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Watch You Burn

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  274 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Jenny didn't want to move to the creepy, possibly haunted town with her dad. But the cops are on to her, and the only way she can protect herself is by moving as far away from her hometown as possible and staying out of trouble.

But even after she moves, Jenny still gets the itch. The itch to light a match and then watch it burn.

It's something she hasn't been able to stop,
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 23rd 2018 by Delacorte Press
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Average rating 3.38  · 
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 ·  274 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Watch You Burn by Amanda Searcy is a young adult thriller about a young arsonist. Jenny has moved to be with her father to hopefully start anew and avoid an arson investigation back in Ohio where her mother and stepfather live.

Jenny’s father is in the process of renovating an old roadside motel and turning it into an upscale tourist attraction when finished so when Jenny arrives she gets her own luxurious suite. It doesn’t take long though for that urge for fire to return to Jenny even in her ne
Dec 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, read-in-2018
DNF on page 141

I loved this cover and the synopsis hinted at an unreliable narrator and I was all in. Sadly, I was pretty disappointed.

I think I liked Jenny? She wants to be a good person, but she’s a pyromaniac and that controls everything. She self-harms, lies, and steals — and that’s just in what I read. There are several guys, but I don’t know who is supposed to be the love interest as they’re all a little creepy. There are a few other characters, but no one stood out.

Plot wise, it was bor
Sep 09, 2018 added it
Shelves: contemp, dnf, netgalley
DNF @ 30%

I really tried with this one. This girl, right here, used to be the DNF Queen. I would pick up books left and right, and if they weren't to my liking, I would fling them to the wind, usually giving them a little jazz hand wave as they flew away. But but but I had reformed! It's been ages since this princess did her Miss America hand flutter. I had found something like, book commitment?? But this book came along and I was lost.

Pros: there were interesting moments. The writing was easy e
Mar 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
I have no idea what this book is about. At all.

Nothing about the plot, the characters, or even the twist is worthy of mentioning. Oh, wait, in fact, there's only one special feeling I've never experienced when reading this book and that is: my very first time being so incredibly, unbelievably, amazingly oblivious towards everything happening in Jenny's story. Truth be told, Watch You Burn is definitely the most uneventful story I've ever came across throughout my bookish life so far and I'm seri
By the time I picked up this book, there were already a bunch of low reviews on Goodreads. Still, I did not let that discourage me. I went into this with high hopes and fully willing to love it. And for a moment, I think I almost did. The beginning was interesting, despite the writing style which simply wasn't for me. I was curious to see where the book was going to so. Sadly, it went downhill soon for me.

Jenny is an unreliable narrator, which I love. But, she's full of terrible, illogical decis
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Who is Jenny?
Arsonist or victim?
Friend or foe?
Honest or a liar?
Sane or insane?

You may not know until the very last sentence of WATCH YOU BURN. Amanda Searcy is back with her second consecutive home run in this psychological thriller.

Jenny tells us she wants to do better from whatever (presumably arson) incident had her moving from her mother’s home in Ohio to her mostly absentee father’s place in New Mexico. They live in a motel he’s converting from a seedy flophouse to a luxurious place to stay
Ashley Gallegos
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was OUTSTANDING! I’ve seen a few people say that they didn’t finish it and I have to assume they are Amanda Searcy virgins! This author is a master of the plot! Just when she lulls you into feeling a certain way about the book, she pulls the rug out from under you and completely changes the rules! Absolutely NOTHING turned out how I thought it would and I ALWAYS guess the ending! I couldn’t put it down!
Tracy (The Pages In-Between)
Ehh... Full review to follow soon.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amanda Searcy is back with a new novel. Watch You Burn is about Jenny, a teen that can't seem to stop the itch to make things burn. She is sent to live with her dad as he rebuilds a dilapidated motel into a fancy roadside motel. There she meets two new friends and a potential love interest. She still can't stop her urge to play with fire and trouble and murders seem to follow her. You'll have to read the book to find out what happens.

