“I wanted a kind of logic. A reason. An assurance that things worked the way they were supposed to. Creatures lived and they died and sometimes they returned in a different form. Sometimes they haunted the living, and sometimes they let us be,” (LaCour 145).
Mila has graduated from high school and aged out of the foster care system so when she’s offered a chance to teach and work on an isolated farm that takes care of foster children Mila jumps at the chance. She’s excited at the chance of finding a real home for herself, but what she isn’t expecting is that the farm is haunted. Ghosts freely walk around the grounds, harmless but present as Mila’s own memories resurface and begin to haunt her.
I love a book that makes me feel even if it’s hard, even if it hurts, and wow did Watch Over Me hurt. LaCour has such a voice for loneliness, she knows how to make reader’s feel vulnerable, creates that atmosphere and sinking pit in your centre feeling and I don’t know how she does it only that she has a talent for it. It creeps up on you until all of a sudden you feel that sadness, that hurt but it isn’t in a bad way, just a hard way, a way that’s important to feel even if we try to avoid it.
Watch Over Me is a story of grief, heartache, and loneliness which LaCour writes so beautifully. Mila is a wonderful protagonist to follow, her pain is evident, her need to do and be good heartbreaking, her urge to run and hide from her past relatable. I don’t have experience in the foster care system but Mila’s feeling of being lost, her eagerness to find a home, to feel welcome and like she belongs is so relatable and I’m sure it will hit a chord with those who have or haven’t experienced the same things Mila has.
A certain suspension of disbelief is needed of course since ghosts are just there and present and no one seems all that concerned about it. It’s more magical and fantastical in that way than a lot of LaCour’s other works but I think she does a fantastic job with the magical realism aspect to create a different kind of ghost story, a different kind of haunting.
Watch Over Me is a fantastic addition to the young adult genre, one that packs a punch and will haunt reader’s in the best of ways long after they’ve finished it.
Publication: September 15th 2020
Publisher: Dial Books
Pages: 326 pages (eBook)
Source: Library (Libby)
Genre: Fiction, YA, Magical Realism, Contemporary, LGTBQ+
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤⛤
Mila is used to being alone.
Maybe that’s why she said yes. Yes to a second chance 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 teaching job and a place to live 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 it’s also haunted by the past. And Mila’s own memories are starting to rise to the surface.