Watching You

Watching You

by Shannon Greenland

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781721623594
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 06/20/2018
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.63(d)

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CHAPTER 1

Whoever installed this mess must have been high.

Crammed under a desk in the library, I reach for a wad of tangled wires, completely aware that my butt sticks straight up in the air and hoping nobody notices.

"Dammit." I bang my head on the underside of the desk and try yet again to wrap a label around one of the wires.

"Can I help you?"

I stop, and pushing my glasses up my nose, I glance over my shoulder to see a pair of tanned muscular legs standing right behind me. He's probably staring at my butt. Great.

"Can I help you?" he repeats, and I catch a hint of accent.

"I'm all right," I call back. "Just trying to label some wires." What's he doing here, anyway? The semester doesn't start for two more days.

"You new here?" he asks.

"Yeah."

"Student tech crew?"

"Yeah," I answer again, wondering if he's going to keep standing there staring at my ass. At least I'd thrown on jeans. Although they are low rise.

"Sure you don't need any help?"

Obviously he's not leaving, and I'm so not comfortable with the probable direction of his stare. So I wiggle my way out.

I smile up at him, trying not to show my irritation at being interrupted, and catch him looking right down my V-neck T. His eyes jump to mine in that embarrassed, I-just-got-busted-looking-down-your-shirt way that makes him seem more harmless than anything.

I tighten my ponytail as I stand and zero in on those eyes, and phew, what eyes they are. Amber? No, green. No, a combination of both.

He wears his dark hair long enough that it curls against his neck. He smiles then, and I catch a flash of dimples that flutter all kinds of girlie things through me that I have no business feeling. As I take him in one more time, I think of this Calvin Klein poster my momma has of a young Antonio Sabato Jr.

Yes, my momma has an underwear ad hanging in her locker at work.

I remind myself I need to speak. "Great accent," I tell him. "Where're you from?"

"Spain. You?"

"Backwoods, Tennessee."

"Tennessee?" He laughs a little, and Lord help me if it's not the best I've ever heard. All deep and chuckly. "Guess that explains your twang."

"Guess so."

"Big change coming south to the Keys."

"Yeah, big change." He has no idea how huge of a change. Where everything in my life is concerned. "Well, I need to get back to work," I say, more because I don't need an amber-eyed, Spanish, chuckly distraction. "Thanks again for the offer of help. I guess I'll see you around when class starts."

"Sorry, didn't introduce myself." He offers a hand, and I take it, finding it warm and dry and perfect. Nothing worse than a clammy hand. "I'm Riel Villanuevo."

"Oh! You're my peer mentor. The guidance office gave me your name."

His lips curve in confusion. "They did?"

"I've heard all about you. I'm Viola Burnett, the academy's scholarship recipient."

His smile slides away as does his hand from mine. "I'm sorry, did you say scholarship recipient?"

The air between us suddenly chills. I blink and take a step back. "Yes?"

The muscles in his jaw tick. "As of when?"

"Last ... week." What's going on? Why is he suddenly so pissed?

"Who called you?"

I stare at him a second, unable to wrap my brain around his sudden temper. "Dr. Williams, the director."

Riel doesn't say anything for a few seconds, then he jerks his fingers through his dark hair. "Something's not right."

I don't know what to say to that. I'm so completely clueless why he's upset.

He grabs his books off the computer desk.

"I already moved into the dorm," I say, not really sure why.

"Listen," he tells me. "There's been a mistake."

"A mistake?" Dread settles through me. "No, I don't think so." There better not have been a mistake. I spent my entire school career trying to get into this private academy, and I'm here. I'm finally here. No way has there been a mistake.

Riel doesn't respond and instead turns and strides off.

It takes me a solid minute of standing in a befuddled haze to realize he's probably headed straight to the director's office to dispute my scholarship.

Oh, wait a minute! No, he's not! I charge off after him across the library and down the hall, and as I march into the administrative suite, I immediately hear them.

"But Dr. Williams," Riel pleads. "I thought you said the scholarship was mine."

I come to a halt. His? Oh no. This isn't good.

"No," Dr. Williams patiently responds. "I said you were a candidate for the funds. You know as well as I do that it goes back up for review every year."

"But I'm a senior," Riel says. "This is my last year. I've had the academy's scholarship every year I've come here. Shouldn't I get seniority?"

"It doesn't work that way," the director says.

"Why didn't somebody tell me?"

"I thought the committee did. I apologize for the oversight."

