REVIEW: 'Watch Over Me' by Nina LaCour Was Hauntingly Beautiful
Hello Fellow Readerholics,
I was recently lucky enough to receive a copy of ‘Watch Over Me’ by Nina LaCour, courtesy of Text Publishing. It was a book I had been looking forward to for some time and I’m so grateful to have been able to read it!
Mila is used to being alone. Maybe that’s why she said yes to the opportunity: living 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 job and a place to stay at a farm 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 also haunted by the past traumas its young residents have come to escape. And Mila’s own terrible memories are starting to rise to the surface.
The thing this book taught me the most is that nobody writes about loneliness quite like LaCour does. I’m surprised to say I really enjoyed this. The depiction of Mila as isolated and hollow really fit her character in the beginning of the book and while I certainly did not relate on that scale, there is something deeply familiar about how loneliness was depicted here and I imagine it would be the same for many.
As a character, Mila was really intriguing to me. She was quite secretive and therefore a fairly unreliable narrator for the most part, due to her past trauma. But as the novel progressed, she began to blossom into her own person and she developed a uniqueness thatI don’t often see in characters. Her story is told in two parts, the then and the now and the contrast between her two selves was quite drastic. I also enjoyed her flawed character as she tended to grapple with a lot of jealousy and longing for a more structured life.
I really loved the side characters here. They were all super loveable and they played an important part in Mila’s journey to acceptance and self discovery. At times Mila’s interactions with the other characters frustrated me as I found her to be a little self absorbed in the presence of others.
My favourite aspect of the story was the ghost side of it. At first I didn’t think it made sense and I was confused by their presence but they were revealed to be super important to Mila’s recovery and each character’s journey of healing. I found it to exceptionally clever and the haunting elements fit the themes of grief and ‘haunted by the past’. I think I would like to read more ghost stories from LaCour.
Overall, this book was a beautiful ghost novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m rating it a 3.7/5.
Your Favourite Bookworm