Overall, I really liked this book. I had seen some so-so revie
Paige Green
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received this book from Delacorte Press and Rockstar Book Tours. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Rating: 4/5

Publication Date: October 23, 2018

Genre: YA Mystery

Recommended Age: 14+ (arson, violence, lots of fire, mystery)

Pages: 352

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Jenny didn't want to move to the creepy, possibly haunted town with her dad. But the cops are on to her, and the only way she can protect herself is by moving as far away from her hometown as possible and staying out of trouble.

But eve
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was the perfect book to keep me entertained during jury duty. There’s just enough mystery and suspense to keep me hooked and I didn’t mind being caught up reading for hours.

I loved the atmosphere. New Mexico doesn’t really make an appearance in many YA books so it was fun to see a tiny reflection of the world I’ve grown up in. I live in the biggest city in the state and the story takes place in a fictional small town but the FEELING is there. It feels like New Mexico.

Once again, Searcy crea
Amy Giles
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Searcy is a master at keeping you guessing up until the very end. Fleshed out characters each with their own flaws round out this suspenseful story. I inhaled Watch You Burn, desperate to know how it would end!
Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)
Oct 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: blog-tour
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Normally, I'm not a paranoid person, but I was suspicious of everyone and everything in Watch You Burn. Jenny's actions made me feel anxious and unsettled, and she frequently chooses to be reckless. I wish she had refrained from taking unnecessary risks, but it did move the story along. She's struggling
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, brilliant
Jenny leaves Ohio to move in with her dad in Arizona attempting to get herself off the police’s radar as they pursue an arson investigation. Her dad’s construction company is renovating an abandoned and dilapidated hotel into a shiny, updated new one to bring in more tourists to this tiny town. Jenny lives in one of the refurbished rooms with luxury features, but even her new lifestyle and starting at a prep school can’t suffice her cravings to start fires.

Making new friends and acquiring a boyf
Brittany Lamb
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
*3.25 stars

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for sending me a free advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review. 

This is a harder one to really put my feelings into words for. I'd say for about the first 40%, I was really bored. I honestly considered giving up on this and just marking it as a DNF. But, I held out, and it did pick up, so I'm glad I did.

Right from the beginning I was excited to have a main character who is one of the bad guys. There is a lot going on here, so she
Callie Blair
Dec 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angie Crabtree-Liezel and Angie's Book Blog
Watch You Burn has a lot of potential. It’s about a girl named Jenny who’s an arsonist. Her and her dad move to a new town and Jenny thinks this is her way of starting over. Starting fresh. She thinks if she burns things that are non relevant that everything will be ok. But she’s wrong.

I really liked the first half of this book. It was a great read. Suspenseful. An unreliable character but someone you liked. Then I don’t know what happened.

The writing took a turn for the worse. There were thin
Mrs. Europaea
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Aside from the twist at the end, the writing left a lot to be desired.

I don't know if Searcy has ever used matches before, but by the way she describes it, I'd think not.
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Warnings: self-harm, arson, discussion of substance abuse

Watch You Burn is a psychological thriller mixed with a murder mystery. Jenny has an undiagnosed compulsive tendency to set fires, and she has been exiled by her stepfather to stay with her father so that she doesn't harm her younger half sister. Here, no one knows her past, really, and she is trying to be better, only the 'itch' to be scratched in less harmful ways. However, soon, her actions are about to throw the town into conflict, as
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This book kept me turning the pages, when I had time. This was probably the first book I've ever truly been engrossed in! This is an amazing read on my opinion! ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Watch You Burn by Amanda Searcy, 340 pages. Delacorte Press (Random House Children’s Books), 2018. $17.99

Language: R (35 swears, 0 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG13



Exile for Jenny looks like a motel under construction with her dad and his girlfriend. Jenny’s stepdad didn’t want her in Ohio anymore, which she understands. But she’s going to do better now. She’s not going to let the burn take over her anymore. Not here.

