Are You Watching? by Vincent Ralph
Published by: Penguin Children’s
Released: 19th December 2019 (eBook) 6th February 2020 (Paperback)
I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
A page-turning new YA thriller for the social media age, perfect for fans of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and One Of Us Is Lying.
Ten years ago, Jess’s mother was murdered by the Magpie Man.
She was the first of his victims but not the last.
Now Jess is the star of a YouTube reality series and she’s using it to catch the killer once and for all.
The whole world is watching her every move.
And so is the Magpie Man.
I love a good thriller and have recently been loving YA Thrillers, so when I heard about a new YA Thriller, Are You Watching? I knew I had to devour it, and let me tell you this…I was at a loss for words when reading it.
At the age of seven, Jess lost her mother after she was murdered by a serial killer, her and her dad dubbed the ‘Magpie Man’. Ten years later, she is now the star of a new YouTube reality series and is using it to try and catch her mother’s killer, and finally get some justice. The whole world is watching Jess, including The Magpie Man.
WOW! Is the first thing I want to say about Are You Watching? I was, well, I was blown away by it. I literally did not want to put it down and when I had to it was a struggle, let me tell you that. It was such an adrenaline inducing, gripping, thrilling read that had me on the edge of my seat for most of the time I was reading it. This was a YA Thriller done perfectly.
The way social media was woven into the plot, made the entire story stand out. It also felt relevant to today’s social media generation and I feel would appeal to that demographic highly. How Jess managed to increase awareness of her case and find others to help her get justice for her mother could only have been achieved through a big audience, and in today’s world the only way to gain that is through having a big enough profile through social media. I also found it highly fascinating seeing how Jess adapted to her new found fame, as we would all deal with it in different ways.
The plot itself was fast paced, electrifying and just full on mind-blowing. There were times within the story that even I started to get a bit scared for Jess and could feel my heart racing. Those chilling moments had me wondering why I’d decided to read it at night. When a book can do that to you, you know you are reading an amazing creation. Sometimes, when I am reading a thriller or crime novel I find myself guessing who had done it way before the reveal. This was not the case with Are You Watching? When I thought I had guessed correctly, something was revealed and I knew I was wrong! The unveiling of the Magpie Man had me shook and gasping in disbelief!
Jess was such a wonderful protagonist. Her determination to get justice for her mother was just admirable. I loved how real she felt as well, yes she got herself into some scary situations, but everyone does things without a second thought. Her interactions with best friends Hanna and Emily also brought some light to what was a dark book. She was honestly one of the most realistic, well thought up characters in any YA Thriller I have read.
Are You Watching? took me on a frantic, hair-raising journey and I can honestly say that it has become one of my favourite YA Thrillers of all time. The way it was written put you right in the moment and you genuinely couldn’t predict what was going to happen next. I will be recommending this book to everyone..mark my words.