Book Review: Eyes On You by Kate White

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A (very) brief plot overview

Robin lost everything a few years ago, but now with a book launch and her career on TV back on track, things are looking good. That is until someone starts trying to sabotage her, anyway…

What’s good about it?

First of all, I didn’t guess who the person trying to ruin Robin was until the very end, which is rare for me. Having finally found a thriller that kept me guessing all the way to the end, I finished reading the book feeling satisfied because it had kept me on my toes. Everyone at one point in time seemed to be a suspect and I enjoyed the not knowing, the changing my mind of who I thought it could be. This isn’t something that happens for me often when I read, so it was a positive reading experience on my part.

The novel is a bit of a mix between two genres – chick lit and thrillers. I didn’t mind the mix, but I imagine for some hardcore thriller fans the talk of shoes and romance might be a little off putting. For me, it just informed me more about the character of Robin and built up my understanding of the industry she worked in. Looks were important, how you were represented and perceived mattered, Robin knew this and adhered to these codes. Understanding Robin’s world and the way she had to be in this was key to understanding how someone went about ruining her in the way that they did, so for me the chick lit elements were important to the plot.

As a female reader, I found myself recognising a lot of Robin’s struggles, such as not wanting to accuse a rival TV presenter of sabotage in case you were dismissed as a woman jealous of another woman’s success, trying to get your point across but being spoken down to and undermined by men in power. I thought it was really important that Kate White included these struggles as it can be hard as a woman in a competitive industry anyway, never mind one who is complaining of being threatened. Robin’s struggle to be heard and taken seriously allowed the person who was out to get her to do more damage than they would have been able to had Robin been listened to and treat fairly from the start. For me, this is an important message and I am glad Kate White explored this theme.

I imagine that this book is a good book club read simply because there’s a lot to talk about in it – romance, friendship, representation, betrayal, powerful women, sexism, the list goes on.

What’s not so good?

Nobody in this book is just nice. Seriously, not one character. That’s partly what made it so hard to guess who was the person behind the sabotage. I understand that the world of media and television is a little cut throat, but I felt bad for Robin that everyone wanted to step on each other to get to the top and that she could trust no one. Her niece Maddy was my least favourite character – Robin gave her the chance to be an intern and then Maddy proceeded to throw her under the bus every opportunity she got in order to try get ahead herself.

Whilst I didn’t find Robin and her role as TV anchor problematic, I think nowadays some readers are becoming tired of the female protagonist who is thin, white, successful, affluent and sexually attractive to all the male characters. A quick glance over other reviews showed me that sometimes other people just didn’t like Robin. Personally I had no real strong feelings towards her as a lead character – I read her as a product of her environment and just enjoyed the escapism of reading about the world of journalism and television – but some readers might find her a little stale.

Rate Me: purely for the fact that I didn’t guess who was targeting Robin, I’ll give it a 10/10. If you like chick lit and are wanting an introduction into the thriller genre, this one might be for you.

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