review and cover mani: watching you

The back jacket, from Goodreads:

Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods 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…


Two Lisa Jewell reviews in one year whaaaaaaaat? Yes, you read that right, fellow booknerds, 2018 was the year of Lisa Jewell and for that, we should be forever grateful. WATCHING YOU was another wild ride of suspense, told through multiple POVs from people who lived on the same street. Not friends, really, but friendly enough. That said, living in close proximity created a level of intimacy whether residents liked it or not—peeping out of windows at the perfect time, an overheard conversation in passing—which did a solid job of welcoming unpredictable moments, ones that turned my suspicions on a dime. Glimpses of activity without context led to assumptions, and those assumptions ultimately drove the plot. Sometimes, a narrator would explain their “suspect” actions, but the other character(s) wouldn’t be privy to the truth and man, it was just the best. The zig-zag nature had me burning through pages, because when one lead ended, another was right around the corner.

Jacket Design by Laywan Kwan:
 Photographs of Window frames by Corrado Piccoli/Eyeem/Getty Images; 
Vines by IStock/Getty Images; Window scenes by Istock/Getty Images.

Along with Jewell’s knack for suspense, she once again created incredible characters who felt so real, I was surprised I didn't run into them at my community mailbox. In WATCHING YOU, Jewell played on my first impressions of Tom, Joey, Freddie, and Jenna and then danced a jig of glee when she began to throw those impressions in my face. Or at least that’s how I imagined Jewell at her keyboard, a sly smirk on her lips as she turned everything upside down. What was a real clue? What was a red herring? The only way to know for sure was to keep reading, and it’s the best when a book makes me go “wait, WHAT?!” forcing me to flip back to previous chapters to see how I fell for expertly crafted misdirection. Oh yes, I do love to be made a fool haha!!

With lots of moving parts and secondary storylines, I flew through WATCHING YOU, and the final twist on the last page went out with a bang. If you’re a fan of suspense that takes place in close quarters, you definitely need to add this one to your TBR stack! WATCHING YOU hits shelves December 26th, and for a super fun bonus, Atria Books has generously offered up a finished copy for one lucky reader (which will be shipped after the pub date). Hello post-Christmas present to you, eh?! 🙌 

To enter, leave a comment here with your favourite holiday tradition, and head on over to Instagram for bonus entries! Giveaway closes on December 21st. Winner will be contacted by DM. Open to US and CAN only (sorry International!).

Big thanks to Atria Books for an ARC and finished copy!!


For this mani, I used:

FingerPaints – Paper Mache and Black Expressionism

OPI – A Good Man-Darin is Hard to Find, Mod About You, In My Back Pocket, Need Sunglasses?, and matte topcoat

China Glaze – Street Style Princess, Emerald Bae, and Queen B

ORLY – Skinny Dip and Thrill Seeker

Julep – Mona

So Nailicious - Needle brush

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