I did not enjoy read
First off I want to thank NetGalley and Delacorte Press for allowing me to read an advance copy of this novel for a full and honest review.

This was a 3.5 stars read for me. This was my first Amanda Searcy book and I did enjoy it quite a bit. The novel had the feel of the old school YA mystery/thrillers that I used to and in reality still do really enjoy reading. It had the feel of Christopher Pike or R.L. Stine (Not Goosebumps R.L. Stine but the YA version). The novel begins with Jenny arriving
Watch You Burn by Amanda Searcy is a solid addition to your YA mystery/thriller shelf. A "I-need-to-know-more" read, the mystery will keep you turning the page, as you learn about Jenny's pyromania and unravel who the real villain is!

Jenny is too close to an arson case in her hometown, so to lay low, she is sent to live with a father she hasn't seen most of her life. With that move, also comes a fresh start. But is she even willing to give that fresh start a chance? The reader soon finds out, th
"I rub at the puckered, melted skin that runs in a line from my shoulder to my elbow. It itches. it's an itch that my nails can't scratch, no matter how deeply I drive them into my skin. An itch that starts in my arms, runs down my chest, and plants itself in my heart."

Jenny, 17, has just moved from Ohio to New Mexico to live with her dad. Her little half-sister Hailey had accidentally set the kitchen on fire and Jenny just froze. Half of her was scared of the fire but the other half of her was
Oct 23, 2018 rated it liked it

This was a really interesting read. There are tons of mysterious circumstances scattered through the plot that constantly made had me trying to piece them together.

We follow a main character who has had a pretty traumatic history surrounding fires which quickly turned into her obsession. And it took me about halfway through the book to figure out what was going on. She's now living with her father, who she hasn't seen in years, which in and of itself is unique. She's literally living in a fantas
blok sera szwajcarskiego
That tiny voice in your head, whispering 'do it', called l'appel du vide.
How many times have you heard it?
How many times have you actually listened to it?

A lot people struggles with it. Jenny is one of them.

But instead of heights, her struggle is fire.

The story is really interesting - girl with ashes in her past, mysterious inhabitants from small city somewhere in New Mexico, irresistible desire to burn.
Personally I think it would be much better without last 10 pages. The closer to the end the m
I loved the title and the cover of this YA thriller. As a couple of other reviewers wrote, this one starts out strong, but somewhere along the line, things go awry, and the narrator, 17-year-old Jenny seems to lose all control just as the author seems to lose control of the plot. I was fascinated by the idea of a teen girl who has been shipped to a small New Mexico town to avoid possible suspicion and arrest for fires started in her Ohio neighborhood. But as the book moves along, it's clear that ...more
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arcs, thriller, 2018-reads
It’s sad when a mystery/thriller set around fires leaves me feeling cold.

“Watch You Burn” sees Jenny relocated to Arizona following a suspicious fire back home in Ohio and it doesn’t take long for her to give in to her urges and start lighting matches again. When she makes friends with some new people in town she finds that her secret isn’t the only one out there causing problems for those who wish they’d stay hidden and if she’s not careful she might end up getting burned.

First off sorry for
Chrissie Morrison
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Poor Jenny was in a terrible accident when she was only 7 years old. While she was at a sleepover, the house caught fire... and she was the only one to survive. Ever since then, her mom and step-father have done everything they could to keep her away from anything having to do with flames so that they could avoid exposing her to any further trauma.  It's just too bad they couldn't do anything to change Jenny's mental fixation on fire.  Every once in a while, when the scar on her arm began to itc ...more
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Amanda Searcy has a BA from New Mexico State University and an MA in human rights from the University of Essex in England. She works in collection development for a public library system and loves chocolate, cats, and curling up with a good book. She lives in New Mexico.

Visit her online at and follow her on Twitter at @aesearcy.

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