Look Me in the Eye

Jane Godwin

Look Me in the Eye
Hachette Australia
28 February 2024

Look Me in the Eye

Jane Godwin

running late

drop it off without me

I type drop what off? I don't know what Mish is talking about.

While I'm typing, another message appears. don't tell bella

But I am Bella.

Best friends Bella and Connie live on the outskirts of the city in an area that was once full of open fields and paddocks but is changing as the suburbs creep closer. And now there is Mish, Connie's cousin, who has to be included even though she is unfriendly and unpredictable. The pandemic lockdowns have lifted and the three teens are eager to explore their newfound independence. But with the world opening up, there has been a rise in surveillance, from apps that track their movements to voice recorders and hidden cameras. It feels like everyone is watching them. But when does 'watching' become 'watching over'?

Do we have a right to know everything about those we love? Look Me in the Eye is a gripping tale of young teens navigating freedom and trust-building, privacy and secrets, in an era of parental surveillance.


One of the most important parts of adolescence is trust: earning it, testing it, losing it. What Jane Godwin’s newest YA novel Look Me in the Eye understands is that for the teenagers growing up in the 2020s, where restrictions and freedoms are both so much greater than ever before, that trust looks entirely different. When parents can use apps to track their kid’s every move and kids can say anything to anyone from behind a phone screen, how do you find a balance between protection and independence?

Once again, Godwin dives deep into the often-neglected world of early high school, where change is rapid and boundaries are there to be pushed. For Bella and her best friend Connie, it’s a time of excitement, as they take small steps towards the freedom of adulthood under their parents’ guidance. For Connie’s cousin Mish, it’s a web of surveillance as her parents watch her every move to protect her. As Mish drags Bella and Connie deeper and deeper into her schemes to avoid her parents’ gaze, the lies build up and the girls’ trust, and maybe even their safety, is put into jeopardy.

Look Me in the Eye is a tense and savvy novel that perfectly captures the stresses and complexities of modern adolescence. For ages 12+.

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