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Since February is Black History month, my book club decided to pick books written by black authors. After everyone’s suggestions, the book with the most votes was When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole. Since I love thrillers, I was excited to dive into this one.
The blurb on the back of this book says “Rear Window meets Get Out,” and I guess I would agree with that. Definitely got some Get Out vibes with the sinister gentrification plot. I really enjoyed the premise. It is relatable to real world issues and social injustice. Some of the villain characters really made me feel angry and had me saying “Oh hell no!” in a lot of places; and I don’t think they were necessarily overwritten, because I’ve seen these characters in real life. I feel that Cole does her job in getting her message across. I enjoyed the thriller aspect, and there were a lot of parts that had me quickly turning the pages. I also liked that the narrative was split between Sydney and Theo.
I did feel like the pacing was off. And the last 10% of the book had my head spinning. It seemed to take a fast turn into crazy-town and everything was messy. It was an okay ending, but it just seemed to come up out of left field and didn’t match up with the rest of the book, in my opinion. I still overall enjoyed the experience of reading the book and the insidious portrayal of gentrification.