Riel sighs. "Is there any other available money?"

"No, Riel, I'm sorry."

Silence falls between them, and guilt works its way through me at the things I said, and didn't say, to get the scholarship. Of course I know nothing about Riel so I don't know if he really deserves it more than me or not, and look at me trying to justify everything. Reverse the roles, and I'd be pissed, too.

"If Viola for some reason doesn't work out, what will you do with the funds?" Riel asks.

"That decision will ultimately go to the committee. Generally, though, the money goes to our second choice, which would be you. But I can't see why she won't work out."

The guilt turns to foreboding and stirs darkly in my gut. There's no reason anyone around here should find out that I stretched the truth on my application.

"I know your situation," Dr. Williams says. "I'll do everything I can to help you."

Situation? What situation?

"Right." Riel finally speaks. "Well, thanks for seeing me."

"Riel?" Dr. Williams stops him from leaving. "How is everything at home?"

Riel doesn't answer, and I take a step closer to hear.

A phone rings. "Need to take this," Dr. Williams says, and I quickly turn to leave.

"Have fun eavesdropping?" Riel snips as he brushes past me.

I want to snip back but have no place. He's right; I had been eavesdropping.

A blond guy sticks his head in the door to the administrative suite. "Yo, Riel, you coming tonight? Gonna be a kickass beginning-of-the-year bash."

Riel shakes his head. "Too much going on."

"Sucks for you," blond guy says.

"See you in a couple days, though, when school starts," Riel tells him.

Blond guy glances at me, giving me a once-over. "Freshman?"

"Senior."

He gives me what I'm sure he thinks is a sexy smile. "Welcome. I'm Peter."

Ugh. "Thanks."

With that, blond guy's gone and Riel turns to me. Confusion, worry, and strain reflects in his gaze for a beat, bringing on my own confusion and worry. What have I done to this guy?

It seems like he wants to say something, so I hold my breath and wait. Instead, he shakes his head and walks off.

I close my eyes. This is not how I expected to start my year.

CHAPTER 2

Ponce de Leon Academy, located in the Florida Keys, sits on several acres of manicured land right off the beach. Palm trees and live oaks provide plenty of shade for the cobblestone paths leading between the brick buildings that are fashioned much like an up-to-date fort. Tennis courts, an Olympic-sized pool, a workout facility, and an equestrian area make the place seem more like a resort than a school campus.

The academy is known for its academic excellence in the science and mathematical fields. Graduates typically can write their Ivy League tickets. But it's also the only academy with a direct track to MIT, and that has been my goal for as long as I can remember.

The academy only offers one full-ride scholarship a year awarded based on academics, which I excel in, family values, and citizenship, of which I have none. I don't even know where to start with how many ways I stretched the truth in those areas.

Riel Villanuevo, though? He's the real thing. Thanks to last night's internet search, I now know he is eighteen years old. He's a senior and has maintained a higher GPA than anybody in the history of the academy. He's a community leader, a volunteer, and yep, it doesn't get any better than Riel.

Which both depresses and irritates me. He does deserve the scholarship. Probably more than me.

But I really did work my ass off to get here. Grades. Extra classes. Study prep. I never half-assed a single assignment. Sure there's more I could've done, like Riel, but with school, working forty hours plus a week, and helping Momma with the twins, there were only so many things I had time for.

Winning the scholarship is my huge payoff for all my hard work. I'll do whatever it takes to keep it. Because this education is my ticket to freedom. To breaking the cycle no one ever thought my family would. To getting my momma and the twins out of the projects and into a better, safer place.

With that thought on my brain, I head out of my dorm and across the hot muggy campus, wondering when the infamous ocean breeze is supposed to kick in. I step into the administrative area and to the guidance office where I rap on my counselor's door.

"Come in," she calls.

I open the door. "Excu —" and my gaze goes from the counselor to the guy sitting in front of her desk. Riel. "Oh."

She smiles. "Viola, Riel and I were just talking about you."

My gaze immediately drops to the folder he has in his hand. VIOLA BURNETT is printed on the tab. Panic flashes through me. "Why are you looking at my folder? Is that allowed?" Surely, it's not.

"Yes," the counselor says. "He's your peer mentor. Given what happened with the scholarship mix-up, I tried to find you another, but the rosters are full."

But how? Why is he still here? I won the scholarship. Shouldn't he be gone? How is he paying for the enormous tuition of this place?

