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Perfect Strangers Every day she sits at the top of the stairs leading to the beach Always writing in her little notebook Always watching Watching the loving big brother so caring and attentive to his little sister Watching the handsome lifeguard with his golden tan But no matter how closely she watches she can't begin to know the secrets behind the perfect facades of their lives And they can't begin to know the truth about the strange sad girl who each day sits alone and watches


10 thoughts on “The Watcher

  1. says:

    What a beautiful book a painful dramatic yet at its depth very real book And one I so wish I could’ve found at 13 because I’m not sure I’ve ever seen my 13 year old self so perfectly depicted in a novel before Reading it was like a fever dream


  2. says:

    It's difficult to know exactly what to say about this book As an author James Howe is freuently in prime position on the literary vanguard trying daring new things and writing books that are uniuely built to very unexpected endings In this his first bona fide young adult novel we are given something like a cross between authors Kevin Henkes and Robert Cormier a combination that I never expected to ever see As uniue as all of James Howe's writing is The Watcher is probably the most unusual story that he has ever written It proceeds with all the visceral haze of a dream yet at the same time powerfully thrusts itself into the reader's heart and mind hardly allowing one time to ponder what is happening In fact through most of the book's plot the reader probably won't understand what is going on in the shadowy depths beneath the mysterious surface All that is completely evident is that the ostensibly unrelated lives of these young beach goers are bound together by the ties of pain and loneliness and there is no better writer at empathizing with and sensitively rendering that kind of pain than the inimitable James Howe The Watcher is through and through like a silent explosion in the heart The story is simple and meandering yet so crucial in its drive that I felt as if I couldn't put it down These lives on paper become than just creations of a beautiful mind; they are tangible real and the circumstances that they face matter I'm not sure I can pinpoint just why but they do The last fifteen pages or so are almost like an entirely new story yet somehow are a perfectly logical result of all that comes before The narrative begins to race at such high speeds that I was simply holding on for the ride everything rushing and screaming with no room even for ordinary punctuation and set pell mell on a collision course for an end to the story that I could not foresee in the slightest until my eyes ran across the final few words This book is powerful and resonates deeply even if it goes about the task of doing so in a different way from every other novel that I have ever read James Howe has a profound understanding of the human heart that few writers will ever even know that they can hope to achieve and The Watcher like his other novels is a treasure of humanity that I would not give up easily


  3. says:

    Page 69Sarah Why are they getting a divorce?Callie They're tired of each other I guess You know how you have a favorite doll and you think if you ever lose her you'll die? But then you get a new doll for your birthday or something?Sarah ChristmasCallie Or Hanukkah Anyway so now this new doll is your favorite and you don't care about the old one any ad you could even give her away if you had toSarah I could never give one of my dolls away I don't care if she wasn't my favorite any I just couldn'tCallie Oh I know I could never either But just say you could okay? It's like that with my parents see? Understand?Sarah I don't understand How do you know the old doll isn't going to be your favorite again? I mean you never know right?


  4. says:

    The book The Watcher is an excellently written book that has to do with the life of a young girl Margaret This young girl is only know for sitting on the wooden steps that lead down to a beach no one knows who she is or where she comes from All they know about her is that she writes in a journal and watches the people on the beach The book is actually a mixture of poetry and a normal narrative story Some of the things the I liked most about the book was how as you read on you were able to piece together what the poetry meant and how it connected to the text It almost gave you a small sense of accomplishment when you put the pieces together I especially loved how the poetry portrayed one of the characters in the story Chris in the poems he was portrayed as an angel a savior In the book he was a confused lifeguard that had a loose tongue and a spit fire attitude and was yearning for something in his life He is also a major factor in one of my favorite parts in the book the end and when the true background of the girl is revealed in the end he truly became Margaret's savior There is only one thing that I disliked about the book which would be the fact that it ended almost too soon I would have loved to know about the outcome of the Margaret's life and how she overcame and grew stronger because of what she went through In summary this book was a great book that picked at your brain and made you open your eyes to what people can be going through and really drove home the message that you should never judge a book by it's cover I highly recommend this book for an enjoyable uick read


  5. says:

    Reading YA lit can sometimes feel like playing a bizarre game of bingo where instead of someone calling numbers each page displays a different common YA trope This is a short and easy read for the most part but many kids will probably struggle with the first thirty pages because they are a bit abstract Also it was written in 1997 and specific details are dated enough that I could see modern kids feeling lost Honestly they're not missing much thoughThe fairy tale between chapters seems lame Maybe I'm just a grouch


  6. says:

    It's interesting but put in the worst way possible The storyline is interesting but very cliché teen angst The formatting of the novel was different something I kind of liked but also found kind of obnoxious It was an interesting approach to a novel but had very clichéd storylines which made took away from the interesting approach


  7. says:

