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What Has Become of You [Kindle Edition]

Jan Elizabeth Watson
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $26.95
Kindle Price: $10.99
You Save: $15.96 (59%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

What if a teacher’s most promising pupil is also her most dangerous? A tautly plotted psychological thriller, as intelligent as it is mesmerizing

What Has Become of You follows Vera Lundy, an aspiring crime writer and master of self-deprecation who, like many adults, has survived adolescence but hasn’t entirely overcome it. When she agrees to fill in for a private school English teacher on maternity leave, teaching The Catcher in the Rye to privileged girls, Vera feels in over her head. The students are on edge, too, due to the recent murder of a local girl close to their age.

Enter Jensen Willard. At fifteen she’s already a gifted writer but also self-destructive and eerily reminiscent of Vera’s younger self. As the two outcasts forge a tentative bond, a sense of menace enfolds their small New England town. When another student, new to the country, is imperiled by her beliefs, Vera finds herself in the vortex of danger—and suspicion.

With the threat of a killer at large, the disappearance of her increasingly worri-some pupil, and her own professional reputation at stake, Vera must thread her way among what is right by the law, by her students, and by herself. In this poignant page-turner, populated with beguiling characters and sharp social insights, coming-of-age can happen no matter how old you are.


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

After a girl she hates in high school is murdered by a serial killer, Vera Lundy is hooked on true crime. Decades later, in the midst of writing a book about that killer, she gets a substitute teaching job at a private high school near her Maine hometown. Among the girls in Vera’s three English classes of mostly privileged teenagers, she is particularly taken with scholarship student Jensen Willard, whose writing shows talent as well as a dark side. Meanwhile, Vera seems unable to avoid murder: the middle-school niece of the school’s dean was recently killed, shocking the community, and just months later Vera finds the strangled body of one of her students. Watson’s second novel, after her acclaimed Asta in the Wings (2009), has all the elements of a suspenseful mystery, but it fails to gel, at least in part because of its protagonist: Vera’s excessive drinking and lying to police make her a less than sympathetic character. Readers may appreciate more Watson’s well-drawn teenage characters and reflections on literary themes. --Michele Leber

Review

Prase for What Has Become of You

“A precocious teenager. A teacher who can’t quite grow up. What Has Become of You is a suspenseful and tightly plotted thriller filled with vivid and memorable characters, each with her own compelling voice.” –Alafair Burge, author of If You Were Here, Long Gone, and the Ellie Hatcher series
 
“Part gloss on The Catcher in the Rye and part millennial The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, What Has Become of You is that rare beast: a page-turner that asks dark, difficult questions about the state of contemporary American society.” –Joanne Smith Rakoff, author of A Fortunate Age
 
“Watson’s twisty plot speeds with page-turner momentum, but what’s likely to stick with you are the complex characters of Vera and Jensen, who are, by turns, vulnerable, flawed, and surprising, bravely struggling to rewrite the stories of their lives.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

Product Details

  • File Size: 1223 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0525954376
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult (May 1, 2014)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G3L6L30
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #408,909 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story May 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I found this book to be a thought provoking literary gem. It really caught my interest very early into the story and it held it all the way to the end. The plot was about a high school substitute teacher at a all girls private school whose passion in life is to be a crime writer.Vera Lundy's first class assignment is to read and discuss the book The Catcher In The Rye. The discussions and writing assignments lead her to form a friendship sort of relationship with some of the students. Particularly one student named Jensen she finds herself compelled to help maybe more that she should. Things just seem to spiral out of control with the death of a student and then Jensen turns up missing. Then twists and psychological aspect of the plot will keep you wondering whats going to happen util you reach the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Vera Lundy ponders beginnings and endings, particularly the arrest of a man named Ritchie Ouelette for the murder of Angela Galvez, an 11-year-old local girl, as she stands in the public library. She wonders if she can somehow work her musings into a lesson plan when she starts her new job as a long-term substitute teacher at a tony private girls' high school in the tiny town of Dorset, Maine. Vera checks out THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, which she plans to use in her classroom, along with three true-crime books. She is fascinated by true crime in general; in fact, she is writing a book on the killer who murdered a girl she knew as a teen. Fancying herself quite the criminal profiler, she decides that Ouelette is not guilty of strangling Galvez.

When Vera arrives at her tiny apartment after her library visit, she finds a surprising email message. It's from a girl named Jensen Willard, who tells Vera that she will be a student in her English class. Jensen has a question about which copy of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE she needs to use in class. Vera is struck by the fact that the girl has bothered to track her email address down and that her writing seems to indicate unusual talent and intelligence.

