Book reviews, Can't Wait Wednesday

I Can’t Wait for…Watching You by Lisa Jewell #CWW #WOW

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Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a meme hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings  to spotlight upcoming releases we are excited about that we have yet to read.

I am really excited about the upcoming release of Watching You by Lisa Jewell.  I loved The Girls in the Garden, I Found You and The House We Grew Up In.  Lisa Jewell’s writing style is very familiar, as though you are chatting with an old friend and she gives you details and insights into her characters that make them seem so real.  I actually have this book in my queue in Netgalley and plan to read it soon.  But it’s one of those things where I know that once I read it, it will be done and I want to savor the anticipation at least a little bit.

Watching You will be released on December 26, 2018 – just in time for that wondrous week between Christmas and New Year’s where time seems to stand still and the world is peaceful and it’s perfect to lay in bed and read!

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The instant New York Times and #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of the “riveting thriller” (PopSugarThen She Was Gone delivers another suspenseful page-turner about a shocking murder in a picturesque and well-to-do English town, perfect “for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, and Luckiest Girl Alive” (Library Journal).

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…

In Lisa Jewell’s latest brilliant “bone-chilling suspense” (People) no one is who they seem—and everyone is hiding something. Who has been murdered—and who would have wanted one of their neighbors dead? As “Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace” (Booklist, starred review), you will be kept guessing until the startling revelation on the very last page.

Book reviews, thriller

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

3 stars

Then She Was Gone moves at a perfect pace.  Lisa Jewell’s witty, clever writing style that makes you just want to keep reading combined with some short chapters, so it’s easy to say “just one more” and you will want to say that because although you will think it’s easy to figure out what is going on, you will want to know if you are right.

Then She Was Gone is a character-driven thriller, as Ellie’s family and people affected by her disappearance navigate their lives.  The characters’ reactions to what had happened to them was realistic, the way they process things and move on, figure out what they need and what is acceptable to them and how to heal in their new normal all felt very real to me.  As a homeschool mom, I thought Poppy was a VERY REALISTIC homeschool kid (I have met some very much like her!) and I appreciate that Lisa Jewell gets it right.

This is a “truth is stranger than fiction” kind of novel.  There were times when I questioned the plausibility of these things happening, but then I thought “the truth is often stranger than fiction”.  Proximity was on the side of possibility and the rest is explained further on in the novel.



From the Publisher:

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?


I had high hopes for this book.  I LOVE Lisa Jewell’s charming, witty writing style. I want to hang out with her and chat.  She has such a lovely way of writing.  And although I really did enjoy this book, it is not my favorite of her books.