Riel stands then, and his height spurts intimidation through me, followed by a blaze of irritation at my own self. I'm done being intimidated by guys.

"Just getting to know you," he says, tapping the folder. "Seems you have quite the record."

He's going through my folder. What if he double-checks everything? He'll find inconsistencies. He could go to Dr. Williams. I might be pardoned for one fib, but not for two. I'll lose my scholarship. Riel will get it.

"Yes." I clear my throat and mentally go through everything I submitted in case he asks for details.

"As your peer mentor," the counselor says, "Riel recommends whether or not you be released from your probationary period."

I already know all of this. And, honestly, coming here, I didn't think it'd be a big deal. Then again, I didn't know who my peer mentor would be.

"Classes, studying, required tech crew, community hours." Riel lifts his brows. "Keeping this scholarship entails a lot." He huffs a laugh that holds no humor. "I should know."

I glance at the counselor. This is a major conflict of interest. But I don't say anything. I don't want to make any waves in my already precarious situation.

"It's Riel's job," the counselor says, "to be frank, honest, and firm with you. Every new student does a semester of probation. No exceptions."

I nod. "Yes, ma'am."

Riel props his hip on the counselor's desk and gives me a long study. "I know you probably think this is a conflict of interest — "

Bingo.

"But there's only six other mentors and their rosters are full. I'll be on the up-and-up about this, I promise you that. I've mentored a lot of students over the years, and I'll treat you just like I do them. I'll be watching you closely. Observing you. Checking up on your work. Anything less than the best and I can't recommend you be released from probation."

"Yes, I know," I say when all I really want to do is argue about this whole thing.

He holds up my folder. "I just started reviewing your files. Impressive."

I try not to let that go to my head. I can only imagine how hard it was for him to say that to me. "Thanks."

He motions to my jeans and tee. "Jeans aren't allowed on campus."

Embarrassment warms my face, and suddenly I'm propelled back to regular high school when the popular girls would tease me about my clothes. "Sorry," I mumble.

"You know to be in uniform when classes start? For you that would be your academy jacket and skirt."

"Yes." I push my glasses up my nose. "I know."

"Okay." Riel slides away from the counselor's desk and sits back down. "If you have any questions, come to me. That's part of my job."

Though he's being civil and very professional about all of this, Riel is the last person I'll go to. I plan on hovering far, far below his radar.

A few silent seconds slide by while he opens my folder and begins sifting through papers. I stand here, barely breathing, trying to see over his shoulder, wondering if there's anything in there other than what I submitted.

He glances up then, straight into my eyes. "Did you need something else?"

Shaking my head, I back up, and I let myself out the door.

I'll come back when he's not here and ask to see my file. Though I don't know what good that'll do since he's looking through it right now. At least I'll know for sure what he has and hasn't seen. At least I'll know what new truth I might have to come up with.

CHAPTER 3

That's where I go first thing in the morning, back to the guidance office to double-check my file. It's full of exactly what I submitted: transcripts, reference letters, miscellaneous things, and my fake essay, but nothing I myself didn't send in.

So with peace of mind for now, I set out for the rest of the day with the student tech crew, and eight hours later the day is gone.

"Remind me why I signed up for tech crew?" Sharon, the girl beside me bitches.

"Because it'll look good on your college apps." I drag my tired body across the polished tile and gleaming wood of the dorm hall. For me, the scholarship requires it.

"Right." Sharon yawns. "That. Do you realize we unboxed, set up, wired, and installed fifty computers today?"

"You counted?"

"Yeah, I counted. My body's screaming. Wish these dorms had bathtubs. I'd so be in one right now."

"And classes start first thing in the morning."

Sharon groans. "Don't remind me."

I let myself into my room. "See you later."

"Four Motrin, here I come."

I wave as I click my door closed. I don't think I've ever been so exhausted.

With the biggest sigh in history, I slip off my shoes and moan with pleasure. I glance across the tile floor to the empty twin bed that's supposed to belong to my roommate. Maybe she decided not to come.

Sitting on the floor, I stretch my legs toward the ceiling and prop them on the wall, like I've seen my momma do a million times after being on her feet all night.

Closing my eyes, I allow my mind to drift to my old life. Little ole Viola from that family. Well, I'd shown all of them, hadn't I? No one had expected me to actually win the scholarship. How many people had told me I wasn't good enough?

Too many.

But my momma and my good friend Levi had believed in me. So had my Algebra II teacher, Mrs. Nowicki. I smile. She's one of the ones who wrote me a recommendation letter to this place.

Levi. My smile gets bigger. I miss him. My ex-boyfriend, Manny, hated when I talked to Levi on the phone. In fact one time, Manny even forbade me to talk to Levi. I never really got it. It's like Manny was jealous or something. Then again, he'd done a lot of that over the year we'd dated — telling me where to go, what to do, and who I could and couldn't hang out with.

But I've never once thought of Levi in that way. We grew up together in the projects and were always more brother and sister than anything. Now, though, Levi plays keyboards for the indie group, Bus Stop. When he started making money, he moved his family into a beautiful home in one of the best neighborhoods in our hometown. That's what I want, too. I want to make good money and take care of my family.

I sigh again, wiggling my numb, cool toes, and rotating over, I reach for my phone. My ex no longer controls my life. I can talk to whomever I damn well please. Starting with Levi.

"Viola!" he yells on the second ring.

I laugh. "Hey!"

"Oh my God. I forget how crazy our hometown is."

"Oh, man. You're home?"

"Yeah, we got a break from the tour, so I came back here to check on everyone."

"I wish I was there."

"Me, too," he agrees. "I could use a Zesto run."

Zesto makes the best banana splits, and me and Levi have shared way too many of them over the years.

"You're not going to believe this," Levi says. "My little sister got pregnant by that stupid idiot she's been dating."

I roll my eyes. "Didn't I tell you?"

"Ugh. I can't stand him. And boy, oh boy, is Mom pissed."

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Watching You"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Shannon Greenland.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Watching You 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
THHernandez 10 months ago
4.5 out of 5 stars. I love a good romantic thriller, and so much the better if it’s also young adult. WATCHING YOU has everything I love — a tortured love interest, angsty romance, a deplorable antagonist, and buckets of suspense. Seventeen-year-old Viola lies on her application to get a scholarship at a prestigious prep school on her ultimate path to MIT. Or so she hopes. The problem is, her winning the scholarship means someone else lost out. That someone is uber hot, brooding Riel, the recipient the previous three years. Guilt and undeniable attraction wage a war within her as she wonders how Riel can continue to attend without the scholarship, and the more she learns about his situation, the guiltier she feels. When the inevitable romance heats up between these two, Viola knows her secrets will be her undoing, but she never counts on a stalker making her life dangerous as well as complicated. Plot This is probably more of a romance than a thriller, but the suspense is tightly woven throughout the romantic elements, creating a gripping story that moves from the opening scene to the intense climax and satisfying conclusion. The attraction between Viola and Riel is palpable from their first interaction, and while they may not know if or how to act on that attraction, it drives some of the best conflict throughout the book. The mystery of who is watching Viola is well-done, with lots of red herrings to choose from. I never did figure out who it was. The Characters At times, I found Viola to be a little too much. A little too good, a little too perfect. Other than lying on her application, which she had perfectly good reasons for, she has no real flaws, but her genuine friendship with Mar helped me overlook this aspect of her character. Riel, on the other hand, was a fascinating character. He was perfectly flawed in all the right ways and totally swoon-worthy. Top Five Things I Enjoyed About WATCHING YOU 1. Riel. Having married my own hot latin guy, I totally appreciate the appeal that is Riel. 2. Mar. Both spunky and adorable, Riel’s younger sister is easily my favorite character. 3. Angsty romance. My favorite kind. 4. Suspense. While more of a subplot, it had a way of driving the main plot forward and kept me turning pages. 5. Surprises. I love when an author can surprise me. I never did figure out who the stalker was until it was revealed in the closing chapters. Bottom Line Angsty teen romance meets suspense. Disclaimer I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
THHernandez 10 months ago
4.5 out of 5 stars. I love a good romantic thriller, and so much the better if it’s also young adult. WATCHING YOU has everything I love — a tortured love interest, angsty romance, a deplorable antagonist, and buckets of suspense. Seventeen-year-old Viola lies on her application to get a scholarship at a prestigious prep school on her ultimate path to MIT. Or so she hopes. The problem is, her winning the scholarship means someone else lost out. That someone is uber hot, brooding Riel, the recipient the previous three years. Guilt and undeniable attraction wage a war within her as she wonders how Riel can continue to attend without the scholarship, and the more she learns about his situation, the guiltier she feels. When the inevitable romance heats up between these two, Viola knows her secrets will be her undoing, but she never counts on a stalker making her life dangerous as well as complicated. Plot This is probably more of a romance than a thriller, but the suspense is tightly woven throughout the romantic elements, creating a gripping story that moves from the opening scene to the intense climax and satisfying conclusion. The attraction between Viola and Riel is palpable from their first interaction, and while they may not know if or how to act on that attraction, it drives some of the best conflict throughout the book. The mystery of who is watching Viola is well-done, with lots of red herrings to choose from. I never did figure out who it was. The Characters At times, I found Viola to be a little too much. A little too good, a little too perfect. Other than lying on her application, which she had perfectly good reasons for, she has no real flaws, but her genuine friendship with Mar helped me overlook this aspect of her character. Riel, on the other hand, was a fascinating character. He was perfectly flawed in all the right ways and totally swoon-worthy. Top Five Things I Enjoyed About WATCHING YOU 1. Riel. Having married my own hot latin guy, I totally appreciate the appeal that is Riel. 2. Mar. Both spunky and adorable, Riel’s younger sister is easily my favorite character. 3. Angsty romance. My favorite kind. 4. Suspense. While more of a subplot, it had a way of driving the main plot forward and kept me turning pages. 5. Surprises. I love when an author can surprise me. I never did figure out who the stalker was until it was revealed in the closing chapters. Bottom Line Angsty teen romance meets suspense. Disclaimer I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Splashesintobooks1 11 months ago
This is a contemporary young adult thriller set mainly in a prestigious private school in Florida. Viola would never have been able to afford to attend such an establishment and is only going there because she has been awarded a full scholarship. Unfortunately, part of the reason she won that award was that she lied in her application, striving to hide her less than salubrious upbringing. She sees this is a step on her way to get out of the poverty and make life better for her Mum and siblings. When she starts at the school she discovers that her award means that the person set to Mentor her no longer receives the award – and he comes from a somewhat similar background to her. The two are definitely attracted to each other but both try to deny this. Riel’s young sister is the catalyst to bring them together. However, someone is stalking Viola. The reader is shown the stalker’s thoughts and action but there are no clues as to their identity. Things are going missing. Viola keeps feeling like she’s being watched. Is she imagining things or is there deadly danger around the corner? This is a romantic suspense story with an intriguing plot but definitely has, for the most part, more romance than suspense. The motivations of the teens are well portrayed and most of their reactions seem very appropriate for their age group. There are the usual cliched groups in the school, especially the rich kids who look down on those less well off or not as entitled as them. It is an easy read with a touch of thriller and I enjoyed it, even though I’d have been even happier if the stalker’s motivations had been clearer. It is a delightful teen romance and I really liked both Viola and Riel as characters. I requested and was given a copy of this book, via NetGalley. This is my honest review of the book after choosing to read it.
thereadingchick 11 months ago
Viola was such a sympathetic character. She comes from a tough neighborhood, yet excels at school and has huge goals for herself. She wants to go to this exclusive private school and get into MIT so she can better herself and help her family. When the novel starts, we realize that even though she did get the scholarship that allowed her to get into private school, she may have not been quite as truthful as she should have to do it. We meet her love interest Riel almost immediately. When Viola realizes that he was the previous scholarship recipient we know that their future relationship may have a big conflict to overcome. Before we even have to worry about that though, strange and scary things start to happen to Viola. Is it her past catching up to her? Or is this a new threat? I thought the mystery was just as solid as the romance. I liked Riel a LOT. I wasn’t sure how they were going to overcome the whole I stole your scholarship plot line, but it definitely kept me reading. When it was apparent Viola had a stalker, I was totally surprised by who it was at the end. My only criticism was when the perspective changed at the beginning of each chapter to the stalker’s thoughts. It was cheesy and a little too dramatic? I think the book would’ve been just as good without those intro’s. I was given an ARC of this book for an honest review and I was honest!
BooksDirect 11 months ago
Viola begins her senior of high school on a full scholarship to the prestigious Ponce de Leon Academy, where she meets Riel, the previous holder of the scholarship. Viola is consumed by guilt because she lied about her family background in her application. Things become even more complicated when she realizes she’s attracted to Riel. On top of that, she has the feeling that someone is watching her. Who is the driver of the dark SUV that seems to be following her? Suspects abound. Could the stalker be Viola’s ex-boyfriend Manny, her estranged father, one of her mother’s many boyfriends, friendly Mr. Hamns, the bald deckhand who’s always wearing sunglasses, Riel’s estranged father, Riel himself, fellow student Peter, or even her frenemy Abbie? The story is told in the first person present tense by Viola and is interspersed with accounts by the “Stalker”, who has already killed one girl and is watching Viola’s every move. The short chapters and quick scene changes keep the story moving and heighten the suspense. There is also the added bonus of a budding romance between Viola and the oh-so-perfect Riel. Hard to put down. Warnings: violence, sexual references, coarse language, sex scenes, domestic abuse. I received this book in return for an honest review. Full blog post (6 July): https://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com/2018/07/watching-you-by-shannon-greenland.html
Holly 12 months ago
Holy Moly, was this a good read! Just reading the first chapter of this book, you knew that this was going to be a book that will keep you up all night and still thinking about it, long after finishing it! You can't help but to be on Viola's side from the very beginning for what she had to do in order to get into this very elite school. I don't condone lying on your application but just seeing what she was dealing with back home in Tennessee, you kinda get that she was just trying to provide a better future for herself and her family. Then, you have this hot guy named Riel pop up during a unexpected moment that turns into this competition that later ends up being a love story for both Viola and Riel. Having two characters dealing with some pretty hard stuff in their past and with Riel still having to shoulder the responsibility of caring for a younger sister while trying to better their lives, you can't help but to fall in love with Riel as well! It was that one moment in the book when the chapters turn into what the stalker is doing, you knew then that something bad is going to happen but you just don't know when that will be. Things will start getting weird to the point that you think you know who the stalker is but it's going to be someone much closer to both Viola and Riel that it's going to be a shocker for anyone reading this book. It's all going to come down to a fight for their life moment that will leave you glued to the pages until it's all over with! Then, only then will a happy ending will leave you with a smile on your face for what certain characters had to do in order to survive that got them to that point! If you are looking for a book with a love story mixed in with a thrilling twist, you need to read this book now!! Thank You to Shannon Greenland for this amazing story that left me speechless and wanting more at the same time!! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours! I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley!
RuthieJonesTX 12 months ago
Watching You by Shannon Greenland is an engaging Young Adult thriller packed with romance, revenge, and a mysterious stalker who is definitely beyond disturbed. Viola is dead set on getting a top-notch education at Ponce de Leon Academy in Florida and then MIT. And if she has to fib a little bit on her scholarship application to get into the Academy, then so be it. I like the backgrounds that the author has created for both Viola and Reil. They are academically intelligent and resourceful, but they aren't rich or pampered like most of the students at the Academy. Viola and Reil scrimp and work and struggle to achieve their dreams. Viola comes from a dysfunctional family, and Reil is basically raising his 11 year-old sister, Mar. When Viola falls hard for Reil, she includes a spot in her heart for his sister. The dynamics between the three are touching and sweet, albeit a bit idyllic. To offset that sweet romance, an all-around creeper is stalking Viola. If that isn't enough, Abbie, a rich girl with a chip on her shoulder, starts giving Viola jealousy-laden hell for spending so much time with Reil. It's quite the quandary because Abbie has connections (her rich