Watched by C. J. Lyons is a young adult thriller which will be enjoyed by adults as well. It takes a look at current problems that faces society, cyber bullying and computer hijacking, and examines them in a very frightening way.
Jesse is being blackmailed by a super hacker known as King. Jesse has had to do things that he is not proud of in order to protect his family. As the terrible acts that he is being forced to do become increasing horrifying, Jesse does not know what to do. He needs to find a way out, but he feels that there is no escape. And then a note arrives saying “I can help” and Jesse does not feel so alone. With the help of Miranda, another teen who has been going through the same horrors, the two decide to bring King down, no matter how difficult that is.
The author does not sugar-coat the problems and at times the book is a little tough to read. It is hard to imagine going through some of the things that the teens had to deal with as an adult, let alone as a young adult. Although this is a work of fiction, sadly some of these issues are probably faced by people in their lives. The author seems to have first hand knowledge of the subject matter and deals with it realistically. She portrays the fears and anxieties of the victims in a way that everyone can relate to.
There is a lot of suspense and tension in this book and the author does a superb job of portraying these just with her choice of words. The tension just continues to build and at times I was scared to keep reading because I did not know what was going to happen. The characters are well developed and I found myself worrying about them and wanting to help them myself. Jesse and Miranda are flawed and experience many of the same emotions that we all experience. They were scared and angry and feeling hopeless through much of the book. But they also were able to find inner strength and determination to put up a good fight.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-crafted suspense. Anyone who is involved with the digital world, and I would guess that is most of us, should read this book to be reminded of the of the dangers of the cyber world. I will now be more aware and more cautious when dealing with cyberspace.
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. I would like to thank NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to read and review Watched.