J. Greene's Reviews > When No One is Watching

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole
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really liked it

I wasn't sure what to expect, but I can honestly say I think it was less about the thrill of the scare and more about the fright of the story the book is telling. When I came back to NYC to finish my undergraduate degree, I saw the effects of gentrification. I wrote a paper for a journalism class on the subject of gentrification because the effects it had on black and brown neighborhoods overwhelmed me. For example in, Harlem, where I was born and spent a lot of my free time. Instead of seeing the small mom and pop stores where I would buy my most fly gear, those same stores were replaced with stores I would typically have to go further downtown to find. It was like watching a train wreck that I couldn't stop or turn away from. When No One is Watching tells that very story in an eerily, realistic, thrilling way.

Sydney was relatable. She practically leaped off the pages, and she set the tone for the entire story. Everything that happened around her felt disheartening yet ominous. I felt an overwhelming sense of anxiety reading the story, all the while worrying about what would and did wind up happening to Sydney. That was the thrill. Not the blood and gore, not the whodunit, but watching everything happen in painstaking realistic, racist detail.

Considering Cole isn't a thriller writer, her foray into the genre is well done. It had the makings of a thriller, but with the romantic elements, we expect from the author. The "romance" in the story played into and furthered the plot. The twists were unexpected and made for a more exciting story. I had a good time with this despite the moments of anger I felt towards what I'll call the "villains" of the story.

The writing is beautiful, and the story was exciting. As a debut thriller writer, I was pleased and would be eager to see Cole do more in this genre. I loved the premise and the execution of the concept. When No One is Watching is a gripping, exhilarating tale that shines a light on the painful effects of racism on housing and in general.





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Reading Progress

July 1, 2020 – Shelved (ebook Edition)
July 1, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read (ebook Edition)
August 17, 2020 – Started Reading
August 17, 2020 – Shelved
August 17, 2020 –
page 81
22.01% "I'm pre-shooketh. I feel it in my bones, something is about to go down."
August 17, 2020 –
page 126
34.24%
August 18, 2020 –
page 182
49.46%
August 18, 2020 –
page 212
57.61% "I’m getting ready to snatch this fictional man from these pages. #triggered"
August 18, 2020 –
page 238
64.67% "😲😲😲"
August 18, 2020 –
page 254
69.02%
August 19, 2020 –
page 328
89.13%
August 19, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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Carole Bell I loved it. Beyond the excellent treatment of the central subject, I was fascinated by how Cole both included a romantic storyline and yet totally strayed from romance conventions in the male love interest. I don’t think this guy would fly in any other context. But here he totally worked.


message 2: by J. (new) - added it

J. Greene Carole wrote: "I loved it. Beyond the excellent treatment of the central subject, I was fascinated by how Cole both included a romantic storyline and yet totally strayed from romance conventions in the male love ..."

Agreed.


Carole Bell I'm really excited. I got to do a q and a with her about this book by email for BookPage. That comes out soon.


message 4: by J. (new) - added it

J. Greene Carole wrote: "I'm really excited. I got to do a q and a with her about this book by email for BookPage. That comes out soon."

Nice! Congrats.


Carole Bell Jazmen wrote: "Carole wrote: "I'm really excited. I got to do a q and a with her about this book by email for BookPage. That comes out soon."

Nice! Congrats."


Thank you! 🙏


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