Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Author Spotlight: From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM

Shannon Grogan is a second grade teacher who writes at night (and while her kids are at ballet and baseball) in a small logging town east of Seattle. She holds degrees in education, and graphic design/Illustration. When she isn’t writing, she's baking, reading, watching scary movies, and wishing she were at the beach. You can find out more about her online at www.shannongrogan.com

Title: From Where I Watch You
Author: Shannon Grogan
Publisher: SoHo Teen
Publication: August 4th 2015
Cover Rating: 5/5

Oh, man. This book... From Where I Watch You was not AT ALL what I expected it to be and I think the author was aiming for that. Within the first 15 pages you get a holy roller, dead sister, horrible friends, 

Kara. Dear lord, Kara. That girl went through hell. Literal hell. I won't say anything that went on but I definitely didn't expect all of it from a book I thought was going to be a light read about a girl who had a dream of becoming a pastry chef. Romance, yeah, sure. But romance plus everything else I got? Nope... There were times when I wanted to smack her though. The weed thing for one. Then the way she was towards Charlie. UGH, girl! She was very naive and I think the story would have turned out differently had she been okay with Charlie from the first snowflake inspired kiss. 

Charlie was so cute and VERY patient. 99.9% of guys would have said screw you, Kara and left to find an easier target. But with that being said... Hayden 'liked' her too. Maybe if she had been a bit easier to talk to or not so secretive she might not have ended up where she did. Not saying it's her fault but her personality obviously attracted two guys. Two extremely different guys, but two guys nonetheless. Charlie's personality is also how I knew he wasn't THE guy who did the crap to Kara.

GOD. Kara's mother, Meg, was such a horrible Holy Roller. She treated her customers, complete strangers, with such kindness and compassion but she treated Kara like she was the scum of the earth. Most parents WANT their child to succeed in life. It seemed like Meg only wanted Kara to fail and end up in the same town with no future except "the lords plan" that Meg apparently knows sooo much about. At the end she sort of becomes a mother again but she didn't redeem herself in my eyes, not yet, at least. 

I am still trying to decide how I feel about Noelle. She was a good friend sometimes but other times she was terrible. And she obviously wasn't good enough to make Kara feel she was reliable enough to tell her secrets to. I feel like Noelle was kind of a replacement for Kellen. She had a lot of the same personality traits and treated Kara badly most of the time. 

I liked the who cookie contest that the book revolved around. The fact that Kara actually had a passion about something should have been enough for her mother to accept it. Considering Kara had such a terrible time as a kid finding her place in the world. Her mother should have LOVED and helped Kara's passion flourish. Instead she tried to put out the flame and put down her daughter for her passion. But Meg has noooo problem at all using Kara's baking skills to sell her cookies to make money for HER shop. I don't even think she paid Kara for them. It wasn't stated but I just get the feeling she didn't.

The ending was amazing and scary. I knew it had to be who it was but the truth about Kellen was shocking. I was so happy that Kara found the strength to win. She has been through so much and i felt like she had either given up or stopped caring. She seemed like a girl that was hiding behind someone that wasn't her. But that was her downfall and exactly why HE said he liked her... And the award for the vaguest book review ever goes to....MEEEEE.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

1) Where did the inspiration for From Where I Watch You come from?
The inspiration for the story came from a Campbell’s Soup radio commercial! I heard it on the radio while driving and had to pull over quick to jot notes about a character that popped into my head based on this radio ad! She ended up being my MC’s mom—a crazy, born-again Christian who thinks she can heal everyone with the pea soup she sells in her cafĂ©!

2) When Kara made the Halloween skull cookies her mom sold, did her mom pay her for the cookies she sold?
Nope. Their deal was Kara got a little corner of the kitchen reserved for her baking, and in return Mom got to sell the cookies.

3) Do you enjoy baking?
Yes I do! My favorite thing to bake is pie. But I have to bake gluten-free now and that isn’t as fun.

4) Did you always want to become an author?
Yup! I originally wanted to be primarily an illustrator. When I was a kid I’d write crappy stories just to draw the pictures to go with them. Didn’t care much about the words back then.

5) If you had to choose between never reading a book ever again or never having any sort of bakery item ever again which would you pick?
Sadly, never eating a bakery item again.

6) What is your favorite junk food?
I think ice cream. Specifically Ben & Jerry’s New York Superfudge Chunk

7) If you were in Kara's shoes, would you have told someone about being stalked?
Knowing who she associated with and those closest to her, no, I wouldn’t have.


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