    The Watcher is about a girl who just moved to a beach house on a popular beach She usually sits on the steps that lead on to the beach and watches the people there She takes interest in the chiseled lifeguard Chris and a family of four She watches the children of the family Evan and Callie the most Chris tries to talk to her a few times to try and figure out why she watches everyone but she doesn't respond The girl breaks into Callie and Evans summer home without reason at first but as she looks around she finds Callie's family photo The girl cuts out a picture of herself tapes the cut out on the photo and leaves taking to photo with her Later on after the family realizes that their house was broken into Later Evan travels to Chris's house to ask him for advice about his friends; Evan looks up to Chris as a role model Evan by chance passes the girl's house and looks through an open windowEvan witnesses the girl being assaulted and verbally abused by her father He hears the girl's father screaming at her about a photo Callie's photo The girl's father is unaware that Evan witnessed this abuse and continues to abuse his daughter Evan takes off like a shot after witnessing that and gets Chris They call the police and manage to stop the girl's father from abusing any further The police arrive and arrest the father and the girl reveals her name MargaretThe book has four main characters Margaret Chris Evan and Callie Margaret is a small uiet girl who normally sits on the beach steps and watches people from afar She was given the nickname 'The Watcher' because she watches people so much Margaret mainly watches Chris Evan and Callie throughout the book Later in the book you find out that she is verbally and physically abused by her fatherChris is a lifeguard who works at the beach He is a nice person who generally cares about other people than himself Chris notices Margaret a lot than other people because he always catches her staring at him He does try to reach out to her because he is worried that she is sick or troubled Evan and Callie are siblings from a family of four Evan is a caring older brother who often uestions his actions and looks back at the past Callie is a playful little girl who makes friends easily She also makes up stories to get attention The siblings are very supportive of each other and usually go hand in hand togetherI would recommend this book for anyone who is 13 or over the age of 13 I would say 13 because there are death mentions and abuse The book has four points of view throughout the story so it can get pretty confusing The reading is not difficult but the book does not tell you whose point of views you are reading from in the beginning of the chapterI gave this book 3 out of 5 stars I gave the book that rating because I found the plot predictable and the characters boring The only thing that interested me was the little side story which eventually connected to the plot itself It was an okay read but I would not read it a second time


  8. says:

    Margaret is a watcher She likes to go to the beach and watch people doesn’t say anything just watches which starts to creep some people out as there is no words escaping from her lips no changes in her facial expression she just watches Margaret does grab her pad of paper putting her thoughts and feelings down on paper Then we have Evan who hangs out with his younger sister Callie Evan would rather be with people his own age but he feels safer with his sister Chris is a lifeguard who is haunted with an incident that happened even before he was born His father is an empty shell who cannot get over a tragic accident that claimed the life of Chris’ younger brother leaving both of them dead to the world Margaret is looking for something and the two boys might just be the answer she needsI loved the cover of this book and I myself am a watcher I could sit all day at the beach the mall the airport just about anywhere where there is an abundance of people and watch People are amazing at what they do what they wear what they say and how they communicate they entertain me I myself could not be silent That would literally kill me I am a smiler a gesture a talker and a facial expression person so Margaret amazed me If I met Margaret I would be staring back and watching her She had issues and later in the book I figured out those issues where but it wasn’t until I was bored with the whole book I thought the book was rather slow and it wasn’t until the last third of the book did it start to pick up the pace I’ve read James Howe before and liked his work; this just wasn’t working for me


  9. says:

    This book consists of three different perspective of the three characters One is Chris a local lifeguard on the beach another is the watcher she's a teenage girl that sits in the beach alone with her notebook and she would write in it and stare at other families in the beach yearning for a picture perfect family like theirs because she gets abused by her own family And the last character is a guy named Evan a thirteen year old boy that hangs around with his little sister Callie but Evan does not like playing with her very much but does not show it on the outside he wants to hang out with the cool guys that he always see on the beach other than hanging around his little sister From the outside they may have a happy life and that they are comfortable with how their life is but looks can be deceiving Chris may look happy since he always have women surrounding him but yet his daydreams of the memories are killing him inside the watcher may seem like just a girl that loves to write but yet at home she gets abused by her own father and lastly Evan may look like a picture perfect family but past the smile he does not want to stick around with Callie but venture out and have a life with friends that are his age This story is about everyone having their own difficulties and show different perspective but then at the end come together I did not really like this book because it is really confusing with all the switching of perspectives and there are some parts where it is so boring that i abandoned this book for awhile


  10. says:

    This is an interesting novel when I saw the title at the first time “The Watcher” First thing I think of the book is about a girl which just judge by its cover And that girl is being a watcher because she’s alone and she doesn’t have the things other people have she just can watch other people’s happiness I was kind of right by judging its cover page However the interesting of this novel is it talks about three characters although they are not connect to each other but they all share something in common It is about a girl called Margaret who is an abused and lonely Always watched people playing around on the beach and she never play just watch them and write it in her notebook Evan is a boy who worried the divorce will happen to his parents And Chris is trying to fit in his family All of these three characters have sharing the common teenager problem in the book People try to get in the society try to protect their family and continue their lives There’s one thing special of this book is every chapter; it will first tell you a relative little story then talk about the story in the book Its cover is good that can hook the reader in and help them better understand the story by judging its cover Lots of the books do that in order to make the readers get into this book