things throughout the book. I really liked the mystery aspect of the book, and honestly I went back & forth over who our “bad guy” was up until the last page. My only problem with this book is the ending. I’ve said it before, I really don’t mind open ended endings, but I also think that this is one of the hardest things for a writer to properly do. I felt like this book needed one more chapter, or at least an epilogue to achieve a satisfying ending. Honestly the book doesn’t feel like it ends, it just stops. Now we do get a lot of questions answered, but it feels like the story just stops for our characters. Nothing really feels resolved & while this may have been done in order to lay the groundwork for a sequel, the abrupt ending ruins the momentum & excitement that the book built up to this point. I do want to say that I really did like this book, so much in fact that it was a 5 smiley face book for me up until the ending. Unfortunately because of the ending I will have to give this book a 4 smiley face rating. I’m honestly so sad about this because I really liked ‘Watch You Burn’ & I think Amanda Searcy is an extremely talented writer however, a great book deserves a great ending & unfortunately we just didn’t find that great ending here.
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