Vera’s first day teaching at Wallace School looms. She’s nervous, even as she’s distracted by a phone call from her mother with gossip about her ex-fiancé. It seems that Peter is getting married, which leaves a sour taste in her mouth. After hanging up, she decides to ponder the girls' names on the attendance roster for her first class the next morning. Somehow, she figures, it will give her power to already know their names when she meets them.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not As Good As I'd Hoped... May 2, 2014
Format:Hardcover
I just read an unusual new book that comes out about a week from now, on May1st. The second book by Jan Elizabeth Watson, "What Has Become Of You" is considered a psychological thriller although I'd add the word "literary" in the description somewhere. Watson is certainly a spectacular writer, painting pictures in the reader's mind with tight prose that are wonderfully easy to digest.

Watson has created a character in her newest book who is self-effacing, introverted and unassertive. Miss Vera Lundy is a substitute english teacher in a wealthy all girls school. The character Vera is intellectual but has very little good judgement. We learn a little about her awkward younger years in high school where a girl Vera knew was murdered by a serial killer. This was a defining moment in Vera's life and has become the subject of the book she intends to write but when she starts her new job at the girls school, Vera finds herself disturbed by the recent murder of a student, reminding her of her past. I found myself pitying Vera as the Jan Elizabeth Watson fleshed out her character.

On her first day teaching, Vera meets Jansen Willard, a fifteen year old scholarship student, who reminds Vera of herself, introverted, awkward and smart with strong writing skills. The book is mainly about an entwining of the relationship between these two characters and the recent murder mystery that occurred just before Vera arrived as a substitute teacher.

I have a rule about writing book reviews, NO SPOILERS! I abhors learning about a book and getting just too much information about the story. I want the reviewer to give her opinion on whether it was good or bad without ruining the read for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story, No Climax July 9, 2014
By K.
Format:Hardcover
This book is the definition of anti-climactic. And it's such a shame, too; because it had the potential to be so good. Initially I was very much drawn into this story and there was just the right amount of tension and suspense in this well-paced novel. I enjoyed both the writing style and the characters. The intrigue was enough to keep me greedily turning pages but just when things were supposed to be ramping up to the most frenzied levels, this book fell completely flat. I cannot express to you enough how much of a disappointment the ending was. It was like plain, white rice. No shock, no thrill, no excitement. A resolution in only the loosest sense of the word. Thrillers should be frenetic and tumultuous, leaving you gasping for breath at the end. Here, this was not the case. In fact, this ranks in the Top 3 on The Strongest Non-Endings List. Certainly not a must-read, but if you're not bothered by the lack of denouement, then perhaps you can give this one a whirl.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
did not like it
Published 1 month ago by susan m cramer
3.0 out of 5 stars Should have been much better than it was.
What Has Become Of You was not a bad book. It wasn’t a great book. It was an OK book, and interesting enough in its own way, but not necessarily one that I would want to re-read,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by booknerdsbraindump
5.0 out of 5 stars A suspenseful mystery with compelling characters
I grabbed this book from the library on a whim and finished it within three days, something I haven't done in years. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Robin Young
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Read.
Published 4 months ago by DEBRA GAURICH
4.0 out of 5 stars Black Dog Speaks Review of What Has Become of You
Flipping through the pages of Jan Elizabeth Watson’s latest work What Has Become of You feels like you are crawling inside the mind of Ver Lundy - english teacher, aspiring... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Black Dog Speaks
2.0 out of 5 stars ... is engaging and has the promise to be a good story, but as the...
The beginning of the book is engaging and has the promise to be a good story, but as the story goes on it became slow paced, and the characters didn't have psychological depth. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Viviane A Van Giesen
5.0 out of 5 stars A new favorite author!
Oh, my, What a treat! As a retired English teacher, I could identify and empathize!
Published 4 months ago by Susan Cranfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
I have personally known Jan since age 3. I have read her "stuff" all the way back to when I could read and when she would allow it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Margaret N.
2.0 out of 5 stars Put Me To Sleep
This is about a young woman named Vera who is a substitute English teacher at an all-girls school and one of her students named Jensen so I was excited to read it since I like... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Karen Zemek
4.0 out of 5 stars A Strange One
What Has Become of You by Jan Elizabeth Watson is about a young woman named Vera who is a substitute English teacher at an all-girls school and one of her students named Jensen. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Gerard F. Zemek
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