Always Watching begins with Shaley O'Connor traveling on tour with her mother's band, Rayne, and looking forward to a visit from her best friend, Brit...moreAlways Watching begins with Shaley O'Connor traveling on tour with her mother's band, Rayne, and looking forward to a visit from her best friend, Brittany. Then everything is turned upside down. Tom, her mother's makeup artist and Shaley's closet friend on tour, has been murdered.
I really enjoyed story. The tour setting was something new and fun. It's rooted in reality, but something outside the every day norm. I also enjoyed that the story revolves around Shaley, who is the daughter of a celebrity and has become something of a celebrity by proxy, rather than a celebrity herself. Given her unusual lifestyle, I found her to be pretty grounded. There were the bratty moments that are to be expected of a teenager, both due to the amount of stress and shock she's experienced and also because of feelings of jealousy/resentment toward her mother's career.
I enjoyed the plot. It was very fast-paced, taking place over the course of only a few days. It never felt like it lagged along because there was something always happening. I also liked the switch off from Shaley's point of view to seeing through the eyes of a killer. I also thought that the reveal of the killer was pretty good too. There were a lot of players mentioned throughout the story, and I didn't feel like any one person stood out at the obvious culprit.
As this is the first book in the series, there was some set up for the next book; namely the mystery of Shaley's dad. I'm intrigued to see how that pans out since Rayne, Shaley's mother, doesn't like to talk about him while Shaley longs to know more about the man she's never met.
However, I did have a few issues with the book. The first being that Tom is killed so early in the book, and though Shaley's grief is clear, I would have liked to have learned more about him. Also, we discover some things about Tom after he's been murdered that I found to be rather creepy. At first, I wondered if it was true, or if it was a distraction tactic by the killer, but later it seems to be confirmed to be true. Considering that, I feel like there should have been a bigger reaction on, at least, Shaley's part.
I also didn't care for the shopping the day after Tom's murder. I'm sure it was meant to help take her mind off of what was happening, but it just felt really insensitive since she claimed to care so much for her friend.
I'm also somewhat confused as to why this book is considered Christian Fiction. I have no problem with the genre itself, but it feels like a bit of a stretch to label a novel Christian Fiction just because one religious character discusses her faith in God and says some prayers. Perhaps, more will come of it later, which is fine, but, instead of really adding to the story, those scenes actually seemed somewhat contrived.
Overall, though, this was a quick, enjoyable mystery, and I'm looking forward to reading more of the series very soon.(less)
After reading and enjoying Always Watching, I had high hopes for Last Breath, despite initially enjoying the story, I had some issues with staying int...moreAfter reading and enjoying Always Watching, I had high hopes for Last Breath, despite initially enjoying the story, I had some issues with staying interested.
Last Breath picks up right where Always Watching left off, and like the first book, it is a fast paced. Even though I didn't enjoy the story line quite as much as with the first book, I did like that Last Breath moves away from just the Shaley and the "unknown" POVs. In this book, the story includes flashbacks to Rayne's younger days, including when she met Shaley's father and tells the story of what happened to him.
I wanted to enjoy the story more than I did, but I have to admit that I did quite a bit of skimming. I may come back to this book in the future and try again because the fault my lie with my mood, rather than an issue with the book itself.(less)