Today is the last day to comment on
The 2011 Book Blogger’s Cookbook post to enter to win a Kindle!
Author: Cindy M. Hogan
Published Date: April 2011
Softcover & Kindle: 348 pages
Genre: YA Suspense
FTC FYI: Free ARC from the author that did not affect my review
From the back cover:
It takes more than a school trip to Washingotn, D.C. to change fifteen-year-old Christy’s life. It takes murder.
A witness to the brutal slaying of a Senator’s aide, Christy finds herself watched not only by the killers and the FBI, but also by two hot boys.
She discovers that if she can’t help the FBI, who want to protect her, it will cost her and her new friends their lives.
I started reading Watched a few hours before bedtime. I made it through the first few chapters before deciding to continue in the morning because I wanted to be able to sleep without nightmares. Cindy opens Watched with a group of teens in front of a creepy hotel. It’s late night in Washington, D.C., and they are wandering unsupervised around the city after sneaking out of their hotel.
“I plastered a smile on my face, trying in vain to stop the shiver that traveled with slow determination up my spine.” (Watched, page 1, first line.)
Watched is told from the point-of-view of Christy, an inexperienced and insecure 15-year-old whose parents sent her off with a “see you in two weeks” and not much else. Not very popular in her high school, Christy is determined to be accepted by her tour’s mini-group of older and richer teens. She finds it more difficult than she expected to leave behind her “brainy” and “goody-goody” tendencies that she is convinced caused her to be so unpopular back home.
After witnessing a brutal murder, the group is forced to decide what they should do about it. They know they are dealing with professional and scary people who wouldn’t hesitate to hurt them or their families. The experience binds them together despite their decision not to talk about it after discovering a clever way to contact the FBI. The group continues on as normally as possible despite Christy’s suspicion that they are being watched.
The suspense carried well throughout the story, with only a few teen-angst-y parts distracting from it. I read the book quickly and only felt pulled from the story a few times. The writing style and voice felt consistent for an older YA audience (15+) though there were a few rough spots that could have been polished for the final version (I was reading an uncorrected proof).
Watched, as a suspense-novel, is more plot-based, and Cindy did a good job on the storyline. I do find myself wishing for a little more depth in the secondary characters close to Christy, but that could be because I am a character-driven reader and often find myself wishing for mystery-suspense characters with a little more depth.
I was relieved to see that Watched is part of a series because I was left feeling like I wanted just a little bit more after finishing the book. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I think Cindy Hogan has great potential and is definitely an author to watch.
Cindy is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card for commenting on her blog and telling her which blog sent you there. Don’t forget to follow Cindy’s blog while you’re there.
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
- Language: none that I can remember
- Sexual: one boy pressures Christy to come to his room but she resists; kissing w/little description
- Drugs & Alcohol: others drink around Christy at a club and she “pretends” at one point but does not drink
- Violence: three specific incidences of violence including a beheading and people being shot
Follow the Watched blog tour: