Title: Watch Over Me
Author: Tara Sivec
Rating: 5/5 stars
“Due to heavy subject matter, this book is recommended for ages 17+.
From the USA Today Best Selling Author of A Beautiful Lie.
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?” (description from Goodreads)
It’s been quite a long time since a book has blown me away like Watch Over Me has done. I’m a big fan of Tara Sivec’s writing, but before now, I’ve only read her comedy and (meant in the nicest way) borderline obnoxious use of crude language. Last year I tackled her Chocolate Lovers series. They’re hilarious, light reads. Watch Over Me is not like them at all, aside from the fact that Sivec shows her ability to write a great book, yet again. Being the polar opposite of previous Sivec books, this novel packed an emotional punch with each new scene, and I may have underestimated it at first glance.
Some of the best things about this book were the well-developed characters, believable plot, and slow, non-forced romance. Addison is a broken young woman trying to get through each day. The way she is written makes the reader feel everything she feels, to sympathize with her, but also to realize when she’s being stupid. It’s all displayed and she doesn’t even deny that she has issues. It was great to see a character who wasn’t trying to hide, from the reader, behind a mask of anger or an act, to cover up what she was going through. It wasn’t at all hidden to build to a big reveal later in the book. This was also helpful in going through the story. She let’s us into each interaction, each milestone in her path to recovery.
I also liked how, while there’s a romance in this book, I didn’t see it coming for the first chunk of the book. And once Zander shows up, there’s no guarantee if he’ll be a permanent character or not. There’s no insta-love, there’s no predictable personality either. Zander is just Zander.
It’s all written in such an honest, no-nonsense way. I couldn’t help by to be drawn into the book. It gripped me early on and didn’t let me go…and still hasn’t. Seeing this type of serious writing from an author who (up until now) is normally trying to make the reader die laughing, gives me even more respect for what she writes. Some authors can write one type of book, and do so in great ways. Others can write many different types, but not really write an amazing book in any. Sivec has shown me her diversity in evoking the emotions of a reader, her diversity of genre, and an adaptive writing style.
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About the Author:
Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short-order cook, baby-sitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when they all three of them become adults and move out.
After working in the brokerage business for fourteen years, Tara decided to pick up a pen and write instead of shoving it in her eye out of boredom. She is the author of the Playing with Fire series and the Chocolate Lovers series. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book.
In her spare time, Tara loves to dream about all of the baking she’ll do and naps she’ll take when she ever gets spare time.
Tara also writes under the pen name T.E. Sivec.
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