After I moved to Shreveport from Bossier City, I knew I was going to have to make some major changes in my life. One of those changes was a change in library. Okay, that may not seem major to some, but I've been going to that same library since high school, and this new library was a completely different parish, albeit, the commute to the library was much shorter, but still. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about his new library, but it turns out, I actually like it better.
Enough nerdy library comparison talk. I had actually never heard of Lauren Barnholdt before I stumbled upon her book in the YA section of this new library. I was looking at audio books, and the synopsis sounded interesting enough. It was about a girl named Ally Cavanaugh who is going into her freshman year of college who gets cast to be on a reality TV show called In the House. It's like the college version of Real World except episodes aired every single day and showed events that happened just a couple days prior. "Almost reality TV," I believe Barnholdt called it. Other members of the In the House cast are the stereotypical characters you'd find on a reality show such as this, the womanizer, the innocent girl, the girl who's a little slutty, the pretty boy. Ally was the girl who had a long-distance boyfriend. Her boyfriend, Corey, was attending a different school on a basketball scholarship.
This book is predictable at best. When I first picked it up, I thought it would be similar to Lauren Conrad's series. When I first heard that LC was writing a book, I really didn't think I would ever read it. The only reason I did was because I was at camp, and I ran out of books to read, so I borrowed some from my campers, and I dove into that book and fell in love. You go, Glen Coco LC! Watch Me didn't capture my attention nearly as much. I actually almost stopped listening to it because the voice of the person reading the audio book was So. Annoying. It was really high-pitched and hard to listen to. I was grateful it was such a short book.
I thought the main character, Ally, was also a bit annoying too. I couldn't figure her out. Sometimes she was smart-mouthy and a little bit on the b-word side, and other times she was naive and sensitive. There were certain parts of her character that I could relate to, but for the most part, I don't think she's someone I would want in my friends circle.
It's not that Watch Me was a bad read (though I think I would have enjoyed actually reading it rather than listening to it), it's just that it didn't really have much depth. There wasn't one character that I just fell in love with or any part of any storyline that just made me want to keep reading. As I stated before, it was all very predictable, and I feel like the plot didn't really go anywhere. There was no drama or climax or stressful situation. It was just...there. And then it just ended. Even the bit of budding romance wasn't anything to get excited about. I feel like the last few chapters picked up a little bit and then ended. Everything that happened in those last few chapters should have happened toward the beginning and then we would have had a more interesting story on our hands.
I give this book a 3 out of 5. I hate that this was the first impression I had of Lauren Barnholdt because I heard that some of her other books are rather decent. I can't say that I will be rushing to the library to get anything else by her though.
For more from Lauren Barnholdt, visit her official website.