daddy) and isn't above threatening Viola when she finds out she lied to get the Academy's scholarship. Viola just wants to get a good education and eventually a well-paying job to help her family, but she can't seem to stay out of the cross hairs of her enemies. Ultimately, this story is about pursuing your dreams in the face of hardships, owning up to your missteps and lies, determining who your true friends are, and loving your family despite their shortcomings. The pacing is super fast, as it should be for a thriller, and the mystery keeps getting mysterious until you are sucker-punched with a plot twist toward the end. It happens so suddenly, and then it's a speedy downhill ride to the finish. The Young Adult vibe is there, but a word of caution: While the relationship between Viola and Reil becomes sweet and romantic, a few titillating scenes may be a bit too steamy for the younger reader. Overall, this story is fun, with just enough mystery to keep you guessing and just enough action to keep you turning the page.
ReadingwithErin 12 months ago
Thank you to the publisher and Xpresso Book Tours for a free e-copy. Watching you is a thriller YA book that follows Viola on her journey to getting her family out of the situation they are currently in. To do this she first needs to go to a school in Florida for smart kids (which she is) and then she plans to go to MIT and get a great job! All sound like really great goals and like she has it all figured out. But of course, we have a few problems that happen due to admissions changing some requirements and her student advisor being someone who is just as smart as she is. Viola is a very likable character. She worries about things, studies and does just normal life things that tend to get left out in books. I did feel like she could have done more things at times to stay safe, or to let someone know what was going on. But I also kind of understand why she didn't. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book. I couldn't stop reading it and I wasn't able to figure out who it was until it was revealed! This is becoming a rare thing for me anymore as I've been reading so many mystery/thrillers recently. The whole mystery part of this book I really enjoyed, the stalker's point of view that we got to see every few chapters was extremely creepy and ominous that it really kept me interested in trying to figure out who it was. While I did have multiple suspects it was no one that had even been on my radar from the beginning. As for the romance part, I didn't mind it for the first half of the book it was always just on the back burner in my opinion. The farther into the book the more prominent it became and it took over basically in my opinion which was a little disappointing because it seemed at first like Viola was going to be flying solo until she got all of her education. I will say I am so so glad that we finally got a YA book where both of the people in the relationship are super smart and still have the same goals even after getting into a relationship they just want to work on them together! I also really liked how involved Viola and Riel were in his little sister's life. She was never made to feel like a burden and they worked around her schedule. In fact, Riel could be my new book boyfriend just because of how caring he was about his sister, and making sure he was there for Viola but didn't push any boundaries. If you want a lighter mystery/thriller book that has romance in it than this book is for you. I also do want to mention that this book does have a few scenes where sex is implied. It never gets graphic though and is just briefly mentioned.
Candace-LoveyDoveyBooks 12 months ago
I'm always excited to pick up a Shannon Greenland novel and Watching You was no exception! In this romantic suspense, young Viola is striving to rise above an unfortunate background by attending a prestigious school. Ponce de Leon Academy is the first of many steps on Viola's path to MIT, but the secrets she harbors could end her dream before it really begins. Now, not only does she live in fear of Riel discovering her lies, but a dangerous stalker is looking to take her out. Watching You is immediately intriguing because nothing is as it seems with both Viola and her peer mentor Riel. Though they start off on the wrong foot, over the course of the story they become great friends and that is one of the highlights that kept me reading into the night. I love Shannon's stories because they never fail to include intelligent, strong, young heroines who overcome adversity or personal challenges. Viola is definitely that and more! The suspense of the novel follows Viola from one scene to the next. Someone with evil intentions is dogging her every move and readers themselves can feel the tension rising from the pages. The conclusion of the story is surprising, but makes total sense when you go back over the clues dropped. Even when we're thrown off the scent of the true stalker, Shannon leads the story back to the point where there's no denying who is coming after Viola and why. Watching You is the story to dive into when you want a fun, dramatic YA read. If you loved Shadow of a Girl you'll definitely love this next read from Shannon Greenland! *ARC provided in consideration for review*
TheThoughtSpot 12 months ago
This story holds suspense, romance, mystery and a thrilling plot in its pages! Thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Watching You by Shannon Greenland. Viola is attending Ponce de Leon Academy because she’s been awarded a scholarship, a scholarship that someone else was relying on since he’s been the recipient for the past three years. Now Riel is a senior with no way to pay for school. Viola is grateful for the chance to attend the academy with its connection to MIT, where she’s dreamed of going as long as she can remember. She comes from a not-so-good background and she wants to change things and make everything better for her family. The story is told from Viola’s point of view with a creepy stalker speaking every so often. The pace picks up and the background is set, while the characters grow more interesting and intriguing. At first, Viola comes across as whiny, but the more I got to know her, the more I liked her and could understand her reasoning. I appreciate Viola’s perseverance and Riel’s strength and his dedication to his younger sister. The underlying message of how hard work and goals are important in becoming successful reminds readers that work ethic is a wonderful thing. This story holds suspense, romance, mystery and a thrilling plot in its pages, 4 stars! * I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.
