I’ve heard about this book a long time ago, and it’s been on my list to read for just as long. I heard plenty of mixed reviews about it, which caused me to put off reading it longer than I should have, but when my mom offered me her copy to read, I decided to give it a go.
I wish I hadn’t waited as long as I did. It was a good book – definitely a psychological thriller that lives up to its description. It was one of those books that messed with my head (and made me not want to go out by myself at night), and while I was happy (for the most part) with the way things wrapped up at the end, it kind of left me wanting more at the same time.
One night, when sixteen year old Summer goes out with her friends for a night full of fun and promises of a good time that turns into a horrible nightmare that Summer will remember for the rest of her life. When she goes to look for one of her friends, who has run off, she comes across a strange man who starts calling her “Lily.” While confused at first, and as hard as she tries to reassure him that he must have mistaken her for someone else, she eventually begins panicking when the man throws her in the back of his van and takes her to his home – and straight down into the cellar, where three other girls are waiting – Rose, Poppy, and Violet.
Struggling to come to terms with what is happening, Summer is thrust into a living nightmare. The man who abducted her expects her to be part of his “family,” along with the other girls in the cellar. Trying to bide her time until she can escape, the things that she encounters and is forced to deal with are more than just frightening – they are downright terrifying.
The way this book detailed Summer’s hellish nightmare of being locked in Colin’s (Clover’s) cellar with the three other girls – Rose, Poppy, and Violet – was enough to make your blood run cold. There were some parts of this book (such as the violent parts) that were a little much to read, though. These girls lived through this nightmare (and it was definitely a nightmare), and eventually some of them even gave up trying to escape, because they were so afraid of Colin.
The chapters in this book had a lot of Summer’s ordeal, told in both the present and in flashbacks. However, there were also some chapters told from Lewis’s (Summer’s boyfriend) point of view, as well as some told from Colin’s point of view. The chapters that were told from Colin’s point of view were incredibly helpful and really added something extra to the story, because we got to know Colin and learn what had driven him to do what he was doing, and why. The chapters told from Lewis’s point of view, however, were not nearly as interesting as Summer’s and Colin’s – each chapter kind of just seemed the same to me, but they had their positive points that were also helpful to the story, so it was a nice touch to have written them in that way.
The amount of violence in this book was somewhat overwhelming at times, but I understand that it had a point in telling the story. However, if that isn’t your thing, you might want to re-think picking this one up, because it’s a little bit heavy on it.