You Better Watch Out

Last year’s school Secret Santa ended in tragedy, so Eleri is understandably not looking forward to this year’s festivities. However, when strange daily gifts are left for her in the creepy abandoned building opposite her home, she is thrilled for the break in her dull routine. The possibility that the person behind this unusual Christmas countdown could be her crush, Ras, is exhilarating. But as the gifts get more and more sinister, Eleri is forced to wonder if they are connected to her friend Nina’s disappearance.

Eleri herself starts to unravel across the pages of this chilling mystery. She is a sympathetic protagonist who feels invisible and struggles to make new connections outside her small friend group. Her secret admirer’s gifts may inspire horror, but they also prompt her to get out of her comfort zone and re-evaluate her own actions, preconceptions, and relationships. Through Eleri’s and her friends’ familial bond, Sarah Naughton also offers a candid look at the challenges of coping with a parent’s disability.   

From the eerie opening scene, this is an atmospheric and compelling novel. There’s a sense of momentum with each passing day, leading up to a fateful Christmas Eve. This can occasionally be a tough read, as it sensitively explores serious themes such as abuse, isolation, co-dependency, social inequality, and mental illness. But ultimately, heartfelt moments remind Eleri – and the reader – of the transformative power of friendship, kindness, and forgiveness. Naughton masterfully weaves together a suspenseful story certain to keep readers thoroughly immersed.

Book Cover - You Better Watch Out
Publisher
Reviewer
Publication Date
October 2023
Format
Paperback
Pages
320
ISBN
9780702329753