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FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU is impossible to put down, as addictive as the sugar cookies the main character loves to bake. The story’s many ingredients make it uniquely suspenseful, multi-layered, and easy to gobble up. I couldn’t stop! -Janet Gurtler, bestselling author of I’m Not Her
“I loved Kara’s voice. Filled with sweet and spicy characters, From Where I Watch You is a delectable YA thriller.” -Jeanne Ryan, author of NERVE
“Lyrical prose + riveting mystery + mouth-watering baked goods = one of the best books I’ve read in years. I stayed up too late, creeped out and glued to the pages. Shannon’s debut marks her as a voice to watch.” – Mandy Hubbard, Author of Prada and Prejudice and Fool Me Twice
“The story builds and sustains tension deftly, offering just the right level of clues as to the identity of the stalker. Kara’s love of baking is a nifty distinguishing feature, and the author includes her cookie recipe at the end. Involving and suspenseful.”
“This powerful debut [will keep readers] guessing until the end, which is shocking as the final details are revealed… a suspenseful and fast-paced read… this novel will do well in YA collections where dark, realistic fiction is in demand.” from School Library Journal, July 2015
Full SLJ Review: GROGAN, Shannon. From Where I Watch You.
Kara McKinley, 16, is a baker at heart, with cookies being her specialty. When her art teacher tells her about a baking contest she jumps at the chance, meanwhile knowing that her mother will say no, since the contest is in San Francisco, a far cry from Seattle and the grand prize is a scholarship to the La Patisserie Pastry School in California. Kara just wants to escape her hometown, and her family, which was ripped apart when her older sister Kellen died in a drowning accident. The fallout from her death caused her parents to split up: her dad left, and her mother went from a high powered attorney to a Bible-thumping soup-making maven, opening up her own cafe in downtown Seattle. However, Kellen’s death is particularly hard on Kara, as she constantly sees her sister’s ghost. Things get really creepy when she begins receiving threatening notes from a stalker. Grogan weaves mystery, grief, betrayal, and a love triangle into this powerful debut. Readers will be guessing until the end, which is shocking as the final details are revealed. The alternating chapters between past and present make for a suspenseful and fast-paced read. The author tackles mature topics. The most prevalent is abuse, betrayal, drugs, and disrespecting authority figures. VERDICT: While best suited for mature teens, this novel will do well in YA collections where dark, realistic fiction is in demand.—Erin Holt, Williamson City P.L., Franklin, TN
Jacket Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Kara is about to realize her dream of becoming a professional baker. Beautifully designed and piped, her cookies are masterpieces, but also her ticket out of rainy Seattle—if she wins the upcoming national baking competition and its scholarship prize to culinary school in California. Kara can no longer stand the home where her family lived, laughed, and ultimately imploded after her mean-spirited big sister Kellen died in a drowning accident. Kara’s dad has since fled, and her mom has turned from high-powered attorney into a nutty holy-rolling Christian fundamentalist peddling “Soul Soup” in the family café. All Kara has left are memories of better times.
But the past holds many secrets, and they come to light as Kara faces a secret terror. Someone is leaving her handwritten notes. Someone who knows exactly where she is and what she’s doing. As they lead her to piece together the events that preceded Kellen’s terrible, life-changing betrayal years before, she starts to catch glimpses of her dead sister: an unwelcome ghost in filthy Ugg boots. If Kara doesn’t figure out who her stalker is, and soon, she could lose everything. Her chance of escape. The boy she’s beginning to love and trust. And even her life.
Dan Ehrenhaft at Soho Teen has acquired From Where I Watch You, a debut YA novel by Shannon Grogan. The story is about a girl who dreams of becoming a professional baker, but finds herself haunted by the ghost of her dead sister and pursued by a mystery stalker whose cryptic notes suggest he knows far too much about her. Publication is planned for spring 2015. Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency negotiated the deal for North American rights, including film and TV.