Book Review: What Has Become of You – Jan Elizabeth Watson

what has become of you coverTitle: What Has Become of You
Author: Jan Elizabeth Watson
ISBN: 9780525954378
Pages: 352
Release Date: May 1, 2014
Publisher: Dutton
Genre:  Psychological Thriller
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3 out of 5


Vera Lundy has been fascinated by criminals and crimes ever since high school, when a girl she knew was murdered. Now, as Vera is finishing up her true crime book, she agrees to fill in as a substitute English teacher for a group of girls at a prestigious school. There, she becomes intrigued by a teenager named Jensen Willard, a scholarship student who begins to confide in Vera through her journal entries. But events begin to make Vera wonder if Jensen is truly being honest with her and whether the girl might harm herself or others.

Snapshot Review:

What Has Become of You is styled as a psychological thriller, but the thriller part of that description never quite comes together. While Vera is certainly interesting as a character, she is naive and immature. Despite the fact that the reader is constantly told that Vera is a smart, educated woman, her behavior says otherwise. She makes some ridiculous decisions that don’t make a lot of sense, but are merely in place to move the plot along. She’s not an easy character to like or sympathize with, and that makes the book difficult to truly enjoy. On the plus side, the teenage characters are certainly well written; Jensen is intriguing, to say the least, and it’s interesting to see what Watson does with her character. In the end, though, this book just did not come together for me. It could have been suspenseful, but the pacing felt a little off, so there wasn’t a lot drawing me into this novel.

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