BookwormforKids 12 months ago
Emotion, hopes, and dreams mix with increasing tension to create a thrilling ride, Viola can't believe that she's finally achieved her goal of gaining entrance as well as a scholarship to her dream school. Although her past and family are anything but many consider ideal, she now has a chance at a bright future as well as the possibility of bringing her mother and younger twin sisters out of a less than pleasant life. But this sudden golden chance starts to tarnish. Not only does she meet Riel, a hot, super nice guy who she 'took' the scholarship from but discovers that hiding the lies she told to get the scholarship might not stay hidden. Jealousy, prejudice and an ever lurking chill as if someone is following her bring darker shadows than she suspected. This is one of those reads which grabs at the beginning and digs in its claws the deeper the tale goes. Viola is exactly the kind of heroine to cheer for. She carries tons of baggage but refuses to let it block her future. Determination drips from her character even though she still is a little hesitant and unsure of herself. She holds secrets, but her lies are easy forgiven since she has a heart of gold. The hero slides right into place with her, carrying all the tension, desire, confusion and appeal a hero should. Mix in colorful friends and possible enemies, and the personality plate is full. The scene of a rich school has its moments of cliche but it works out well. Viola's life and the moments she experiences come across clear and believable. Florida takes on its sunny shine and leaves beach dreams. The interactions, concerns and decisions the characters make are understandable. The author does a great job of building the relationships in many directions and bringing them to a personal level. This makes it easy to fall into the characters and get lost in their worlds. As the tension builds, it's no problem to fear for them and cheer them on. Especially Mar adds a nice touch. A careful web is woven to make it difficult to see who the real 'bad guy' is. Clues are dropped here and there, some more clear cut than others. For the most part, it keeps the reader guessing until the very end. The last scenes hold enough tension to make the breath catch, and the ending rounds everything off nicely and makes sure to tighten most loose ends. This is a great read for fans of high school drama, diverse reads, heroines from difficult backgrounds, romance, and, of course, reads which keep the danger increasing until the very end. I'm giving this 4.5 stars and rounding up. I received a complimentary copy and loved it so much that I'm leaving my honest thoughts.
Danii_045 12 months ago
The romance in Watching you was really good but I was a little disappointed when I found out who the stalker was. I'm all about romance and so for me, this book was really good. I'm going to try and explain without giving too much away. Viola has a secret. She wants to attend MIT more than anything. She applies for a scholarship at a top high school but she may have fabricated her admissions essay. She isn't rich but works hard to maintain good grades. Riel has held the scholarship position for most of his high school years but unfortunately this year they have to give it to someone else. His circumstances are less than perfect but he has his sister who he loves dearly. The pair are cut from the same cloth. They have so much in common and fight for what they want. Viola comes from a family with troubles. Her sister is an addict, her mother pays the bills by stripping and her ex-boyfriend has a criminal record. Her record isn't squeaky clean either. Viola wants to show the world she can be so much more and her past won't hold her down. The stalker adds a creepy edge to this story which I liked. Someone has it in for Viola. We know she isn't perfect but she's a great character. She's loveable and kind but her stalker doesn't agree. My problem with this story is the fact I was waiting for a deeper meaning and there wasn't one. I really liked the flow of this book and enjoyed the ride. 4 stars out of 5. This would have been 5 if the stalker had a greater reason. The book kept me interested from beginning to end. *Adult content UK 16 plus *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Danii_045 12 months ago
The romance in Watching you was really good but I was a little disappointed when I found out who the stalker was. I'm all about romance and so for me, this book was really good. I'm going to try and explain without giving too much away. Viola has a secret. She wants to attend MIT more than anything. She applies for a scholarship at a top high school but she may have fabricated her admissions essay. She isn't rich but works hard to maintain good grades. Riel has held the scholarship position for most of his high school years but unfortunately this year they have to give it to someone else. His circumstances are less than perfect but he has his sister who he loves dearly. The pair are cut from the same cloth. They have so much in common and fight for what they want. Viola comes from a family with troubles. Her sister is an addict, her mother pays the bills by stripping and her ex-boyfriend has a criminal record. Her record isn't squeaky clean either. Viola wants to show the world she can be so much more and her past won't hold her down. The stalker adds a creepy edge to this story which I liked. Someone has it in for Viola. We know she isn't perfect but she's a great character. She's loveable and kind but her stalker doesn't agree. My problem with this story is the fact I was waiting for a deeper meaning and there wasn't one. I really liked the flow of this book and enjoyed the ride. 4 stars out of 5. This would have been 5 if the stalker had a greater reason. The book kept me interested from beginning to end. *Adult content UK 16 plus *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
K_P_Knupp 12 months ago
Watching You has great values with more STEM main characters, and stays intense with suspense as you navigate through the story. Stalking is scary no matter how severe and it happens to young women a lot. Viola is brave and strong as she navigates dangerous waters. A bit of romance while still keeping values and goals at the forefront. This book is everything you could hope for! Bravery, suspense, romance, and insight into the stalkers mind. You’ll be questioning EVERYONE, but will you/can you guess correctly? S.E. Green/ Shannon Greenland brings her A game to every novel. You won’t be disappointed!