Review: Everyone is Watching by Heater Gudenkauf

Everyone Is WatchingEveryone Is Watching by Heather Gudenkauf
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Everyone is Watching is the 2024-release for popular author, Heather Gudenkauf. I’ve read two previous novels from her, This Is How I Lied and The Overnight Guest, and really enjoyed both, so I was anticipating diving into this one.

Happily, I had a blast with it. It was so wickedly-wild and OTT, I feel like I just orbited the Earth and returned, noshing popcorn all the while. It was so much fun!

This story features five contestants selected to participate in an all-new reality game show; think Squid Game, or Big Brother. The grand prize of which is $10,000,000.

None of the participants know quite what to expect, but with a potential prize that large, they’re willing to risk it. As they arrive at the secluded-California property at which the show will be filmed, an immediate sense of unease sets in.

It’s isolated and they’re stripped of their phones, and told in no uncertain terms they’re not to leave the grounds, or communicate with anyone on the outside.

The show is being live-streamed to the world, there are cameras everywhere, and involves a series of different challenges; some physical, some not. The viewing public will be voting contestants out one-by-one, until only one remains; the $10,000,000-winner.

As the challenges begin, it becomes clear that whoever organized this show knows a lot more about these contestants than was originally let on. This starts to seem less like a game show and more like a revenge show.

The further the show progresses, the more the contestants deeply-held secrets begin to be exposed. Soon, you’re spotting connections and low-key judging everyone.

Is anyone going to make it out of this thing with their reputations, or yeah, their lives intact?

This was so entertaining. I loved the concept of the show and the way the contestants all ended up there. I feel like this book doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it succeeded because of that.

This story is the epitome of a good-time Popcorn Thriller. I flew through it and was impressed with the rapid pace of the reveals and the thoughtful connections throughout.

After the initial set-up, you can feel that there is something much larger going on under the surface. I thought the way Gudenkauf built-out that suspense was really well done.

There aren’t a ton of likable characters in this, but I still loved learning about each and every one of them. You get dirt on all of them, and I’m always down for that.

Some of them were more despicable than others though, and I know who I would have been voting for had it been real. I also loved the concept of this live-stream, and we do get a mixed media element, with comments from viewers.

I would say, this one probably won’t work for Readers who can’t suspend belief for a bit, but luckily, I love suspending belief. If you read for fun, for escape, to forget about life for a while, I would def recommend this.

It absolutely gets wild and there are things that would realistically never happen IRL, but who cares!?

Overall, I appreciated Gudenkauf doing something completely out of the box here. This didn’t really feel like the two previous books that I have read from her. It felt more fast-paced and punchy, as opposed to the darker, moodier vibes that I have read from her in the past.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Park Row, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I’ll pick up anything Gudenkauf writes. This definitely entertained me!

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