YA Review: WATCHED by Cindy M. Hogan

I recently got this book free for my kindle as it was on sale. WATCHED is a YA suspense novel, telling the story of 15-year-old Christy, who wins a scholarship for a trip to D.C. While there, Christy and her friends witness terrorist activity, and the story becomes a big chase and escape until the end (when we discover that this is the first book in a trilogy).

Here’s the thing: I probably would have loved this book when I was 13. Christy is a smart girl, supposedly quite brilliant, but she is socially awkward. She has two boys attracted to her, for the first time in her life. She is trying to shake off her “really smart and not rich”  persona to blend with her new friends. All the time, however, scary terrorists are looking for her and her friends and the FBI is protecting her. I would have lapped this up as a young teen!

To be honest, in the here and now I found Christy’s story rather boring and far-fetched. Christy’s angst over which boy to like went on for so long that it dragged the book down and bored me. There was a great deal of time and space devoted to “I can’t date until I’m 16 and that’s not until next month. How do I handle my emotions? What shall I do? What shall I do???” The whole terrorist/FBI piece was unbelievable and too incredible to be plausible. Personally, as a parent of two children, if my minor children were involved with terrorist plots etc etc while on an educational trip to DC and I was never told about it or notified?? Well, you get my point. The fact that this is book one in a trilogy made the reading feel prolonged, in my opinion; and I have a personal pet peeve about lack of resolution at the end of a book.

So I finished the book (thus the review), which is a good thing (if I really dislike a book I don’t finish it, and thus don’t review it), but I was rather disappointed. I think my younger self, though, would have looked past the shortcomings I found and enjoyed Christy’s story.

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