Addison Snow is your typical teenager. She has a family that loves her, friends that make her laugh, and she’s wrapped up in the excitement of graduating high school and going off to college to pursue her dream of becoming an author. When her mother, who also happens to be Addison’s best friend, dies unexpectedly, her world comes to a crashing halt.
Death changes everyone…
To make the pain go away, Addison and her father travel down separate, dark paths. She chooses to end her grief forever, while he drowns his sorrows in the bottom of a bottle. How do you learn to live again when the most important person in your life is gone?
Addison struggles to pick up the pieces of her life. Instead of getting back to being the carefree teenager she once was, she’s stuck handling all of the responsibilities that should have been her father’s. She has no time to grieve, no time for emotions, and no time for happiness…until Zander Reinhardt walks in. All it takes is one little handwritten note on a napkin to kick-start her back to life and help her realize that maybe there’s more to that life than pain.
But can it really be that simple? Can she really trust this man who makes her feel alive again for the first time in a year?
Addison and Zander both have secrets they aren’t ready to share. When the truth finally comes out, is it enough to tear them apart or has something bigger than themselves always been watching over them, pushing them together, making sure they both get their happily ever after?
This book wasn’t what I expected. It isn’t a typical young adult novel.
It’s…deeper than that. It’s dark and depressing and Jesus, is it frustrating at times; but while you’re swimming through the darkness and living in Addison’s world full of pain, loss, heartache, and loneliness – there’s an overlying sense of warmth, a quite calm. It’s that superimposing aspect of comfort that blankets you while you turn page after page and makes you want to follow Addison into the darkness…and eventually, into the light again.
I can’t lie, this book started out average for me. It wasn’t until I hit around the 40% mark that I just absolutely couldn’t put it down. The first half wasn’t bad by any means, but it was just a little slow. Now, after having finished it (with tears streaming down my face, of course) I can appreciate the pace. It was necessary. I needed to know the back story involving certain conversations with her mom, I needed to see just how close they were, I needed to understand just how broken she was in order to appreciate her journey to happiness. The flashbacks and therapy sessions that I kind of “trudged” through in the first third of this book became crucial to me.
As far as characters go, I liked both Addison and Zander. Some of the things Addison did frustrated the hell out of me, but every time I found myself cursing her I took a step back and thought to myself, what would you do if you were in her position? Now, I can’t answer that with certainty because I don’t know what I would do. I’ve never been in her shoes. But what I can say is that taking that second to step back allowed me to put her actions into perspective. I still didn’t agree or even like some of the things she did, but I could understand why she was behaving that way, even if I didn’t care for it. Now, onto Zander… *sigh*. I liked him, but I just wish we would have gotten more from him. Maybe more background, more…well, I don’t know what I wanted more of but I just felt a little shorted. That aside, the napkin notes – I DIE. I don’t know if it gets any more adorable than that, I really don’t. He was so wonderfully funny and charming and compassionate that it was impossible not to fall in love with him.
I did have a couple issues that prevented me from giving this a 5 star rating, the main one being Addison’s attitude towards her dad was upsetting to me. Like I said, I’ve never had to deal with that type of situation so I don’t know how I would handle it…but it’s incredibly hard for me to imagine giving up on my dad, regardless of the circumstance.
Watch Over Me is clearly a very personal story for Tara and it’s one that will tug at your heartstrings. This isn’t a novel that centers on the romance – that is just an added bonus. It’s about a girl struggling with the loss of her mother and her journey to find happiness again when it never seemed possible. It’s very different from Tara’s previous novels, but her incredible writing style remains the same. This story will make you cry, make you laugh, and take you on an incredibly emotional journey; a journey that left me reaching for my phone to call my mom almost immediately after I read the words, The End.
MY RATING: 4 STARS