Someone Is Watching You by Tess James-Mackey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 8 hours
Pages - 320
Publisher - Hodder Children's books
Source - Vine
Blurb from Goodreads
An abandoned prison. A deadly game. How far would you go for a dare?
Nia would do anything to win the approval of her boyfriend Scott and his friends, especially mean girl Olivia. When Olivia dares Nia to explore an abandoned prison, she sees it as the perfect opportunity to prove herself. Facing dark tunnels, distant noises and creepy mementoes left behind by incarcerated criminals will surely all be worth it.
But it isn't long before Nia and her little sister, Kayla, find themselves trapped inside. And then Kayla vanishes.
Suddenly, this feels like more than a game gone wrong. Someone is hellbent on making Nia and Kayla the prison's last inmates ...
An utterly compelling, terrifying thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat, from remarkable new author Tess James-Mackey.
This is my first time reading this author but when I seen abandoned prison I was in, I love abandoned buildings! This however is an abandoned prison now lightly converted into a kids soft play type area. Much of the prison is of course off limits and some of it in states of crumbling disrepair. Meet Nia, she has a new boyfriend and group of friends, they are the year above so Nia could not believe her luck when Scott not only noticed her but is now hers! Being a tiny bit older (Nia is fifteen) and they are all still in school so Nia is doubly desperate to be accepted. The gang is led by Olivia who is one of those mean popular girls the group all pander to and Nia is determined to keep her man. Ah to be fifteen again eh! Nia is raging at her wee sister Kayla as she got Nia busted for a home party & now she is at soft play in the prison keeping mum and little sister company and her friends are keeping tabs via messaging.
Oh I wouldn't want to be fifteen again and certainly no in this wee group of frenemies, they always play dares as per Olivia and Nia feels hers is always worse. Anyways back to the prison, it is run down and when she gets dared to check it out Nia will not back down. Of course the wean wants to follow her and then goes missing and that is when things really kick off. For being young adult and the main characters teens the author does a great job creating creepy and tense atmosphere. The Whatsapp messages and goading/clipped and nippy messages takes you right back to your younger years regardless of your age or your social circle at the age.
The characters aren't really likeable and I think that self centred manipulation was captured well and sets up for all that follows, I felt so sorry for the wee sister who just wants her older sister to like and be with her.
I loved the exploration of the prison, I was having flashes to The Walking Dead programme so built quite an effective picture. The book features some adult themes (not in large measures), manipulation, control, coercion, toxic relationships, peer pressure to name a few. I think the thing that really gave a kick was the author has actually went to a soft play that was in an old prison, I would LOVE to visit. This was my first dance with this author, it won't be my last 4/5 for me this time.
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