Title: When No One is Watching
Author: Alyssa Cole
About the book: It’s a standalone that follows Sydney Green who lives in Brooklyn, but her neighbourhood is changing and people are disappearing. As she works on a walking tour with her new neighbour Theo, they learn that the gentrification of their community might be more sinister than anyone realizes.
First impressions: The title, cover, and premise made me curious, so I was looking forward to seeing what would happen. I feel like the pacing is slower at the start, but it picks up as the story unfolds.
Characters: The main protagonists are Sydney and Theo. I wasn’t invested in them right away, but they grew on me. Both characters have their own problems from the past that they work through individually and together. I enjoyed the conversations they had with each other.
“Not thinking too deeply before I act has led me down some pretty bizarre paths in life.”
Writing: It’s almost 350 pages with longer chapters that alternate between the perspectives of Sydney and Theo. The language and themes are mature, so the book is more suitable for an adult audience instead of young readers. Cole explores issues such as racism, class, and inequality in an eye-opening and thought-provoking way.
Final thoughts: A lot of events happen at the end. I liked the ending more than the beginning of this novel because it was more interesting. If you’re looking for an eerie thriller about gentrification and revitalization, check out When No One is Watching.